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The Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) made five Asia Communication Awards for 2015 at its 24th International AMIC Conference held at the American University in Dubai in June. Malaysia’s first communication programme was launched by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) nearly 44 years ago.
USM was the second university to be established in Malaysia in 1969 and was founded in Penang, where Southbound is also based. The first communication programme in the country began as a literal work-in-progress with part-time lecturers flying in from Kuala Lumpur and beyond to teach their courses. Professor John Lent was appointed as the Coordinator of USM's fledgling programme in 1972 and dived into frantic months of developing and teaching the courses as student numbers increased, making communication one of the most popular courses in the School of Humanities.
John Lent's efforts, combined with the hard work of a handful of his colleagues from those early days, quickly built an impressive programme and developed an illustrious class of pioneering Malaysian communicators.
To read John Lent's recollection of his two years in Penang devoted to developing Malaysia's first communication programme, click here. We host the Community of Practice for facilitators of the VIPP participatory planning and visualisation process.
Informal participatory survey methods can be used for gathering of data at various stages of programme implementation, and for analysis of SPFS-related issues by the farming communities themselves. The main principles of informal data-gathering include multidisciplinary team work, triangulation and flexibility.
Multidisciplinary team work is carried out by a team composed of individuals with different professional backgrounds. Triangulation is the intentional collecting of information from several different perspectives.
Flexibility is the absence of a rigid protocol and the possibility to change techniques and tools as needs arise.
In addition to these core principles, serendipity and investigation of exceptions are also often used in data gathering. Without clear objectives there is a danger that the exercise will be unfocused and lead to feeble conclusions. Factors to be considered include team selection (right mix of experience, gender, and discipline), team training required, team size (not more than two or three), number of survey teams carrying out surveys in parallel (not more than three), and procedures for note taking and report writing. Stratification involves dividing the survey area or population into subsets within which the variability of key factors is expected to be lower. Secondary data can improve the efficiency of surveys by raising their explanatory value and avoiding the effort of gathering the same information twice. Two major categories of informal participatory appraisal methods that are particularly useful for gathering general socio-economic information about a demonstration area in the early stages of the pilot phase are semi-structured interviewing with checklists, and mapping and diagramming.
Semi-structured interviewing is a form of guided interviewing in which only some of the questions are predetermined and new questions are usually generated during the interview. A diagram is any simple schematic device which presents information in a condensed and readily understandable visual form.
It is important to draw the diagrams in the presence of different categories of people (women and men, young and old, etc.), as their perceptions, viewpoints and information will often differ. A transect is a diagram that is produced during a walking discussion with villagers and shows the key features of different land use zones in a community. The first step in preparing for a transect walk is to draw up a check list of the areas of main interest for the exercise.
Recording is quite difficult during a transect because the team members are walking and because the whole check list needs to be covered each time a new land use system is traversed. Seasonal analysis is particularly useful for understanding constraints and major problems that might emerge only at certain times of the year.
