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Networking and communications systems

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Communication is a key component of the Village Earth project. It is the linking system both within the project and between the project and the broader world. Communication not only maintains supportive relationships, but also generates momentum through interchange of experience and vision. Six major communication vehicles build the essential relationships of the project. Three represent the global relationships, and three represent the local relationships.

Types of communications


  1. Workshops on particular problems of development
  2. Dispersion of the learnings of pilot projects
  3. Expansion of input to model building for future projects
  4. Introduction of helpful linking technologies

On-line Database

  1. Regional libraries
  2. Global connectivity
    • E-mail or other
  3. Information collection from research, project M & E, and member submissions
  4. Access to other databases
    • reference


  1. Inter-project news exchange
  2. Source of ideas from outside consortium
  3. Motivational support
    • insight into the deeper issues of development


  1. Village/RAU fairs
  2. Cluster councils for problem solving
  3. Leadership training courses
  4. Village-level planning workshops

Training Instruments

  1. Manuals and handbooks
  2. Locally produced instructional videos
  3. Publication of M & E findings
  4. Interactive media, including use of computers and satellite links

Project Support Linkages

  1. Newsletter or news releases for project
  2. Documentary videos for sharing community activities
  3. Brochures and handouts
  4. Annual reports
  5. Tours and meetings
  6. Photo display

Communications methods and media

  1. Media options and selection?
  2. Audience expectations?
  3. SMRC model: sender (receiver) > < message > < channel > < receiver (sender)
  4. Communication skills?
  5. Communication noise
  6. Gate keepers?
  7. Diffusion/Adoption process
  8. Cone of experience
  9. Communication need (hierarchy of needs)
  10. Social action process
  11. Oral communication, written communication, telecommunication, others?
  12. News writing: clear writing, economy and simplicity, news article, layout/design
  13. Direct mail, mailing list
  14. Radio: types, radio spot, script tape
  15. Poster and flip chart: design, production, use [Okey's poster]
  16. Audio-visual: treatment, material, commentary [visual aids]
  17. Television (TV): technology, writing, visuals, production [TV rundown sheet]
  18. Photography and camera [tips for better camera techniques]
  19. Computer use: word processing, e-mail/internet, multi-media
  20. New technology
  21. Communication strategy

Setting the objectives

  1. Are they stated plainly?
  2. Are they related and integrated?
  3. Are they stated in terms of expected outcomes?
  4. Are primary goals and secondary goals stated and plainly marked as such?
  5. Are your goals realistic enough to be achieved? On the other hand, are they challenging enough to mobilize your best efforts to achieve them?
  6. How will you measure success? Are the evaluation criteria closely linked to objectives?

Communication strategy checklist

  1. Identify a PROBLEM, describe a situation, perhaps in your major field of study, which can be added or corrected by the application of a combination of communication methods and media.
  2. Describe the RESPONSE(S) desired. These may be stated as the Desired Outcomes or Primary and Secondary Objectives. (Consider tips on 'Setting Objectives' given above.)
  3. Describe the AUDIENCE(S) that need to be reached.
  4. What MESSAGE(S) will achieve the desired Response(s)?
  5. You will draw your Message(s) from what MESSAGE SOURCES?
  6. What types of ENTROPY, or message uncertainty, may be problems?
  7. What SENSORY CHANNELS of the audience will you employ?
  8. What COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA will you employ?
  9. What types of NOISE, or environmental interference, may be problems?
  10. As message ENCODER, what of yourself will be helpful in making the Communications Process work?
  11. What is the SEQUENCE AND SCHEDULE for implementing your communications plan?
  12. What will the different elements of your campaign COST?
  13. How will you MEASURE SUCCESS, how will you know whether or not you achieved the Responses desired?