Rural Communication Working Group - Call for Proposals 2023

The Rural Communication Working Group of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites proposals for IAMCR 2023, to be held in Lyon, France, from 9 to 13 July (Lyon23) with an Online Conference Papers (OCP23) component from 26 June to 5 July.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 9 February 2023 at 23h59 UTC.

See the CfPs of all sections and working groups >

Conference themes

IAMCR conferences have a main conference theme that is explored from multiple perspectives throughout the conference in plenaries and other moments, including the programmes of the thematic sections and working groups. Additionally, each section and working group also defines some of its own themes, which are described in their individual calls for proposals. Proposals for contributions to the conference are submitted to the sections and working groups and may focus on an aspect of the main conference theme as it relates to the concerns of the section or working group, or address a theme identified by the section or working group.

Main theme – Inhabiting the planet: Challenges for media, communication and beyond

The main theme for IAMCR 2023, “Inhabiting the planet: Challenges for media, communication and beyond”, is concerned with possibilities for rethinking communication research agendas at a time when the irreversible effects of climate change is compounded by stark geopolitical, sociocultural and religious tensions in human communities. At this juncture, urgent reflection and research is needed on how we can hope to flourish today and in the future, and also how media and communication tools and environments can be positive forces and spaces for change.

Five sub-themes of this central theme have been identified: Humanity and progress; democracy; media, information and communication; cities and territories; and environmental accountability. 

Consult a detailed description of the main theme and its sub-themes

The Rural Communication Working Group aims to provide a platform for academic scholars and professionals working in the field of rural communication. The focus of our work is more than just rural communication service provision but exploring the breadth of formal and informal communication platforms to formal and informal communication processes. This encompasses technologies ranging from rural radio to social media, from farmer field schools to rural telecommunication infrastructure. The key is that we focus on communication in rural areas, and the intersection between communication and rurality. The motivation for this work comes from the recognition that rural contexts post particular opportunities and challenges for communication activities. If communication is to serve a social purpose, these dynamics need to be understood. Therefore, we focus on rural innovations and interventions, social change, and development that responds in a participatory, sustained, and inclusive manner to the communication needs of rural populations.

For this conference, with the theme of “Inhabiting the planet: Challenges for media, communication and beyond”, we are interested in papers, panel proposals, and facilitated discussions that help us critically explore the conference themes in relation to rural communication and rural environments. The conference themes are: humanity and progress; democracy; media, information, and communication; cities and territories; and environmental accountability. We invite topics that allow us to explore these themes in relation to the social environments of rural contexts. We invite global perspectives on these themes, including empirical and theoretical work that helps us to expand our understanding of rural communication in light of current social and ecological challenges. We also welcome submissions that critically reflect on methodologies in rural communication.

Further topics of interest to the working group include:

  • innovative methodologies and new technologies for rural communication and extension;
  • interdisciplinary multi-stakeholder actions and social learning;
  • innovation system approaches and knowledge brokering;
  • monitoring and evaluation for learning, accountability, and change;
  • research and transdisciplinarity in rural communication for development theory and practice, and
  • mainstreaming communication in rural development policies.

Contributing to the conference: Lyon23 and OCP23

There will be two ways of joining IAMCR2023: 

  1. If you are not able to or don’t want to join the face-to-face conference in Lyon but do want to submit an online-only paper, submit your abstract to OCP23 only. If accepted, you’ll later submit your full paper to the online platform, which will be open for discussion from 26 June to 5 July.
  2. If you do want to join the face-to-face event, submit your abstract to Lyon23 and OCP23. If accepted you’ll submit your paper to the online platform and present it at the face-to-face conference.

Rural Communication Services Research Awards

In cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), IAMCR is offering four awards of 2,500 USD to authors of papers that advance our understanding of applications of “rural communication services” particularly in the areas of agriculture, family farming, natural resource management, climate change adaptation, food security, and disaster risk reduction and management. Special attention will be given to papers that consider elements such as: participatory design of communication services in rural areas; appropriation of media by family farmers; institutionalization of communication services for rural communities; and evidence-based approaches for inclusive rural communication services. 

Eligibility requirements: To be eligible for the award you must be: (1) a PhD student or early-career researcher/scholar; (2) reside in a low or middle-income country in Asia, Africa, or the Latin America/Caribbean region (see the lists of low and middle-income countries) and; (3) be a current (2023) member of IAMCR.

The 2,500 USD is to be used to defray costs of presenting the work at a special panel at IAMCR’s 2023 conference.

Interested authors must submit abstracts of their papers by the 9 February 2023 deadline, indicating that they wish to be considered for the FAO/IAMCR award in step 5 of the submission process, “Topics”. Authors of selected abstracts will be informed by 17 March and required to submit final papers by 30 April. The FAO/IAMCR Award selection committee will evaluate the eligible papers and announce the award winners no later than 5 June. 

More information about the RCS Research Awards >>

Guidelines for abstracts

Abstracts submitted to the Rural Communication Working Group should have between 300 and 500 words and must be submitted online here. Abstracts submitted by email will not be accepted. 

We welcome submissions from academics and practitioners at all stages of their careers. We also welcome diverse perspectives from a range of disciplines who have a perspective to contribute to rural communication. 

The deadline to submit abstracts is 9 February 2023 at 23h59 UTC.

It is expected that authors will submit only one (1) abstract. However, under no circumstances should an author submit more than two abstracts as a single author or as the lead author of a co-authored paper and no author will submit more than one abstract to the Rural Communication Working Group. The same abstract or another version with minor variations in title or content must not be submitted to more than one section or working group. Any such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be rejected.

Proposals for panels can only be submitted to Lyon23 and OCP23. Panel submissions must include an abstract for each paper submitted here and a description & supplemental information submitted via this form on the conference website

See important dates and deadlines to keep in mind


Submissions can be made in any of the official IAMCR languages: English, French or Spanish.

For further information about the Rural Communication Working Group, its themes, submissions, and panels please contact:

Rico Lie

Sarah Cardey


Sciences po Lyon          IAMCR

in partnership with:

Congres Lyon 1     Only Lyon


with the support of:

Universite Lumiere      Jean Moulin      Elico logo