An appraisal of the effectiveness and efficiency of the communication strategies Caritas Mansa uses in its programmes aimed at poverty reduction
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Communication is one of the crucial components in any intervention that is aimed at empowering poor and other vulnerable communities thereby reduce poverty levels. It cannot be over emphasised that many people are poor because they have no access to information that can help them improve their living standards and that there is no channel through which their needs can be made known to the policy makers. It is through communication that the poor themselves will participate in the efforts towards the improvement of their living standards. Communication plays an important role in creating awareness of the causes of poverty in both rural and urban areas, changing attitudes, and educating the peasants. This is why it is important that the communication aspect of any development activity is monitored to ensure that all stake holders make their needs known to ensure the success of the programme. This research appraised the commimication strategies that Caritas Mansa, a faith based organisation in the catholic diocese of Mansa uses in its programmes that are aimed at conscietising rural communities in order reduce poverty in these areas to establish whether they are effectively and efficiently facilitating the achievement of the organization's objectives thereby contribute to poverty reduction in rural areas. It was found out that Caritas Mansa uses the Catholic Church structure to reach out to its target audiences, uses workshops, seminars, trainings, and drama performances as channels of communication. To a larger extent these communication strategies, tactics and channels are effectively and efficiently facilitating programmes that are aimed at poverty reduction. Caritas does not have the necessary competent personnel to handle its communication programmes and this has negatively affected the general impact of their interventions. Despite this, the organisation has contributed to poverty reduction in its catchment areas and the success scored could not have been achieved had the organisation not used the strategies it currently uses.