FAO E-Learning: Communication for Rural Development

This module is part of FAO's Communications E-Learning Programme.

This course provides an overview of the Communication for Development (ComDev) approach that aims to address the knowledge and information needs of rural stakeholders and to facilitate their active involvement in development initiatives. ComDev has proven to be a key element in improving the effectiveness and sustainability of development initiatives.

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The course aims to guide users in designing and implementing communication strategies for agricultural and rural development initiatives, combining participatory methods with communication processes, media and tools, ranging from community media to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), best suited for a specific context.


The target audience of the course includes three different user groups:

  1. Development planners and project coordinators
  2. Rural development and communication professionalss
  3. Communication and community media practitioners, extension workers and field agents


The course consists of 11 lessons, organized in three units. Lessons last approximately 15 to 50 minutes each.

Unit 1 Introduction to ComDev planning for agricultural and rural development

  • Lesson 1.1 What is ComDev
  • Lesson 1.2 Principles and applications of ComDev
  • Lesson 1.3 The ComDev Process
  • Lesson 1.4 Integrating ComDev in project design

Unit 2 Participatory ComDev planning

  • Lesson 2.1 The situation analysis
  • Lesson 2.2 The Participatory Rural Communication Appraisal
  • Lesson 2.3 Participatory communication strategy design
  • Lesson 2.4 Planning and monitoring ComDev activities

Unit 3 Implementing a ComDev initiative

  • Lesson 3.1 Implementing the ComDev plan at local level
  • Lesson 3.2 Developing ComDev materials
  • Lesson 3.3 Implementing ComDev activities in the field