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Evaluation and utilization of traditional methods of communication in Cameroon's central, southern, eastern and extreme northern regions : case study 20

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO). Communication for Development Group
August 2003

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This study's main objectives are to evaluate traditional means of communication; to note their constraints; to select the traditional methods which can best be used for the diffusion of information and to devise a strategy for implementing the selected method of traditional communication. The methodology of this survey is based on the Active Method of Participative Research.
The study illustrates that the traditional media for communication in Cameroon are: the gong and songs accompanied by dances (in all of the surveyed provinces); the xylophone (in the center and south); griot [travelling poet] and balafon (in the east); colleagues of the traditional chiefs (Lawanes, Djaoros); and messengers of traditional chiefs or muezzins (extreme north).There are numerous constraints to using individuals in devising communications strategies: a lack of trained musicians, the lack of initiative on the part of the village elders, the disinterest of the youth, conflict among the different generations, the proliferation of modern communications technologies, the complexity of training in various methods, the possible alteration of messages, a lack of motivation and the slow speed of transmission. The study notes that the best methods for the diffusion of information in the regions surveyed in Cameroon are: the gong, the colleagues and messengers of traditional chiefs to organize village meetings in which reproductive health issues could be raised, singing and dancing, travelling poets and xylophones.
In order to devise effective strategies for conveying messages about reproductive health through these traditional methods of communication, traditional authorities must be engaged early on in the process and informed of the importance of these means of communication; qualified individuals must be identified as resources and others trained; and a training of trainers must be conducted

Voices for change : rural woman and communication

BALIT, Silvia
COMMUNICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT GROUP
1999

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This book describes how, in the current climate of political and socio-economic change, communication can play a decisive role in promoting food security and rural development. By fostering a dialogue between rural people and other sectors of society, communication processes can empower both women and men to provide information and knowledge as a basis for change and innovation. It can give rural women a voice to advocate changes in policies, attitudes and social behaviour or customs that negatively affect them. The book briefly explores these complicated ideas, focussing on how communication processes can be harnessed. It then describes how different technologies, from the internet, video and radio, to traditional media, can be used. It is illustrated with brief case studies throughout

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