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To develop a two way climate change communication model for policy facilitation dialogue, for development planning process



India is primarily rural and agrarian and climate change impacts are the most severe. The increasing droughts in semi-arid regions and farmer’s suicides are indicative of the severity with which the issue needs to be addressed. Climate change enhances the woes of India leading to food and economic insecurity making its people more vulnerable.

The state of Madhya Pradesh (MP) of India is endowed with rich natural resource base with 72% of its population being rural. A study by TERI in 2000 has said that some districts of Madhya Pradesh are among the highest in India in terms of social vulnerability to the twin challenges of climate change and economic globalization. Low agriculture productivity due to loss in fertility of soil, increased cost of production coupled with erratic rainfall increases the vulnerability. The climate change scenario is expected to increase the vulnerability further.

The farmers go for quick-fix solution at the cost of long-term beneficial measures when simple adaptation and mitigation measures can reduce the risks of climate change. The apparent disconnect between the grass root community, scientific community and policy makers makes what seems simple very complex.

The proposed pilot is to develop a communication model to facilitate climate change communication among the three communities’ rural community, scientist and policy makers. The proposed model will insure that the issues and coping mechanisms at the grassroots need to be heard by the scientific and policy community; scientific learning and innovations need to be incubated and validated at grassroots and policy dialogue will require an understanding of both to evolve a sound policy. In India, where climate change impacts are deep rooted, there is greater need for direct facilitation with grass root communities and of two-way communication channels.

Category of the action


What actions do you propose?

Climate change is a global challenge having huge implications on Indian economy. The agriculture based economy, which is largely dependent on the natural resources, will get affected. It may alter the distribution and quality of natural resources and adversely affect the livelihoods of its people by affecting the agricultural productivity and thereby quality of human life. Communication of Climate Change have frequently failed to reach the most vulnerable communities in ways that address barriers presented by technology, language, power, existing medium of communication that communities rely upon There is an urgent need for action from all stakeholders to combat the rapid changes in livelihood, food, water and energy security. 

The proposed communication model is to develop a communication link among rural communities, scientist and policy makers to share the learning’s, experience and information which will lead in development of inclusive climate resilient policy. The core players in this model would be the Community Radios of Bundelkhand and State of Madhya Pradesh, BUndelkhand Knowledge Platform (Knowledge network) and the State Climate Change Knowledge Management Centre (SCCKMC). These players have their strength in reaching out and interacting with each of these communities’ viz. grassroots, scientific and policy.

Communication channel of the proposed model will work as sharing and learning concept and try to full fill the climate change communication need of 3 targeted communities.



Trained community reporters will simplify the critical climate change messages in the local dialects and collect the queries, feedback and traditional mechanism of the community through radio programs. These feed back will be shared with the scientist through Bundelkahnd Knowledge Platform and experts to take their inputs. Based on the inputs these program will be shared with community in the form of narrowcasting. The voice of community and scientist will be shared through Knowledge Portal for the policy makers. Knowledge portal track the implication of policies and take corrective measures.

The proposed Model will follow the following steps:

Building Capacity of Community Reporters:

The community radio reporters will need to be equipped with the climate lens to understand climate change issues and challenges They will be trained to understand the issues of climate change, identify, collect, collate and convert the information into simple messages in local dialect for the communities and communicate these through their radio programs.

Collecting Grassroots voice:

Community radio reporters will then bring back feedback, information and queries directly from the community on their response to adaptability of the climate responsive measures in field. The community will also share their own mechanisms or systems of combating climate change and developing resilience. This information may not be in the way science sees it but in community terminology and this where the community reporters will don the climate lens and decode - encode the information.

Sharing grassroots experience with scientist or experts:

The Community Radios are expected to engage with the Bundelkhand Knowledge Platform where they will learn from the experiences of the CSOs working with the rural community on various aspects of climate change and development. The CRs can development programmes based on these experiences and the scientific inputs from the scientific community through the knowledge portal of the Madhya Pradesh Climate Cell.

Reaching out to un-reached:

Community radios  and the CSOs of BKP can be join forces and use narrow casting of the programmes broadcasted on radio to reach out to remote villages where the radio reach is not strong and also get a first hand feedback of the listeners to help strengthen the radio programme. Narrowcasting has the advantage where it can be followed by a discussion led by the reporters. These small group discussions will help in overcoming barriers and allow people to discuss the issues more openly. An open discussion will help the reporters gather more useful information from the communities which can then be communicated to the other stakeholders.

Sharing on Knowledge Portal:

These information will be sourced from the knowledge portal by inform policy makers on the ground realities and helping a pro-people policy dialogue and implementation. The policy/ies measures should be put forth in the SCCKMC for the community reporters to access and take to the community and in turn bring back response of the community to the knowledge portal. The state level knowledge portal will be able to track what are ground level impacts and perception of farmer and other stakeholders and will also help policy maker to understand the grassroots need and requirement for climate change.

This two way facilitation of policy dialogue and sharing will help effectively bridge the gap in the policy dialogue where each voice is heard and integrated in the policy process

Who will take these actions?

