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close this bookAppropriate Community Technology - A Training Manual (Peace Corps; 1982; 685 pages)
View the documentThe Farallones Institute Rural Center
View the documentCHP International, INC.
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsPhase I: Introduction to training
Open this folder and view contentsPhase II: Earthen construction and fuel-saving cookstoves
close this folderPhase III: Pedal/treadle power
View the documentPhase III Calendar
View the documentSession 1. Maternal and child health: part 1
View the documentSession 2. The path of the sun
View the documentSession 3. Introduction to pedal/treadle power
View the documentSession 4. Design considerations for pedal/treadle power
View the documentSession 5. Classical mechanics: principles of pedal/treadle power
View the documentSession 6. Use of appropriate aids to communication
View the documentSession 7. Maternal and child health: part 2
View the documentSession 8. Part one: familiarization with materials and tools
View the documentSession 8. Part two: familiarization with the bicycle
View the documentSession 9. Introduction to design considerations
View the documentSession 10. Presentation of designs
View the documentSession 11. Construction of pedal/treadle-powered devices
View the documentSession 12. Blacksmithing and metalwork
View the documentSession 13. Appropriate technologies for health
View the documentSession 14. Case studies in community health
View the documentSession 15. Preparation for pedal/treadle presentations* *
View the documentSession 16. Heat transfer
View the documentSession 17. The role of the volunteer in development: international development part 1: the green revolution: successes and failures
View the documentSession 18. Presentation of pedal/treadle-power devices
View the documentSession 19. Volunteers in development part one. women in development
View the documentSession 20. Mid-program evaluation part one : program evaluation
Open this folder and view contentsPhase IV: Solar water heaters
Open this folder and view contentsPhase V: Solar agricultural dryers
Open this folder and view contentsPhase VI: Concluding the program: The energy fair
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices

Session 6. Use of appropriate aids to communication

Total time:

2 hours


* To discuss the need for creating relevant audiovisual aids for use in development work
* To identify and list various aids to communication which can be used in developing countries
* To make and use some appropriate aids to communication


* Fuglesang, Applied Communication in Developing Countries
* Peace Corps, Visual Aids Number 2
* Pett, Audio-Visual Communication Handbook
* Bertrand, Communications Pretesting
* Attachment III-5-A, "Extension Skills"
* Attachment III-6-B, "Selecting Communication Tools"


Newsprint and felt-tip pens, a variety of examples of audio and visual aids, i.e. posters, flannel graphs, puppets, games, newsletters, papers, photo novels, comic strips, cassette tapes, slide/tapes, filmstrips, overhead transparencies, etc,

Trainer Notes

The examples listed above are particularly effective if they have been developed for use in a Third 'World setting and carry messages pertaining to development issues, i.e., health, nutrition, sanitation, literacy, family planning, agriculture, etc.


Step 1. (15 minutes)
Begin the session by reading the "Story of the Tsetse Fly" from Applied Communications in Developing Countries. Then present a short talk on the need for creating relevant audio-visual aids for use in development work.

Trainer Notes

A useful reference source is located on pp. 88-114, "Creating Visual Aids," in Applied Communications in Developing Countries.

Step 2. (10 minutes) Have participants brainstorm a list of different communication aids that might be applied in development projects.

Step 3. (10 minutes) Referring to the list, facilitate a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of different communication aids for use in development work.

Step 4. (20 minutes) Pass out the different examples of communication aids, briefly describing each one. Encourage any questions or discussion.

Trainer Notes

Also circulate copies of the resource materials for this session and discuss them with the group.

Step 5. (10 minutes) Distribute Attachments III-6-A, "Extension Skills," and III-6-B; "Selecting Communication Tools," and review them with the group.

Step 6. (55 minutes) Have participants form small groups and prepare appropriate audio-visual aids for use in the next session.

Trainer Notes

Phase III: Session 7 which follows, "Maternal and Child Health," includes group presentations on health topics.

Encourage the groups to apply what they have learned in this session to prepare for the presentations in the next session, i.e., incorporating a poster or other visual aid, a game, a skit, a song, a script for a radio broadcast, etc.

