Communication about communication: The use of rural people’s knowledge

Lilly Pasa Sar (2010). Communication about communication: The use of rural people’s knowledge PhD Thesis, School of Integrative Systems, The University of Queensland.

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Author Lilly Pasa Sar
Thesis Title Communication about communication: The use of rural people’s knowledge
School, Centre or Institute School of Integrative Systems
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-09
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr Christine King
Dr Iean Russell
Total pages 317
Total colour pages 8
Total black and white pages 309
Subjects 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Abstract/Summary Three quarters of people worldwide living in poverty reside in rural communities. In order to break out of the cycle of poverty, access to relevant agricultural knowledge and information is important. This study was carried out in Papua New Guinea, an agrarian society where agriculture plays a dominant role in the lives of approximately 85 percent of the population in rural communities. Although commendable efforts have been made to link these people to agricultural information, much effort is still required to find alternative methods to increase participation to enable social change. Learning and using introduced information can be challenging, thus the need to begin with what the people already know. Therefore the aim of this study was to explore whether the use of rural peoples’ knowledge by change agents would increase farmer participation in learning agricultural technologies. Literature is replete with information that highlights the relevance of using Indigenous technical knowledge to encourage farmer participation. However little has been done on the use of the processes, referred to in this thesis as Indigenous process knowledge, involved in using rural peoples’ knowledge. Much of what is written on the process is on communication with language used as a channel to create messages. Although language in this role is important, this study used language not only as a channel but as a tool crucial for interactive learning amongst diverse stakeholders. Language was looked at from both social and biological science perspectives. This study used qualitative research methodology through action research and participatory action research design which then gave the theoretical basis for the use of participatory methods for data collection. To increase participation of people, methods need to be flexible which meant there was a range of methods used depending on what was relevant on the field. The methods used were participant observation, informal interviewing, participatory rural appraisal, and reflect method. Data were gathered from a case study from the National Agricultural Research Institute project on ‘Disseminating improved agricultural technologies’. In addition to this case, secondary data were vii collected from Oil Palm Industry through Mama Lus Frut project which was then used to supplement data on the use of rural peoples’ knowledge. In purposefully creating conducive learning space providers of different knowledge systems engaged in dialogue where each participated in creating shared knowledge. The conditions for creating shared knowledge through conversations were the concepts of the Head, Heart, Hand and Feet. Research and development organisations need to move beyond just disseminating information to negotiating appropriate strategies of exchanging agricultural knowledge. It is necessary, in consultation with the local people, for social and biological scientists to establish an interactive learning process to enable social change.
Keyword agricultural information and knowledge systems, rural development, rural people’s knowledge, participation, ethnography, communication, shared learning, dialogue, papua new guinea.
Additional Notes Number of coloured pages is 8. These are on pages: 100, 110,111,135,149,230,232,295. Number of landscape pages is 4. These are on pages: 23,162,182,221.

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Created: Sat, 02 Oct 2010, 14:04:15 EST by Ms Lilly Sar on behalf of Library - Information Access Service