Vigyan Prasar formed its Gender and Technology Communication division (GTCD) in July 2010, with an objective to promote research and create awareness for communication of technologies to improve quality of lives and opportunities for gainful empowerment of women both in urban and rural areas and both women and men farmers, artisans and tribal and unorganized sector.
Science and technology are tightly coupled. A scientific understanding of the natural world is the basis for much of technological development today. There are challenges to be addressed to be taken up by Vigyan Prasar:
- Lack of knowledge of technologies appropriate to the users
- Absence of information providers and of local communication content
- Difficulty in selection of messages ( relevant and correct information)
- Absence of structured comprehensive information and accessibility
- Lack of necessary skills for communication
- Need based identification of technologies
- Lack of special messages for deprived, underprivileged and selective population
- Lack of inter-sectoral integration in knowledge sharing
To promote technology awareness among the above mentioned stake holders, development of activities or programmes on Gender and Technology Communication has the following objectives:-
- Specially targeting the most underprivileged group of women for all programmes viz Tribal, BPL category, living in disaster zones, insecure etc.
- Supporting preventive approaches for improving life and livelihood of women
- Improve access to technical options and knowledge
- Improve decision making on choice of technologies and use of technologies
- Promote awareness on technologies to the target groups
- Understanding of science and technology, handling of techniques
- Increase mass participation
- Supporting a workforce for skill development & capacity building
- Appropriate blending of awareness and training programmes, extension and demonstration of user friendly modern science & technologies and traditional wisdom especially for rural areas
- Ensuring better inter- sectoral coordination and integration to make the process more gender effective.
- Increasing the contribution of women to science, technology and development through effective Science and Technology Communication and overall empowerment
- Women of all age groups viz. infants, children, adolescents, reproductive age groups and elderly Specific programmes will be identified for women of all age groups and from different socio economic strata, depending on their problems and support needed.
- Vulnerable Population viz. Tribal groups, Population from disaster areas, BPL population, Slum dwellers, Food Vendors, Labourers, Disabled, School children, Farmers, artisans etc.
- Groups which can impact on Welfare of Communities: This group can impact on health, nutrition, food safety, environmental condition, etc. Viz. Front line workers (ICDS, Primary Health Centers, Panchayat member, extension workers, etc) NGO’s, SHG’s, Teachers, Students, policy makers, opinion leaders, government departments etc.
- Special initiatives for communities living in the North Eastern parts of India
Steps in developing the programmes:
- Assessment, evaluation and analysis to identify areas, topics, targets for intervention
- Conceptualization of programme
- Brainstorming workshops, exploratory meetings and discussions
- Identification of partners
- Finalization of programme
- Development of resource material
- Pilot testing the materials
- Dissemination of the scientific information and knowledge
- Training and workshops of resource persons
- Monitoring, evaluation and reassessment.
- Need assessment: need identification and technology gaps as perceived especially in rural areas
- Identification of suitable subjects, topics, messages etc. of technology source to link with ultimate user
- Production of resource material and other communication materials eg. Training manual, Books/booklets, Posters, Flipcharts, CDs, web portals, Films (in regional languages also), Audio capsules, community radio, Puppet show, Street theatres, Exhibition and field days, Databases and so on.
- Identification, selection, demonstration and effective communication of suitable technologies for different community/ group/ Self help etc. through organizing workshop/seminars/conferences, focus group discussions and follow-up of the recommendations.
- Highlighting success stories / role model to masses.