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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

The internet and rural and agricultural development : an integrated approach

RICHARDSON, Don
1997

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Discusses the potential benefits of using the Internet for rural / agricultural development. Contextualises the growth of the internet in development initiatives and addresses the potential of the internet in specific areas, eg community development, research/education, small and medium enterprise development, and news media. Finallly, identifies several areas of best practice to guide effective use of the internet. Recommends engaging intermediary agencies involved in (project support, research, extension, health etc) in internet initiatives, as well as stakeholders and intended beneficiaries. Warns against the widening information gap between haves and have-nots

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