Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Part 1: Prelims Review in Development Communication - Catalyst of Socio-Economic Change

Assignment in Development Communication, 4CA, University of Santo Tomas.
Please read instruction at the end of this article.

Compiled and edited by Dr AV Rotor

What is Development Communication?
Development Communication is recognizing the power of communication as a catalyst for social development. it is also the utilization of existent communication tools and applicable theories for result-driven strategies for the advancement of society.
Development Communication is a type of marketing and public opinion research that is used specifically to develop effective communication or as the use of communication to promote social development.
Purposive communication intended for a specific target audience that allows for the translation of information into action resulting in a higher quality of life.
The improvement of a community using information and technology and the community's ability to maintain the created ideal state without compromising its environment and resources.
It is the voluntary involvement of a group of people in a development activity with full knowledge of its purpose that will allow them to grow individually and as a community.
The process of eliciting positive change (social, political, economic, moral, environmental, etc) through an effective exchange of pertinent information in order to induce people to action.
Development communication extends to include: information dissemination on developmental schemes/projects, communication for eliciting positive change, interactivity, feedback on developmental issues, feedback/reverse communication for eliciting change. On development side, sustainability issues need to be given proper importance vis-a-vis economic development.
The practice of systematically applying the processes, strategies, and principles of communication to bring about positive social change.

The term "Development Communication" was first coined in 1972 by Nora C. Quebral, who defines the field as "the art and science of human communication linked to a society's planned transformation from a state of poverty to one of dynamic socio-economic growth that makes for greater equity and the larger unfolding of individual potential."

Some approaches include:
• information dissemination and education,
• behavior change,
• social marketing,
• social mobilization,
• media advocacy,
• communication for social change, and
• participatory development communication.

Different schools of development communication have arisen in different places.

1. The "Bretton Woods school of development communication" arose with the economic strategies outlined in the Marshall Plan after WW2, and the establishment of the Bretton Woods system and of the WB and IMF in 1944. Due to his pioneering influence in the field, Everett Rogers has often been termed the "father of development communication."
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Originally, the paradigm involved production and planting of development in indigenous and uncivilized societies. This western approach to development communication was criticized early on, especially by Latin American researchers because it tended to locate the problem in the underdeveloped nation rather than its unequal relations with powerful economies. There was also an assumption that Western models of industrial capitalism are appropriate for all parts of the world. Many projects for development communication failed to address the real underlying problems in poor countries such as lack of access to land, agricultural credits and fair market prices.
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The world bank currently defines development communication as the "integration of strategic communication in development projects" based on a clear understanding of indigenous realities. Institutions associated with the Bretton Woods school include:

• UNESCO
• United Nations (FAO),
• the Rockefeller Foundation,
• the Dept of International Development of the United Kingdom, and
• the Ford Foundation.

2. Latin America
The Latin American School of Development traces its history back further than the Bretton Woods school, emerging in the 1940s with the efforts of Colombia's Radio Sutatenza and Bolivia's Radios Minera. These stations were the first to use participatory and educational rural radio approaches to empowering the marginalized. In effect, they have since served as the earliest models for participatory broadcasting efforts around the world.

3. India
The history of organized development communication in India can be traced to rural radio broadcasts in the 1940s. As is logical, the broadcasts used indigenous languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Kannada.

Independent India's earliest organized experiments in development communication started with Community Development projects initiated by the union government in 1950's.
Radio played an equally important role in reaching messages to the masses. Universities and other educational institutions - especially the agricultural universities, through their extension networks - and international organizations under the UN umbrella carried the dev-comm experiments further.

4. Africa
The African school of development communication sprang from the continent's post-colonial and communist movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Development communication in Anglophone Africa saw the use of Radio and theatre for community education, adult literacy, health and agricultural education.

5. University of the Philippines Los Baños
The systematic study and practice of Development Communication in the Philippines began in the 1970s with the pioneering work of Nora C Quebral who, in 1972 became the first to come up with the term "Development Communication." In at least some circles within the field, it is Quebral who is recognized as the "Mother" of Development Communication.

Aspects of development communication which the CDC has extensively explored include Development Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Development Journalism, Educational Communication, Science Communication, Strategic Communication, and Health Communication.

6. Cybernetics approach
Another area of exploration for the CDC at UPLB is the aspect of development communication relating to the information sciences, the decision sciences, and the field of knowledge management. In 1993, as part of the then Institute of Development Communication’s Faculty papers series, Alexander Flor wrote a paper on environmental communication that, among other things, proposed a definition of Development Communication expanded from the perspective of cybernatics and general systems theory:

If information counters entropy and societal breakdown is a type of entropy, then there must be a specific type of information that counters societal entropy. The exchange of such information – be it at the individual, group, or societal level – is called development communication.

7. The Participatory Development Communication school
Focusing the involvement of the community in development efforts, the evolution of the Participatory Development Communication School involved collaboration between First World and Third World development communication organizations.

References
1.Quebral, Nora C. (1973/72). "What Do We Mean by ‘Development Communication’". International Development Review 15 (2): 25–28.

2. Quebral, Nora (23 November 2001). "Development Communication in a Borderless World". Paper presented at the national conference-workshop on the undergraduate development communication curriculum, "New Dimensions, Bold Decisions". Continuing Education Center, UP Los Baños: Department of Science Communication, College of Development Communication, University of the Philippines Los Baños. pp. 15–28.

3.Manyoso. Linje (March 2006). "Manifesto for Development Communication: Nora C. Quebral and the Los Baños School of Development Communication". Asian Journal of Communication 16 (1): 79–99. doi:10.1080/01292980500467632

4.Avrind Singhal, Everett M. Rogers (1999). Entertainment-education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change , Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0805833501.

5.Flor, Alexander (1993) (Monograph). Upstream and Downstream Interventions in Environmental Communication. Institute of Development Communication.

6.Thussu, Daya Kishan 2000). International Communication: Continuity and Change. London: Arnold.~

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