A checklist should be prepared of the variables to be included in the calendar and any associated issues to be discussed about each of them. A daily calendar is similar to a seasonal calendar except that it shows the pattern of daily activities of community members at different times of the year. Further information on seasonal and daily calendars and daily activity clocks can be found in: Theis, J. Knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) surveys are used to understand and assess farmers' local indigenous knowledge, values and belief systems and how these affect their farming practices. KAP information can be obtained from surveys carried out for feat purpose, or can be extrapolated from information already collected using other methods such as semi-structured interviews. Boxes II-9, II-10 and II-11 illustrate in more detail fee steps required to carry out a KAP survey. After each round of survey, results are discussed wife fee farmers and possibilities for using innovative technologies or farming practices to solve identified constraints are talked about. Box II-12 shows how fee KAP survey method is used to plan, implement and monitor a strategic extension campaign. The main topics of concern to the farmers surveyed are, by priority: erosion, firewood and reforestation, seed conservation, and the fight against insect pests. Many projects and programmes have failed in the past because they have not taken into account the different interests of groups in the area in which a programme is being implemented. In the SPFS, stakeholders can be defined as groups of people with common interests and concerns with respect to the production, marketing, or consumption of food staples. Farmers are the programme's primary stakeholders because they are the main focus of the activities and they are the ones who are ultimately affected. A complete stakeholder analysis will consider all actors in the commodity chain, from pre-production preparation through production to post-production transformation, storage and circulation, and finally to consumption. Providers of services in the private sector (such as marketing, milling, de-hulling, de-husking, food and beer manufacture, transport and input provision) will often have a key role in the removal of constraints and the creation of new opportunities for increased farm production. The first step in stakeholder analysis is to identify the various interest groups in a demonstration area. The next step in stakeholder analysis is to identify the interests and concerns of each stakeholder or stakeholder group. The information on the stakeholder groups can be summarized in a table which lists the various stakeholders, their interests, their power and influence in the community and the possible positive and negative effects of the SPFS on them. Drawing a map of the linkages between a peasant farmer and all other stakeholders in the production chain can help to illustrate graphically the various interrelated interests of the different actors. This information will help in evaluating whether a particular demonstration has a good chance of succeeding, or whether it needs modification. Another useful exercise is the development of a stakeholder conflict and partnership matrix, which helps demonstrate the areas of conflict and partnership among the various stakeholders. More information on stakeholder analysis can be found in: Bonnal and Rossi, Guidelines for Participatory Constraints Analysis, op. In participatory constraints analysis, quantitative survey methods should be seen first and foremost as a supplement to participatory appraisal methods. The planning stage, beginning with the setting of exact objectives, is one of the most important parts of any survey.
Sampling is used where measurement of everything is unnecessary, impossible or too expensive, and just a small fraction of the material is measured instead.
A biased estimate is one that consistently tends to overestimate or understimate the true value for the population. Precision relates to the consistency of estimates if the sampling was carried out a number of times. While absence of bias and precision are both important, absence of bias is generally a higher priority. The best way to ensure absence of bias is through random selection of units in the population. There are a number of common statistical measures to be calculated, such as the mean, median, standard deviation and minimum and maximum. In the collection of baseline information for demonstration areas, particular attention should be given to avoiding bias when selecting the sample population and to using the most common measures for calculation. Today, the use of computers and statistical programmes is fairly standard for the analysis of quantitative data. Although often overlooked, the presentation of results is an important part of every statistical analysis. The Award was made in recognition of his life-long efforts to promote sustainable development in Laos by training and motivating its young people to become a generation of leaders.
To have long-term impact, we will need more coherent and comprehensive development approaches that place human dignity and economic and social justice for all at the center of development.
Two awards were conferred on individuals and three to institutions which made outstanding contributions to the sector in the region.
Alan Hancock, a globally influential communicator and media development specialist formerly with UNESCO, was conferred the Award in recognition of his meritorious lifetime contributions to communication education and research, institutional development and media advancement in Asia and internationally. Its curriculum evolved as the pioneering batch of students worked their way through their programme. Every day’s work began early and ended late and we were on campus at least half day on Saturdays.
Click here to visit the interactive website where you can share your experiences or pose questions to other VIPP facilitators.

At the same time, it must be remembered that rapid and participatory data collection exercises have to be well-planned. Serendipity is the creation of situations in which the researcher can take advantage of chance, while investigation of exceptions means following up on exceptions and lack of agreement. If the survey team is only gathering information, it will have different objectives and require different composition than a team that is also facilitating farmer assessment of the results and impact of the demonstrations. A sample of individuals, groups or locations for actual survey can then be selected from each subset. Group discussions are particularly useful if the information required is not expected to vary widely between households. In order to avoid being misled by rumour, myth or gossip, it is essential to support and cross-check findings by direct observation of important indicators. Two more focused methods involve surveys of farmers' knowledge, attitudes and practices and stakeholders' analysis. Interviewers use a checklist of questions as a flexible guide rather than a formal questionnaire. Each survey team should establish its own checklists depending upon what data the team considers necessary. They are most useful as an aid to participatory discussions with farmers and other community members in demonstrations.
