The Implementation of External Communication Strategies and Its Challenges: The Case of Jimma Agricultural Research Center
This research was aimed at investigating challenges and prospects in the implementation of external communication strategies. A descriptive survey design and both primary and secondary sources of data were used for the study. Key Informant Interview (KII) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) helped to gather data. The key informant interviewees and the FGD discussants were selected purposively. Focus group discussions were held with Mana woreda farmers’ group. The researchers also used document review which were only used in 2013/14 and 2014/15 (GC). As part of the data analysis, content analysis was employed. The findings of this study revealed that the types of external communication strategies used by the research center ranges from booklets to TV. Regarding appropriateness, printed types of communication tools were the appropriate tools than the non-printed. The challenges encountered in the implementation of external communication strategies of JARC were human resources and staffing, policy and structure, management and technical networking, partnership and collaboration. In addition, the result revealed that the prospects of those external communication strategies exercised by the research center were radio and television. Finally, the recommendations were there should be a comprehensive, holistic and well defined policy provision or communication strategy guideline that could dictate and direct the communication work. Instead of the printed communication items used by the center, billboards, banners, and posters (both fixed and movable ones) could be possibly more accessible to the wider community as long as these are posted where many could have access to vividly see them.
Keywords: Communication strategies; External communication; External communication strategies