Rural development organisations work in a dynamic environment in which natural hazards, political turmoil, conflict situations, economic downturns or a lack of resources may all cause or affect change. One effect of this situation is well recognised by organisations working in rural extension, training and communication: a growing desire to increase good governance, public participation and informed citizenship.
To respond to such circumstances, many of these organisations need to reorient their approaches and policies, and to design new operational structures and communication processes. For this, they need well-educated managers and well-trained staff. This often calls for retraining. To keep pace with developments - especially those regarding communication and innovation systems - managers may need new competences that equip them to work in a range of complex multi-actor settings.
The programme is especially suited to all mid-career professionals whose work in agricultural and rural-development organisations focuses on information and communication. It is also of particular interest to consultants specialising in projects with on rural-development organisations and their client groups.
At graduation, you will have developed the ability to: • analyse stakeholders’ interests and needs and outline policies that lead to social change and participation • design processes and strategies that facilitate communication and knowledge sharing • transform traditional extension policy and practice and develop new approaches to communication and innovation • design and facilitate effective, appropriate and exciting learning environments
When an organisation reorganises its service provision and information management, there is often a considerable need for new management styles and thus for capacity building. Various sources and activities – such as policy reforms, customer surveys and the formulation of funding conditions – suggest this applies at all organisational levels. In some cases, complex organisational problems need to be addressed; in others, staff needs to improve their ability to design and implement new strategies and activities for information and communication.
“I work in a system where we persuasively transfer technology from researchers to farmers and categorize farmers into innovators, adopters and laggards. It is when I joined Rural Development and Communication course that I understood the social nature of technical practice , what farmers do or do not do has a reason. I thought about how to analyse complex realities like rape, child marriages, drug and alcohol abuse. I learned to integrate instructive or best practices into narratives, entertainment and communicating to the audiences how they can tackle complex issues. My organisation works on pre-determined objectives, but I learnt I have a role to change my organisation.”
To be eligible for admission you have to meet the following requirements: A Bachelor degree, or an equivalent qualification in a relevant subject. A minimum of 2 years of relevant working experience. A good working knowledge of spoken and written English (TOEFL IBT 80 points/IELTS 6,0). Applicants have to prove this proficiency, for example by submitting certificates issued by a recognised language institute such as TOEFL or the British Council .Computer literacy (Windows, Word, Excel and Internet use) is required.
Recipient: Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciences
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