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La [email protected] Rural

Call for proposals

Three principal themes have been identified for the workshop:

Content - management, production, selection and sharing: Rural development requires specialised content and ICTs can provide access to overwhelming quantities of it. How can local broadcasters deal with this situation? What mechanisms can best link local needs for information about issues related to health, food security, rights, and technology with the information available on the Internet? Which formats are most appropriate? How can the information produced by institutions specialising in food security and agricultural development (FAO, IICA, government ministries, research centres) be best “packaged” and made accessible to rural broadcasters? Can rural broadcasters and the Internet be used to provide feedback to the specialised institutions?

Capacity building: Rural broadcasters rarely have access to training in development communication, broadcasting, or the use of ICTs. This theme will seek to: (1) assess the training needs of rural radio stations wishing to make full use of ICTs; and (2) consider how ICTs can be used to support training activities through the use of, for example, distance learning modules.

Rural communication policy and practices: The policies and practices of public institutions responsible for communication and rural development must be re-evaluated in light of the possibilities offered by new ICTs and by the significant expansion of local radio into rural areas. This theme will examine current policies, practices and strategies for creating an enabling environment for the new forms of rural communication made possible by the use new ICTs in conjunction with local radio. A strong focus will be put on policies and legislation for local and community radio and for rural access to telecommunication services.

The Organising Committee is requesting proposals for four issues papers, one on each theme. These papers will set out the issues and introduce levels of intervention and types of actions (best practices within stations, voluntary collaborations within networks, network development, fundable projects, policy interventions, etc.). The papers will survey the theme area, present and analyse previous initiatives, and introduce proposals and recommendations that will be further detailed in appendices. Proposals and recommendations can address a variety of levels, including radio stations, networks, policymakers, and specialised institutions such as the FAO, IICA, agricultural research centres, donors and NGOs. They should also include both proposals for immediate actions to be undertaken without requiring significant investment of new resources and for longer-term projects and activities.

In addition to the above papers, a technology survey is being commissioned. While technology is not one of the main themes, it is a crosscutting element in all themes. The survey will inform the work of the researchers and participants about available and emerging technologies and how they can be applied to improve connectivity, networking, information management, programme production, and so on.

Authors will also be requested to contribute to the Onda Rural Resource Package by providing references to case studies, articles, websites, examples of best practice, software, content formats, etc., relevant to each theme and the technology survey. It will be made available on CD-Rom and via the Internet. The papers will be published as a book and electronically.

Proposals of no more than two pages should be emailed to [email protected] onda-rural.net. Please put “propuesta para la onda rural” in the subject heading of your message. A modest professional honorarium will be paid. Authors must be able to attend the Onda Rural meeting in Quito from April 19-23, 2004 (expenses will be paid).
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the page last modified 16/04/04