A two-week international workshop on communication for development (C4D), organized jointly by UNICEF and University of Hyderabad, was inaugurated today in Hyderabad. About 55 UNICEF staff members and partners from 35 countries joined the programme in Hyderabad as part of the Communication for Development Global Learning Course after successfully completing the online component. The workshop includes field work for participants, in small groups, with local organisations working in areas such as education, child rights, right’s of the disabled, livelihoods, adolescent women, and poverty alleviation.

Prof. Appa Rao Podile

The Vice-Chancellor of University of Hyderabad, Prof. Appa Rao Podile, who inaugurated the workshop, underlined the importance that the University attached to extending the benefits of research for societal development. Pointing out national and international linkages of the University with various national and international organizations, including UN agencies, he said communication for social change has been one of the strong domains of the university’s teaching and research programmes.

Ted Chaiban, Director of Programmes, UNICEF, who addressed the gathering by video, reiterated the organization’s long-standing commitment to C4D. He said, “In all five of the UNICEF Strategic Plan goal areas, C4D’s leadership in community engagement, participation and the promotion of healthy and protective behaviours is critical to achieving results.” Rafael Obregon, Global Chief of C4D for UNICEF, in his welcome speech, explained that the course is an integral part of UNICEF’s global efforts to build the skills and capacities of UNICEF staff and partners to deliver quality C4D initiatives. Siddartha Shrestha, C4D Chief, India Country Office, briefed the participants about C4D programming work in India with specific reference to the Southern States and the development of a business model as an institutional mechanism for a sustainable C4D.

UNICEF has been offering the C4D Global Learning course since 2011 in partnership with academic institutions in the US, South Africa, and India. Dr. Charlotte Lapsansky from UNICEF Global Headquarters in New York, Prof. Usha Raman of University of Hyderabad, the Course Director, and Prof. Vinod Pavarala, UNESCO Chair on Community Media at UoH also spoke on the occasion