The Effectiveness of the Communication strategies of a rural development project: A case study of the North-Western Bee products in Kabongo

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Chiyayinga, Beatrice Mulemba
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In Zambia, there have been a lot of challenges in the life of the people especially in the rural areas. This has been obvious in the decline of the economic standards of the country. New approaches and methods that address the needs of the poor people ought to be identified. It is the mandate of the Government of Zambia to formulate policies that will attract donors to invest in rural areas. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the communication strategies used by the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ)/Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) when they invested in the beekeeping activities in Kabompo district of the North Western Province. It also sought to determine the impact of these donor funded project on the local community. Specifically, the study focussed on identifying and assessing the communication strategies used, information disseminated and impact on the community. It also probed for opinions for solutions for the beekeepers and the North Western Bee Products (NWBP) to forge ahead in sustaining the activities of beekeeping. During the study, questionnaires were distributed to 100 respondents in Kabompo; a composition of beekeepers, stakeholders and those with the knowledge about beekeeping activities. Besides, the researcher held focus group discussions with beekeepers. The researcher also held in-depth interviews with key informants. Purposive sampling procedure was used. After data collection, analysis for quantitative findings was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The objectives of the study were to: (a) determine the communication strategies used by GTZ/IRDP to reach the clients, (b) build an information profile on the successes and failures of the NWBP, (c) identify hindrances in achieving communication objectives and (d) collect proposals on possible solutions for the prevailing constraints encountered by NWBP and beekeepers. The findings of the study revealed that the communication strategies used by the GTZ were training workshops, seminars, and meetings. In addition to these, they appointed extension officers and route chairpersons to ease communication between the company and the beekeepers. The beekeeping information delivered was relevant but not effective to completely raise the beekeepers' standard of life. The researcher observed that ownership for the innovation was not developed as a factor for sustaining it. Hence, the constraints encountered are as follows: lack of trainings, lack of publication of print materials, language barriers, lack of effective extension services, communication devices, and lack of supportive materials like finances and transport and the absence of meetings. In response to these barriers, the suggestions for sustainability demanded that workshops and meetings should be revamped; expanding extension services, publications of print materials, promoting beekeeping information on radio programmes and diversify in other programmes. I dedicate this dissertation to my supportive husband Albert Chiyuka and my beloved children Mawana, Chisambo and Kumwena for their support, love and patience during my study period. In also dedicate it to my father William Chiyayinga for educating me and to my mother for the motherly care during my childhood. God bless you all.
Communication -Zambia