Oct 25, 2010
Karla Schneider and Monica Chapman
Ohio University’s Communication and Development Studies Program has been awarded a two-year, $940,000 contract to create a blended learning course for 200 of UNICEF’s country and regional officers working in Communication for Development (C4D) related programs and activities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Drawing on the expertise of Ohio University’s faculty and partners in the U.S. and globally, the course will include 14 weeks of online training and two weeks of face-to-face workshops in each of the next two years. The course is intended to strengthen UNICEF’s capacity for C4D, which is considered a critical aspect of the organization’s mission to achieve development goals and fulfill the rights of children and women.
“Communication for Development is really a cross-cutting technique that allows people to have a voice in the way development projects and development initiatives can progress,” said UNICEF C4D project manager Andrew Carlson. “It not only allows people to communicate about issues that are most important to them, but it also makes development more sustainable and more effective because people have a way to impact the way development goes.”
According to Director of Communication and Development Studies Rafael Obregon, OHIO’s Communication and Development Studies Program is well-suited to develop the UNICEF training program due to its interdisciplinary, research-driven, and international curriculum, as well as its focus on key competency areas in communication for development.
A joint initiative of the Center for International Studies and the School of Media Arts and Studies in the Scripps College of Communication, OHIO’s Communication and Development Studies program has been one of the leading programs in the field for nearly 25 years.
Partners for the UNICEF project include Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication in South Africa; Universidad del Norte in Colombia; and Universidad de los Banhos in the Philippines.
Obregon said the project will also draw on the communication for development expertise of faculty from various schools and departments across the university.
“It’s great to be able to work with UNICEF,” said Carlson. “Their work with children, focus on gender and equity, and commitment to human rights is really important to us. It makes the project a really good fit for Ohio University and prestigious in the sense that we get to work with such an organization.”