Also encourage the participants to apply this knowledge in their presentations at the end of technical phases and during the Energy Fair.

EXTENSION SKILLS: Important Points to be Considered for Successful Education and Communication

1. Be prepared. Know what you are doing, where you are going and what you want your audience to know when they leave. Don't prepare your talk an hour before you give it.

2. Always do a practice run of whatever it is you are demonstrating before you get up in front of the group to teach.

3. Start off with a very small chunk of information to be taught. For example, "How to Build a Stove" would be too broad a topic. Change it to "Building the Base."

4. People learn best by doing. The more concrete you can be, the better. For example, if you are doing a talk on how to make a particular type of soup, have everyone make it and taste the soup.

5. People remember main points better when presented with visual aids. Illustrate your main points and use the drawings during your talk. Also, people tend to understand complex or abstract concepts if they can visualize them. Also remember that points or concepts you find simple, others may find difficult. Be sensitive to your audience and explain points thoroughly.

6. Visual aids and/or graphs should be clear, depicting objects with which the people are familiar. Photographs or pictures cut from magazines are often mere easily understood than hand-drawn pictures.

7. Changing color and lettering can draw more attention to the visual aids. However, visual aids may be distracting, confusing or misunderstood when they do not mirror people's reality.

8. A vocabulary list of important things, steps and materials in the demonstration can be useful to the demonstrator as well as to the audience.

9. The demonstration should never take place above the audience's line of vision.

10. People remember things that are unusual or make them laugh. But don't overdo it.

11. Physical conditions are important. The demonstration should take place in the lightest part of the room or area. Rooms should be freed of all other distractions. Effort should be made to make everybody physically comfortable, etc.

12. It's better to have an active audience than a passive one.

13. Don't read your material.

14. Keep eye contact with your audience. In this way, you will build a rapport with them. Also, they will feel like you are talking to them and not at them.

15. Respect the audience members who already know how to do the thing that you're demonstrating and get them involved in helping you with the presentation.

16. Repeat the main points. For example, state them at the beginning of your talk, in the middle and at the end. Again the next day, repeat the main points or elicit them from your group before you go into any new information. In other words, build on the previous information.

17. Reinforcement activities following a talk can facilitate learning.

18. Always minimize the cost of the thing being demonstrated, making sure that the people have the economic resources necessary to do it on their own. Try to utilize materials found in the immediate area.

19. When the demonstration involves making something, it is always a good idea to have a finished example to show to the audience.

20. Variety in presentation styles and environment are important.

21. Your talk should contain an introduction that gives a purpose for the information you are going to give. Set the stage for your talk.

22. Try not to use very technical words in the demonstration.

23. Organize your information. For example, time/order, cause/effect, etc.

24. Whenever possible, relate what you are demonstrating to the local customs.

25. Keep your demonstration short and limited to the time of day and amount of time that the people have free.

26. If the demonstration involves several steps, either write or draw them so the audience has something to follow as you go, but be sensitive to the fact that some people do not know how to read or follow diagrams.

27. Try and involve as many of the people's senses as possible: taste, smell, touch, sight, sound.

28. Your personality is important. Smile and be friendly.

29. Speak slowly and clearly. You're probably speaking slowly enough when you think you're going too slow.

30. Don't talk down to your audience. Show them the respect you want them to show you.

31. At the beginning of the demonstration, explain briefly what you are intending to do. At the end, summarize what it is that you have done.

32. Be sensitive to your audience. If they are getting restles, you may be going too fast, going on for too long or they may not be understanding you.


Taken from CHP, Guatemala, Peace Corps Training Facility


Visual Aid

General Description

Recommended Audience Size




Rigid surface painted green or black on which one can write or draw with chalk.

10 to 30 people. If used with more a large board is needed and careful audience placement is necessary.

Inexpensive. Can be homemade easily maintained minimum of preparation. Used day or night. Audience participation.

Transport can be difficult in remote areas. Limited to the user's artistic ability.

