Participatory communication in rural development: What does it take for the established order?

Van de Fliert, Elske (2010) Participatory communication in rural development: What does it take for the established order?. Extension Farming Systems Journal, 6 1: 95-99.

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Author Van de Fliert, Elske
Title Participatory communication in rural development: What does it take for the established order?
Journal name Extension Farming Systems Journal
ISSN 1833-203X
Publication date 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 6
Issue 1
Start page 95
End page 99
Total pages 5
Place of publication Orange, N.S.W., Australia
Publisher Charles Sturt University
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
Formatted abstract
Participatory approaches have undergone several waves of interest within the agricultural research and development community since the 1970s. There has been a trend from technology-oriented towards farmer-oriented outcomes to better support the requirements of sustainable change. The practice of participatory research and extension under a variety of models, all underpinned by the principles of participatory communication, has been accompanied by debates on what is “genuine participation” and how different “types” of participation suit different development objectives. Addressing stakeholder participation has slowly become the norm in project proposal development for most major funding organisations as it is perceived to increase impact. However, very little is required in terms of demonstrating, firstly, that project partners have a common understanding and are in agreement of what type of participation suits the proposed design and context of the research and development process and secondly, that the capacity and political will exist among the partner organisations to allow for and facilitate participation. It is not uncommon that participation is reduced to superficial consultation or even lip service, whilst decision making power remains in the hands of specific stakeholder groups, often those who already had their own agenda for the change process to take place. This paper will discuss the factors and conditions that enable and impede effective collaborative partnerships of stakeholder groups in the context of rural development, particularly in cross-national initiatives. Factors at the level of the individual include mentality, communication skills and facilitation capacity. At the organisational level, institutional mandates and objectives, leadership and political climate will be reviewed. The paper will particularly build on experiences in Australian government funded research for development projects in Southeast Asia but intends to provide some general input to further discussions into the debate about good participatory practice to support sustainable rural development.
Keyword agricultural research
farmer-oriented outcomes
technology-oriented outcomes
Rural development
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Industry Forum - Keynote Papers

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Communication and Arts Publications
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Created: Wed, 17 Nov 2010, 09:40:24 EST by Associate Professor Elske Van De Fliert on behalf of School of Journalism and Communication