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World Radio Day - enhancing development through rural radio

World Radio Day (13th February) – is a day to celebrate radio as a medium for communication and development, to improve international collaboration between broadcasters and to encourage community radio broadcasters to promote access to information and the freedom of expression through airwaves.

FAO teams are undertaking regional and national efforts to enhance the use of radio as a communication for development (ComDev) tool.

For example, at national level, the Office for Communication, Partnerships and Advocacy (OCP ) is implementing the project “Enhancing rural communication services through community rural radio” which aims to promote integrated rural communication services (RCS) and establish a community rural radio (CRR) in Bangladesh.

“In 2011 we set up, in collaboration with the Agricultural Information Service and the Department of Agricultural Extension, Krishi Radio FM 98.8, in Amtali province. The radio focuses on agricultural issues such as fisheries, climate change and disaster risk management broadcasting a wide range of programs produced by community members in collaboration with the technical staff of the Ministry of Agriculture. This is a good example of the role that communication and the use of community media such as the radio can play to foster agricultural development,” says Mario Acunzo, FAO lead technical officer of the project.

“In light of the good results achieved, FAO Bangladesh and OCP are supporting Krishi Radio activities with a view to scale up this experience and to ensure access to agricultural information to wider segments of the rural population,” explains Mario.

Another example, is the Dimitra project under the technical guidance of the Gender Equity and Rural Employment division (ESW). The project, which is ongoing for more than 10 years in countries like Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, aims to improve access of rural men and women to information and to help close the gender gap in agriculture.

Other similar initiatives include two regional platforms, Onda Rural in Latin America and ComDev Asia in the Asia Pacific region, which ensure networking between radio broadcasters and field projects.

FAO has been promoting rural radio for development since the 1960s, supporting member countries in terms of community mobilization and capacity building.Through a Memorandum of Cooperation with the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), that involves 4000 radios in 110 countries.

FAO Corporate Communications and its Media Relations Branch, among others, facilitate world visibility of rural development through community/farm radios’ lenses.

(Listen to Ban Ki-moon talking about World Radio Day)

Seven colleagues, six from the Asia region and one from the Budapest regional office, attended last week at headquarters a training course on Social Media for Communication and Sharing Knowledge in Programmes and Projects. This is the fourth workshop in a line of workshops that gathered staff from both headquarters and decentralized offices.

During the three-day training, colleagues from the field offices enriched their knowledge in areas including media relations, internal communications and IT and also met their communication counterparts in headquarters.

“For me this was a great experience because in the SAP office we are not that engaged in using social media tools in our communication strategy. This is very new to us and I hope that I can bring back the experience and knowledge I have learnt here and apply it in our line of work,” said Holland Tofinga, from the Samoa office.

“Aside from improving my skills in the area of social media, this workshop has also been a great opportunity to meet colleagues from both headquarters and the field and share our experiences. We have had three days in which we worked together and learned a great deal from each other,” added Ildiko Pocza from the Budapest office.

The workshops form part of the efforts by the Office of Communication, Partnerships and Advocacy to further develop communications across FAO, with the attendees gaining additional knowledge and experience that they can use back in their offices.

To enroll in the Social Media for Communication and Sharing Knowledge workshop complete this survey. If you would like more information, contact us at

Read about the workshop experience of Africa colleagues here.

Corporate Calendar: new way to keep track of important events

A new Corporate Calendar is available on the FAO Intranet, Workspace section, with information on international days, official holidays and Governing Bodies meetings.

Staff in headquarters can use the calendar to keep track of major events such as Conference/Council dates, international observances and the official HQ holidays.

The calendar can be synced directly with Outlook and appear in your Outlook calendar and can also be incorporated in the workspace calendar, for those divisions/teams who have created their own workspace.

The Corporate Calendar was created by the Office for Communications, Partnerships and Advocacy (OCP) with the support of the Information Technology Division (CIO).

For any questions regarding the calendar please contact:



Date: 15/02/2013