Flannel Board

A piece of flannel flannelette terry cloth or felt cloth attached to a rigid surface on which cutout figures will adhere if backed with flannel or felt cloth sand paper or glued sand.

15 to 20 people. Audience size depends on the size of the flannel hoard and the size of the figures that are being used.

Inexpensive. Easily made from local materials. Easily maintained and transported in remote areas. Figures can be used in different presentations. Ideal for showing sequence of events and reviewing lesson as figures can be brought back on the board.

Requires considerable advance preparation. Difficult to use out of doors if there is any wind. Some artistic ability is required if making homemade figures.


A message on a large sheet of paper and with an illustration and a simple written message.

No limit because it is not necessary for everyone to look at a poster at the same time.

Inexpensive. Easy to make. requires a minimum amount of time to prepare and use. Easy to transport.

Deteriorate rapidly. Can confuse audience with too much or too little information. Need some artistic ability if making own posters.

Flip Charts

Illustrations on paper or cloth, usually larger than 21 cm by 27 cm; hound together with rings or string. They flip over in presentation.

15 to 30 people. Audience size depends on the size of the flip chart illustration.

Inexpensive. Can be homemade and can he easily transported. Good way to give information in sequence; because they are hound illustrations stay in sequence.

Deteriorate with constant use. Some artistic ability required if making homemade flip-charts.

Flash Cards

Illustrations made on heavy paper that is usually smaller than 21cm by 27cm. The illustrations are not bound but are arranged in sequence.

5 to 15 people. Because the illustrations are small no more than 15 people should be in the audience.

Inexpensive. Can be homemade. Very easy to transport. Good way to give information in sequence to small groups.

Deteriorate with constant use. Some artistic ability required if making homemade flashcards. Easy to get out of sequence. Limited to small groups.

Bulletin Boards

A surface at least 3/4m by 1m into which stick pins can be placed. Drawings photos and lettering can be displayed on the board.

No limit because it is not necessary for everyone to look at the bulletin board at the same time.

Inexpensive. Can be homemade from local materials. Good way to present a "changing" message in areas where people gather.

If out of doors weather damage can occur. Constant supply of good educational material to put on the board is needed.


Using actual ingredients tools or land, the educator shows how something is done. Either at that time or soon afterward each audience member displays an ability to do the new thing.

1 to 30 people. Because it is difficult for an educator to follow up on more than 30 persons this is the recommended limit.

Excellent way to use actual materials in a real situation. Uses local materials. Easy to understand by people not used to looking at illustrations. Good way to get audience participation.

Takes a lot of planning and preparation.


Color or black & White 16mm or 8mm cinema film with sound projected on a screen or wall.

30 to 100 people. Groups can be larger -- but it is difficult to have any discussion with larger groups.

Dramatic and gets the audience's attention. Shows motion and therefore helps explain stepby-step and time sequence very well.

Very expensive; requires expensive equipment electricity and dark projection area. Difficult to transport and operate.


35mm film in plastic or cardboard mounts 5cm by 5cm. In color or black & white they are projected on a screen or a wall.

About 30 people. Though slides can be used with more people the educator can stimulate better discussion among a smaller group.

Dramatic less expensive than cinema e film excellent way to bring distant things to audience and to show time sequence. Batteryoperated projectors available. Local photos easily made.

Easy to damage easy to get out of sequence and project upside down or sideways. Requires projection equipment needs electricity or batteries and darkened projection area.


Strip of 35mm film color or black and white. Photographs in sequence. Filmstrip projected on screen or wall. Uses projector with filmstrip adapter. Filmstrips horizontal or vertical format.

About 30 people. Though filmstrips can be used with more people the educator can stimulate hefter discussion with a group of this size.

Dramatic less expensive than film and slides. Once inserted correctly in projector impossible to get out of sequence. tan show photos of the real thing and shows sequence in time. Battery-operated projectors available. Relatively easy to transport.

Requires projection equipment can he damaged requires either mains or battery-supplied electricity. (Sometinres batteries are expensive.) Requires darkened projection area. Limited appropriate filmstrips available.

Adopted from WORLD NEIGHBORS IN ACTION newsletter.

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