A Changing World: FAO Efforts in Communication for Rural Development

Living reference work entry


The chapter describes relevant approaches, trends, and challenges of applying Communication for Development to agricultural and to rural development in a changing world. It focuses on the experience generated by the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), starting with the first years when FAO was considered a leading agency in the discipline, followed by an analysis of the present situation, the perspectives, and the challenges for the future. The authors argue that there are new and favorable conditions for Communication for Development in the context of the changing social and political scene and that new economic and environmental challenges affecting rural areas demand new communication approaches and practice to be blended with the principles and participatory methods that have inspired the discipline.

Today more than ever, there is a need for mainstreaming Communication for Development to contribute managing the structural transformation affecting rural areas and to bridge the divide of opportunities ensuring equal rights to communication through demand-led communication services dedicated to rural dwellers. This changing landscape also requires new policy and financial commitments on the part of development institutions and governments, as well as policy dialogue with interested parties, including producer and indigenous peoples’ organizations, representatives of women and youth, as well as the private sector. By facilitating the dialogue, the definition of priorities, and options for inclusive rural communication services, Communication for Development will contribute significantly to meeting the challenges of our changing world.


Communication Communication for Rural development ComDev C4D Rural development Family farming Information and communication technologies Participation Rural communication services Sustainable Development Goals FAO 



The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ConsultantRomeItaly
  2. 2.FAO Communication for Development TeamRomeItaly

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