Information, Education & Communication (IEC) plays a key role in management, future planning and development of a functioning system with an aim to serve the broader society either on non-profit or for-profit basis. Establishing the communication strategies and dissemination of information on national and international regulatory regime (Laws, Bylaws and Acts) also falls under the purview of the IEC domain. Simultaneously, establishing a constructive network based governance approach for transparent and collective understanding of the issues and solutions among all the stakeholders is generally the main activity conducted in this area.
Capacity development as the outcome
Training and capacity building of major stakeholders involved in the MAP sector and development of training modules for catering to the needs of different types of stakeholders in their regional languages is one of the core and complimentary area as well as the major needs under the IEC program. IEC and capacity building in Medicinal Plants sector also need to addresses the establishment and or strengthening of government and non-government institutions, private sector service providers and individuals trainers and animators for effective facilitation, communication and knowledge sharing in the MAP supply and value chains.
Capacity building approaches
Capacity building through a well designed and developed IEC package is to enable experts and managers to deliver the best training and learning packages that can play a transformative role in rural livelihood and economy development programs in an efficient, effective and relevant manner. It also implies that planning of multi-scale and multi-sector capacity building programs should targeting Gram Panchayat/small and mini enterprises to district, state and national level stakeholders as beneficiaries. They should be provided with tailored training and information service delivery packages, incentive training and mentoring for supporting local community initiatives and promote stakeholder participation in improving MAP value chain.
Voluntary and farmers organizations and those representing the interest of various commodity association/groups should be engaged first to prepare them as the Training of Trainers (ToT). They will then get involved in training community leaders (head of user groups, cooperatives and other rural producers’ organizations) and to assist in consolidating grass root level organizations. In-service training of government staff in participatory techniques is highly in demand and is desirable for the development of the MSAP sector.
Short-term and long-term training as well as observation and networking visits, learning and education programs for the stakeholders and government administration staffs can be undertaken within country and overseas depending on the demand and funding availability. The concerned agency of the government should encourage technical cooperation among neighbouring and other interested developing countries and collaboration amongst developed and developing country organizations should be promoted in the form of joint venture partnerships. The purpose, duration and content of such training should be carefully selected and closely matched to the management and development skills required in the Govt administration and other outfits. While in-country training has many advantages because it is provided in a familiar environment and tends to be more cost-effective, overseas training has the benefit of exposing personnel to new management and development experiences, concepts and practices besides developing contacts, opportunity to access wider network members and technology transfer. It is essential that overseas education and training – on a case by case basis, may be considered positively as it has potential to be more relevant and productive if properly planned and executed.
In fact, capacity building is a cross cutting theme which is one of the major requirements for achieving sustainable development goals (SDG). Training and capacity building are continuously needed and therefore all governmental, non-governmental, grass roots level organizations and private sector should include in their regular programs. The concerned government agencies should give priority to capacity building activities with reliable and experienced service providers to reap maxim benefit in terms production as well as quality improvement especially of producer organizations in the MAP field. It includes preparation of customized training modules, training materials on specific topics and creating awareness through community mobilization and training/workshops. Capacity building uses learning and sharing or interactive methodologies to enable stakeholders to work both jointly and independently with MP related issues in their own locality, sub-region, region, nation and international arena where they operate.
Points to be considered in designing IEC and Capacity Building:
1- Communication and dissemination of information on international, national and sub-national regulatory (laws, bylaws & Acts) mechanisms.
2-A constructive approach should be adopted for developing improved understanding among stakeholders regarding policy, regulatory, enforcement issues, gaps and areas for improvement in the entire MPs sector.
3-Local or regional level organizations should be given priority in capacity building or training activities since they understand domestic needs as well as international perspectives more clearly.
4-Training modules on MP value chain components such as :-
- Identification and collection of MPs for collectors.
- Drying, cleaning, grading, storing, packing, labeling, transportation etc.
- Analyzing (ready reckoner) of raw drug’s efficacy.
- Biological and toxicological effects (ready reckoner) of active ingredients.
- value addition & semi processing.
- Marketing to industry, wholesale & retail business models.
- Technical and scientific information for promoting Indian MPs in exports.
- Detection of adulteration and contamination.
- harvesting and preservation of MPs,
- Production management and quality control of the processes of raw drugs and their derivatives.
- Knowledge of the legislation and ethical and self-regulations of the MP sector.
- Develop skills in communicating information, ideas, problems and solution.
- literature development (books, brochures, pamphlets, papers, journals etc.), data and information bank and other on-line information.
- Quality and cost competitiveness.
5-Assessment of indigenous and local or traditional knowledge and conventional production systems and identify areas that require to be replaced with appropriate advanced technologies.
6-Developing television and radio programs and documentaries on MPs exclusively.
7- Organizing fairs, exhibitions, seminars etc. in different area periodically.
8-Updating stakeholders about tenders, auctions, notifications, circulars etc.
9-Updating the stakeholders about the available grants, schemes, incentives, subsidies & other related facilities and promotional activities issued by concerned ministries and departments.
10-Demand and Supply information to be collected, packaged and disseminated through Radio, websites and group emails.
11-Creating Awareness among the general population for organic certified raw material and consumer products based on MPs.
12-The training manual should be used as reference material and properly focused on goal to achieve and build up cooperation among stakeholders.
13-Documenting and protecting the Traditional Knowledge through Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL).
14-Digitization of information of MPs and sharing through a dedicated membership based website.
15-Development of GIS based information and data management strategies, tools and technologies for sustainable growth of MP sector.
16-Developing short term training courses in collaboration with universities, agriculture and forestry colleges and business schools.
17-Educating the stakeholders with the latest development in the MP sector meeting their interest.
18- Educating and learning from collectors, cultivators, processors about standards and good practices developed in their respective fields through dialogue based training.
19-National and international reputed agencies &organisation should be involved in education, training and capacity building.
20-Capacity-building and training programs should be designed on a prior capacity needs and training gaps assessment of the interested stakeholders.
21-Develop training modules in regional languages and training materials in local languages.
22-Empowering elected local bodies to effectively conserve and improve the MP biodiversity and their ecological integrity for sustainable cultivation of MPs.
23-Taking delegations to other countries for exposing our stakeholders for updating and better understanding of the recent developments.
24-Inviting delegations from the other MP producing and consuming countries for mutual exchange of information sharing.
25-Benchmark sensex for MPs displaying information on price of various markets of India.