Comparison of the diagrams drawn by different people can lead to a deeper understanding of the diversity of opinion and decision-making processes in a community. They are a useful way to gain understanding of systems at different levels: individual fields, farms, communities or districts. Before beginning the exercise it is important to draw up a checklist of the major features that the map should include. For example, ground doesn't have edges but it may be rained on, chalk is easy to rub out and re-draw but there may not be a cement floor available, paper is easy to keep after the map is finished but making changes on paper is difficult. Transects are particularly useful when there is a range of land use systems in one community.
The rough topography of the walk should be drawn at the top and a matrix with the headings of the check list laid out underneath. They are an excellent way of understanding and discovering variations in behaviour through time and their relationship to other events.
Once it is completed it should be used as the basis for discussion about the variables included within it.
It also enables a comparison of the daily routines and work loads for different groups of people (e.g. KAP surveys are useful tools for identifying the technological interventions which are important in an area and which are likely to create a significant impact. If KAP surveys are used for gathering baseline information, fee same survey method should also be followed for monitoring farmers' reactions to pilot phase demonstrations. The farmers' groups then decide what kind of extension messages they would like to receive, and fee form in which they would find these most useful. Members of various interest groups can use their power and influence to prevent objectives from being achieved if they feel that their interests are threatened. Besides farmers, these actors include various private-sector enterprises, public services and institutions and collective and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). At the same time, they, like other governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, will face both gains and losses from the changes involved in successful introduction of new technologies and other innovations into existing farming systems.
It is important to have a good understanding of what is going on and the roles played by the different actors in the communities.
Workshops involving as many potential stakeholders as possible are useful for sharing information and clarifying of different points of view.
For example, some groups may not be able to adopt a new technology because they do not have access to the resources needed to use it.
Within any community the most powerful and influential can help make things happen and can also prevent them from happening. Box II-14 presents a format for a stakeholder table that has been designed specifically for the SPFS. If data collected through informal techniques is not statistically precise enough, a questionnaire-type survey may be necessary to estimate crop yields; for example, it may be necessary to complement results from discussions with farmers by a statistical survey, since productivity increases will have to be measured. In the case of statistical surveys, decisions to be made in the planning stage include the type of data to be collected, the target population, sampling techniques, statistical measures to be used and how to present the results. In designing a sampling scheme, it is important to define a target population for which information is required. For example, if extension officers are asked to nominate farmers to participate in a survey, they might tend to select the more progressive farmers, or ones who can better afford to take risks.
The overriding principle for selection of a simple random sample is that every unit should have approximately the same chance of being selected. In addition to common data base and statistical computer programmes such as Dbase, SPSS, and SAS, spreadsheet programmes can also be useful, in particular if data bases are relatively small and the statistical calculations to be carried out are not very complex. Well-presented results can greatly facilitate the interpretation of statistical data and the drawing of conclusions.
Sombath founded Participatory Development Training Centre (PADETC) in Vientiane in 1996 to foster sustainable, equitable, and self-reliant development in Laos. The AMIC award recognizes outstanding contributions and achievements in the fields of media and communication. A typical example is that of agro-ecological zones where an area is divided into subsets based on homogeneity of rainfall, fanning systems or even crop yields.
If the issue under discussion is not too sensitive in nature, a group interview may provide an easy overview of likely variables, such as field sizes or crop yields.
As a result, the interviews tend to take the form of discussions, during which both interviewer and interviewee learn from each other. Diagrams can be drawn on almost anything - for example, on paper, overhead transparencies, blackboards or sand, depending on the situation. This is often the case when communities are located on the coast, in hilly areas, on rivers or lakes, or in areas where soils vary over short distances. By analysing fee words farmers use to communicate their knowledge, attitudes and practices in regard to specific elements of a farming system, it is possible to identify those elements which may be good, those which may need to be improved, or those which may need to be discouraged. On the other hand, KAP surveys can identify elements of fee technology package feat are not known to the majority of farmers, fee reasons for their negative attitudes, how and why they have practised recommended technologies inappropriately, and so forth.
Using this information, strategic extension campaigns to promote widespread adoption of new technologies and practices of most interest to fee farmers can be planned.
An understanding of the interests of different groups and incorporation of this knowledge into the planning and implementation of activities can permit more effective design of programmes and increase the chances of success.
In the context of food security, the differences between food-deficit and food-surplus farming households are particularly important.
