Rural communication is an interactive process in which information, knowledge and skills, relevant for development are exchanged between
farmers, extension/advisory services, information providers and research
either personally or through media such as radio, print and more recently the new “Information and Communication Technologies” (ICTs). In this process all actors may be innovators, intermediaries and receivers of information and knowledge. The aim is to put rural people in a position to have the necessary information for informed decision-making and the relevant skills to improve their livelihoods. Communication in this context is therefore a non-linear process with the content of data or information.
In Communication for Development approaches, rural people are at the centre of any given development initiative and view planners, development workers, local authorities, farmers and rural people as “communication equals”, equally committed to mutual understanding and concerted action. Communication for development is used for: people’s participation and community mobilization, decision-making and action, confidence building, for raising awareness, sharing knowledge and changing attitudes, behaviour and lifestyles; for improving learning and training and rapidly spreading information; to assist with programme planning and formulation; to foster the support of decision-makers.