Brochures are often used to disseminate information to disadvantaged communities. This study attempts to evaluate the usability and effectiveness of information brochures developed by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) for development communication among developing communities on guidelines on how to grow Bambara groundnut and the cultivation of maize in a South African development context. The main objectives of the study were to establish the target audience’s comprehension, usability and effectiveness of the selected pamphlets. The study also attempted to examine the influence of the demographic and socio-economic factors on the effective communication of information. Usability here refers to the extent to which communication materials such as information pamphlets can be used by specific users to achieve specific goals namely effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context. This study’s main focus is on the distinguishing characteristics of reader focus text evaluation method as outlined in Schriver (1989). Reader focus text evaluation method was used to evaluate the usability of pamphlets in the research conducted among small-scale farmers of Tibane and Kordon at Ga-Matlala district in the Limpopo Province The two pamphlets were evaluated with the intention to establish whether the users understood the contents and whether the message was effectively communicated or not. The findings of the study indicate that the information disseminated by the ARC agricultural pamphlets is not effectively communicated because of the language and the arrangement of pictures or frames used in the pamphlets, which confused most illiterate participants. This ineffective dissemination of development information in rural communities needs to be revised to ensure its effectiveness.
Dissertation (MA (Development Communication))--University of Pretoria, 2008.