Semi-structured interviewing can be useful for identifying the stakeholders in a given area.
On the other hand, stakeholder analysis often involves sensitive information, and as a result many interests are covert and agendas at least partially hidden.
Effects may be material (increased income or food availability, lost trade, higher costs) or social (improved or lost status or power). Stakeholders may not willingly express or talk about possible negative effects that are of concern to them. These groups cannot then gain from the programme, even though it may increase food production in the community overall. Conversely, groups with little influence will find it much more difficult to achieve their goals if these involve concessions or contributions from others.
Although it is impossible to avoid conflicting interests entirely, this information can be used to help avoid or mitigate situations of severe conflict which could negatively affect the programme.
A sample from this population is then selected from which to estimate values for the population (e.g. For example, a sample of 1000 plots will give a more precise estimate of yield than a sample of 10 plots. Where this proves impossible, then the target population (and related objectives) may have to be redefined, e.g.
Box 11.18 shows an example for recording data on inputs and outputs for a crop demonstration for the SPFS. Numerical results are usually presented in the form of tables or graphs, depending on whether numerical precision is required or only an indication of trends.
In all the games and exercises please ensure that after describing the activity, you ask participants whether it is acceptable according to their cultural background.
At the same time it is important to avoid biases, such as road conditions, when choosing locations. It is important that farmers participate on an equal footing during the information-gathering process, otherwise their participation during the later stages of the demonstration phase is likely to be undermined. For this reason, different stakeholder groups will often draw maps of the same area that look very different.

It may be best to use a route that brings the team back to where it started, or it may need to start beside a river or the sea and move up-hill to the edge of a watershed. For example, one may take responsibility to ask about crops, another about land tenure and so on. In any case, it is important to show the diagram to groups of villagers and use it as a basis of discussion on what the team has learned. For example, it can be used to determine the most appropriate time of day for a women's training course. It is important to bear in mind that a stakeholder group might consist of only one individual and that individuals can belong to more than one stakeholder group. It is important to think about how the activities of each group relate to the objective of improved food security and to the problems that are preventing its attainment. On the positive side, it can serve to help promote partnerships among the various stakeholders.
Some of the statistical data may feed directly into the financial calculation of farm budgets. For instance, in some societies 'winking' is not socially acceptable as it is seen as an indecent gesture, while in others people may be off ended by being told to run if they consider themselves 'old people'.
As a result, mapping can be a good way to gain insight into the priorities of stakeholders, conflicts of interest, and possible opportunities. It will help focus the discussion and enable team members to probe further on the fanning systems, the severity of constraints and the degree of consensus amongst villagers. Other important sub-groupings with different priorities are those based on gender and those based on assets. An important reason for conducting stakeholder analysis is to enable both the programme managers and the stakeholders themselves to recognise and better deal with potential conflicts of interest. For a given sample size, measurements with large standard deviations will give less precise estimates than those with small standard deviations. Surveys should not be used to collect unnecessary data or information which can better be obtained using participatory methods. Mattilla, Gender Analysis and Forestry International Training Package (1995), FAO, Rome, and Nabasa, J., G. In using data recording forms, copying by hand should be limited as much as possible in order to avoid the possible introduction of error and loss of time. Were, Participatory Rural Appraisal: Practical Experiences, Natural Resources Institute (NRI), Chatham, UK. Quan, Trees and Trade-Offs: A Stakeholder Approach to Natural Resource Management (1995), Gatekeepers Series No.