The Key players of the proposed model are Community radios, Bundelkhand Knowledge Plateform and EPCO

Community Radios in Madhya Pradesh

Community Radio (CR) is one medium which speaks the language of the people and has a direct connect and contact with the community. CR is more than just a disseminating tool it is a dialogue and sharing platform for the community. It is a forum of collective learning. The strong point of community radio is its participatory nature involving the communities.  There are about seven community radio stations in Madhya Pradesh working in rural area .  Approximately 10 km radius reach i.e. around 100 villages and an average population of 1, 00,000, which is approximately reaching to 7,00,000 people.

Community radios will collect the grassroots voices and experience and take it to the BKP and Knowledge Portal of EPCO and also bring back the response and feedback from BKP and Knowledge Portal .

Bundelkhand Knowledge Platform:

Bundelkhand Knowledge Platform (BKP) is a forum of civil society organizations and institutions working with grass root rural communities various development agenda. The BKP forum is moderated by Development Alternatives (DA).  Currently BKP has 30 members from CSOs, Institutions etc. BKP will take information from the community radio and take these information to Knowledge Portal and BKP will feed policy related information to the Community Radios.

Environmental Planning & Coordination Organisation (EPCO) :

The Environmental Planning & Coordination Organisation (EPCO) was established by the Housing and Environment Department of the Government of Madhya Pradesh .  EPCO has carried out pioneering work in creation of environmental awareness and focusing attention on environmental problems of the State. EPCO is Initiating Knowledge Portal to Share and dissemination of learnings and experience. EPCO will manage the knowledge portal and bringing grassroots voice for the effective policy formulation

Where will these actions be taken?

Madhya Pradesh is considered to be one of the most vulnerable states of India. It is a centrally located land locked state with undulating topography and diverse physiography. The State is drained by rain-fed rivers and receives 1160 mm average rainfall annually, though keeps varying across the State. It has rich bio-diversity, vast forest cover and plenty of mineral wealth. As per the census 2011, total population of Madhya Pradesh stands at 72.6 millions, out of which 52.5 million are located in rural parts which rely on primary sectors like agriculture, horticulture, fishery, livestock, poultry and forestry for livelihood. These natural resources based livelihood sources are expected to be impacted more than the secondary and other sectors.

The state has reason to be concerned about climate change. The state’s economy is dependent on natural resources and any adverse impact on these and allied sectors will negate our efforts to alleviate poverty and ensure sustainable livelihood for the population. The State Action Plan on Climate Change of the Madhya Pradesh government is committed to proactively integrate the concerns of Climate Change into development planning processes and capitalize on the opportunity of Convergence wherever possible. SAPCC will help the state to develop climate compatible and resilient developmental policies and programmes. The proposed idea will be piloted in the States of Madhya Pradesh.

What are other key benefits?

The primary benefit of the proposed model is to take grassroots voices in formation of climate resilient policy.  The tested model con be replicated to other parts of India and also can be use to take grassroots voices in other policy like health, livelihood. The model will also develop cohesion among the various related departments to achieve effective climate change policy. Community Radios will be identified as communication intermediary to bridge the communication gap among the policy maker, community and scientist. Indigenous knowledge of community will be feed in the modern research for better outreach and adaptation. The model will also encourage civil societies and research institution to work together, which will increase the sharing of learning and experience among development practitioners to reduce the risk factor of failure. 


What are the proposal’s costs?

 Total Cost of the Proposed concept is $ 10,000

1 Capacity building of community Reporters –     $ 910

(training of community reporter of all 7 community radios )

4 Partnership meeting with EPCO, Community radios and BUndelkhand Knowledge Platform members - $ 3640

(Quarterly meeting with BKP partners, Community Redios and EPCO representatives )

Program Development and broadcasting – $ 3640  

(Human Resource Cost , Studio cost, traveling cost of community reporters, etc )

Travel and administrative cost – 910

(Monitoring visit and management travel cost )

Printing and publication – 900

(Learning document and brochure)

Time line


First Quarter

  • Partnership meeting
  • Capacity Building of the Community Reporters 
  • Collection of grassroots feed back through radio programs
  • Experience Sharing meeting with Partners
  • Developing knowledge product

Second Quarter

  • Sharing the program with EPCO knowledge portal
  • Experience Sharing meeting with Partners
  • Collection of grassroots feed back through radio programs

Third Quarter

  • Collection of grassroots feed back through radio programs
  • Experience Sharing meeting with Partners
  • Sharing the program with EPCO knowledge portal

Fourth Quarter

  • Collection of grassroots feed back through radio programs
  • Experience Sharing meeting with Partners
  • Sharing the program with EPCO knowledge portal
  • Learning Product development

Related proposals

The Idea of “Building Grassroots Voice In to Climate Change Policy” emerges from the learning of th following projects:

The Project on Sustainable Civil Society Initiatives to Address Global Environmental Challenges focuses on climate change vulnerability and adaptation within the agricultural and water sectors of the six Bundelkhand districts of Madhya Pradesh.

Other project Shubhkal – “From Information to Knowledge and Action” aims to strengthen community knowledge and voice on climate change impacts and adaptation by increasing their input into local research and policy dialogue and enable communities to share their experiences in coping with and adapting to climate change. The learning says that climate change adaptation requires actions by multiple stake holders at various levels. Coordination among the stakeholders in form of knowledge sharing to ensure information access for assessments is necessary at this stage.


“Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning in Madhya Pradesh” By Development Alternatives

“ Madhya Pradesh State Action Plan on Climate Change” by Climate Change Cell, EPCO, Housing & Environment Department, GoMP / cr directory/