|Home > News||15 July 2007|
Communication is an on-going engagement, not a one-off burst of material production and dissemination.
It is also a two-way street, where participation and feedback enrich and sustain the process.
Knowing what to say, and which audience to address are both equally important to success in communication and outreach efforts.
The new media have enhanced the 'tool kit' available for social activists and civil society groups to engage in communication. But they are no substitute for strategic thinking and implementation.
Mass media can help flag issues quickly, but it is sustained engagement at small group levels that help change attitudes and behaviour of individuals.
These were some of the key points agreed at a five-day regional workshop that sought to strengthen the communications capacity of selected Asian civil society organisations.
The workshop, organised by TVE Asia Pacific (TVEAP), brought together 11 participants from Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, the Philippines and Thailand. It was held in Khao Lak, Thailand, from 2 to 6 July 2007.
The workshop is part of Saving the Planet -- an Asian multi-media project to identify, highlight and showcase innovative projects and efforts in education for sustainable development (ESD) in developing Asia.
In May 2007, TVEAP announced the selection of six national or local level projects from South and Southeast Asia that were outstanding and innovative in their approach to ESD.
The workshop involved two representatives from each selected project or organisation, and was meant to build their capacity in strategic communication planning and implementation, especially using the audio-visual and new media.
Content focused on communicating development – taken in its broadest sense -- for awareness raising, advocacy, activist, non-formal education and training purposes.
Prior to arriving in Khao Lak for the workshop, participants were asked basic questions about communication methods, tools and processes they used. The workshop content was designed to add value to existing communication experience and resources within these organisations.
The workshop was conducted by a four-member regional resource team drawn from South Asia and Southeast Asia, who brought different perspectives and experiences from broadcasting, media research, advocacy and education backgrounds. They introduced participants to different media formats, options, choices and alternatives, and explored the potential of using digital video production and distribution methods.
The workshop was highly interactive and participatory, with a mix of presentations, film screenings, fun games, discussions, experience sharing and group exercises.
Through seven sessions and several group activities, the five-day workshop module looked at both content production, as well as their effective distribution and outreach which form part of a wider, participatory communication process.
Experiential learning helped participants to apply concepts and models to real life situations.
Participants made a field visit to the Chao Thai Mai School and village, where the Thai Education Foundation is implementing its school and community farmland biodiversity conservation project.
The field visit provided a real life case study for participants. Dividing themselves into three groups, they devised communication strategies to engage different audience groups in that community.
Participants also spent an afternoon discussing the practical aspects of how to film their ESD initiative for the regional TV series called Saving the Planet to be produced by TVEAP in 2007-2008.
The series, which will adopt a compact story-telling format, will be offered to TV channels across Asia, and also distributed to schools, universities, NGOs, training centres and research institutes.
Saving the Planet is implemented by TVE Asia Pacific in collaboration with the Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), Tokyo, Japan, within the framework of ACCU-UNESCO Asia-Pacific Programme under the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust for the Promotion of Education for Sustainable Development.
Click here for final agenda of the workshop.