On the next chant repetition [chant 2], the person to her right, person 'A' imitates this motion and keeps her attention to the animator. Point out that this might happen during the use of PRCA tools for information and knowledge sharing and that people should not feel shy to report that they are confused or no longer following the processes. Take away one of the chairs so that there is enough room for all except one person to sit down. The person who fails to get a seat then goes into the centre and calls out another characteristic. Ask each participant to introduce herself by the name she wishes to be known and to accompany the introduction with a gesture or about. For instance a carpenter stands up and says 'My name is demonstration of something about her she likes people to know John' and at the same time mimics a person sawing wood. Once a system of communication is developed, the guide signals the blind person around the room [or village meeting ground] making certain that the blind person doesn't bump into other people or objects. This person copies the face and shows it to every one in the circle, then takes it off and makes her own face to the next person in the circle. 1: The problem treeDescription This is a visual problem analysis tool that can easily be used by both field development staff and the community to specify and investigate the causes and effects of a problem and identify the possible relationships between them. Roots of the tree are used as visual representations of causes of the main problem while the branches stand for the effects.Uses Analysis of the cause-effect relationships of the main problems as defined by an on-going project. These problems are not of equal importance and therefore should be ranked to identify the priority problem(s). Ranking is usually done through an analysis of the importance of each problem and by considering which problems cause other problems. At this point you have a complete problem tree full of branches, showing the effects of the main problem, and many roots, representing its causes. You now have a visual representation of the main problem, its causes and effects as well as the relationships between them. Now you must identify the focal problems (causes of the main problem), sometimes also called entry points. This tells you how each group perceives the main problem and therefore gives you a comprehensive view of the community perception. The exercise should not last too long, as brainstorming is only a liberating moment in an important planning process. Make it clear to participants that any idea can be expressed and that there should be no critique or arguing over ideas. For instance, you can find out the yields per hectare of the cultivated land, whether the people feel the land is yielding enough, what can be done to improve yields etc.
Usually the different maps produced by the various groups are not combined because every map is a good map.
Every map highlights a different perspective and reality, they supplement each other instead of competing against each other.
Transects, generally, come after the drawing of maps and they are used to verify information gathered from maps. The walk rarely follows a straight line, but often zigzags through different areas.Uses It is motivating and rewarding for villagers to show people around their village and their homes.
Outsiders get a chance to familiarize themselves with the diversity of eco-systems, land use patterns, socio-economic indicators, cropping patterns, slopes, drainage patterns, etc in the village and the problems and opportunities associated with them. Try to choose guides who have lived in the area for a long time, their knowledge will be invaluable. 5: Farm sketches for farming systems analysisDescription Farm sketches provide the starting point for farming systems analysis. It is normally the sketch of a small sample of arable and small stock farms belonging to those who will be interviewed for information about their farming systems. Farm sketches provide the basis for the further analysis of such topics as farm inputs and outputs, relationships between the farm and external (off -farm) people (e.g.
6: Time linesDescription A time line is a list of key events in the history of the community that helps identify past trends, events, problems and achievements in the people's life. The time line should go back as many generations as villagers can recall and record details of significant events.Uses Understanding the past of a particular community is often necessary to analyse present conditions, and to try to forecast how present conditions may evolve in the future. The time line helps the community to understand what local, national and international events they consider to be important in their history, and how such events have affected their lives.
Ask them about efforts by the government, church and the community to address some of the problems. Find out how the community mobilised itself, what communication methods were used to create awareness and action to deal with the problems.Historical Time line (Agriculture).
7: Trend linesDescription Trend lines visualise significant changes of key issues in the community over time. Topics for trend lines often reflect themes that the people consider important, for example, teenage pregnancy, infant mortality or soil erosion etc.Uses Helps you to learn from the community how it views changes in issues considered important by the people.
8: Seasonal calendarDescription The seasonal calendar is a useful tool for charting major events and village activities on an annual timetable. Typical examples are rainfall, water availability, crop-production patterns, animal diseases, housing improvements, community celebrations and labour availability etc.Uses Determines labour availability, timing of project-activities, potential absorptive capacity for new activities, times of disease and food shortage, etc. Both genders, all ages, different farming systems, etc.Mujumanzzovu Seasonal Calender (Men-Non beekeepers). 9: Wealth rankingDescription This is a card sorting exercise to elicit information about the socio-economic status of households in a community and the differences among them.
The exercise works best with fewer than 150 households.Uses To understand how the community defines wealth and well-being. The exercise may be done in separate groups as the results from such groups show a cross sectional view of the community. Five sorters from each group should be enough.Procedure Make a list of all the households to be used in the exercise and assign a number to each household.
You must therefore treat any exercise to collect such information with tact and absolute confidentiality. Ask them to buy one or more problems or needs, which according to them requires to be solved first.

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participatory communication theory pdf

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