Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program |
Phase 7 (2017 Deadline)
Improving agricultural extension in Pakistan through communication for development
US Partner: Robert Agunga, The Ohio State University
Pakistan Partner: Badar Siddiqui, Pir Mehr Ali Shah (PMAS) Arid Agriculture University
In this project, the team will implement a social science-based, Master’s degree program in “Communication for Development” (C4D) curriculum at the university level to improve development performance; and strengthen agricultural extension in the field by promoting participatory development strategies.
2018: Communication for development (C4D) is presented as an emerging discipline and profession for addressing critical problems afflicting poverty reduction development programs. These are: promoting local participation, facilitating interagency collaboration and strengthening the capacities of field staffs to implement increasing complex and sophisticated development programs. Our C4D strategy presents communication as the key to community mobilization, participation and empowerment; as the glue that binds development partners together to work towards common cause; and as a curriculum for preparing development management professionals.
The development challenges in Pakistan warrant the need for C4D professionalism. Since these practitioners are not readily available, they have to be trained. This being the first of three years of the project, we have focused on the post-graduate Master’s degree program—the development of a curriculum and getting it approved by the university. Our next step is recruitment and training of students in a two-year program. Graduates will be appointed as district development facilitators. The overall C4D experiment will be evaluated after three years and its impact assessed for replication. Our conviction is that many of today’s development challenges—leadership, empowerment, cultural relations, and managing change—are communication based and can be effectively addressed by incorporating C4D professionalism in development programming. C4D is the missing piece to the development puzzle. Pakistan, with its large rural population and its strong extension workforce, offers a great opportunity for field-testing C4D.