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Development and participatory communication.

1. Development Communication

First used in the Philippines in the 1970s by Professor Nora Quebral, the expression "development communication," designates the processes of transmitting and communicating new knowledge related to rural environments. "Development communication is the art and science of human communication applied to the speedy transformation of a country and the mass of its people from poverty to a dynamic state of economic growth that makes possible greater social equality and the larger fulfilment of the human potential" (Quebral, 2006; Currin, 2002). An attempt at informing, creating awareness, educating, and enlightening the people so that they can better their lives in every way, development communication includes participatory action for learning and sharing of powers: social (human rights and the emergence of the civil society), economic (egalitarian society) and political (democratization), within specific cultural contexts.

At each level (social, economic, political) information flow and communication play an important development role (Agunga, 1997). Without an adequate two-way flow of information and dialogue between periphery and center--exchange of knowledge, market information, political dialogue--development is unlikely to take place. Communication can link individuals and communities, governments and citizens in participatory and shared decision-making. Or, from an instrumental point of view communication media support development, either through informational and educational campaigns or through participatory forms of group media, which change attitudes and beliefs.

As a concept development communication stems from the belief that telephones, radio, television, the Internet, or group media can support the overall betterment of less privileged people in underdeveloped countries. Development communication generally refers to the planned use of strategies and processes of communications aimed at achieving development. This all-embracing focus on development communication has led researchers to examine communication in five general areas. Agricultural communication explores ways in which governments can use the diffusion of innovation theories to promote farming techniques. Health communication includes information about health, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention, and so on. Population, education, and environment communication utilizes strategies of education on these issues. Challenging the status quo in civil society promotes the various kinds of participatory communication for the empowerment of local peoples. And challenging social structures uses similar tools to educate, for example, the lower castes in India.

We must begin with some cautions, though. First, given their necessary connection, much of the discussion of development communication overlaps with talk about development in general and theories of development. It is important to separate the two, although understanding the context and content of communications for development is necessary. The elements of communication like feedback, participation, mutual sharing, empowerment, etc. need to be stressed in the study of development communication. Communication functions as a variable much like education, environmental protection, natural resources, industrialization, co-operation, unity, national goals, or planning, within the development plan of a country.

Second, terms like "development communication" and "media for development" are often used identically. Communication is a process of creating awareness, constantly enlightening those involved in the process; various media serve or promote this process. But communication media have their limits. As information sources, mass media like radio, television, print, and the Internet can provide information, creating a clear understanding of what development is, and can inform a large mass of people about developmental concepts, issues, programs, and so forth. They can educate people on these issues, in an appealing and convincing way. They can create a desire for better lives among underdeveloped people. But mass media do not work magically. In fact, a number of recent empirical studies indicate that the mass media in themselves do not help development as much as participatory media do (Hornik, 1988; Wilkins, 1999; Servaes, 1989; Jacobson & Servaes, 1999). A fairly comprehensive review of 209 development communication studies from 1958 to 1996 (Fair & Shah, 1997) downplays the role of media in either individual modernization or social change. In sum, the mass media provide a vast reservoir of knowledge and information, serve as tools for development, and complement other approaches.

Taking a cue from the two step flow theory, several groups have realized the importance of participatory group media as the ideal tool to create awareness and lead to change of attitudes. This takes many forms. Non-formal education rooted in the culture of the people using various indigenous media like popular theater and other cultural programs can help to create a civil consciousness and subsequent desire for development. Group media or more precisely participatory indigenous media, which allow for participant involvement in production, like street plays, puppetry, and so on, can, through participatory action, through the very process of making the presentation, help in creating an awareness that leads to action.

The mass media can play a role in development by exposing governmental and other forms of corruption. But this is a two-edged sword. Normally, as Bruck and Roach observe, the media's tendency to pick up on the sensational, dramatic, disastrous, dangerous, or the negative in general, leads many people to become generally skeptical of, if not hostile toward, the media. And this puts the media in the position of being seen as one of the main obstacles to the creation of a culture of successful development stories (1993, p. 88).

Another limit arises from the nature of development communication. Communicators need to have a correct understanding of the man-made causes of underdevelopment and poverty and of strategies to reduce them (including literacy, control of population growth, protecting natural resources, and limiting degradation of the environment). And so, a complicating factor arises at this point with media ownership. The media in most developing countries are run by people with upper class interests, who may fear that remedying underdevelopment comes at their own expense; such media owners may not wish to address development issues.

Today a larger, global perspective adds to this pessimism. Can mass media help with development? Karen Gwinn Wilkins writes:
 In the field of development communication
 we now face a critical juncture. We are inundated
 with enthusiastic assessments of our
 shift from an industrial to an information age,
 where global knowledge takes precedence
 over national development.... [But] serious
 problems such as poverty, malnutrition, overpopulation,
 inequality, and environmental
 degradation remain. Despite being designed
 to resolve these social problems through the
 strategic application of communication technologies
 and processes, development communication
 programs for the most part have
 failed to achieve their objectives.... [T]he
 burdens of global commercialization and
 development privatization have weighed
 heavily on the potential of development communication
 to foster significant social
 change. (2000, p. 19)


How did development communication come to such a pass? Where might it profitably go? What key issues face it?

In this review I will point out a direction for development communication by highlighting some of the better efforts at participatory communication for development. I will focus on these issues with some emphasis on theorists and practitioners from the developing countries. Although development is often understood as improving the living conditions in society, it also evokes images of education, health care, human dignity, and improved participation in the democratic process in a country. Communication plays a role in all of these.

2. Situating the Issues

A. The Background: First Stage

In the 1960s American universities initiated research on development communication on a large scale. Lerner and Schramm (1967), Pye (1963), and Rogers (1962) advocated the modernization theory, which simply held that the developing countries needed to adapt new technologies (including communication technologies) and increase production at all levels which could lead to development. Theories like the diffusion of innovation and the two step flow and the use of extension experts offered sure success formulae for development. The role of communication was to transfer technological innovations from development agencies to their clients, and to create an appetite for change through raising a climate for modernization among the members of the public. These describe elitist, vertical, top-down communication models.

Severe criticism of the modernization theory in the mid- to late-60s, especially from the Third World, led other scholars to counter with the dependency theory, which suggested that adapting to modern technologies made these poor Third World countries ever more dependent on the First World. Moreover, these technologies could not be adapted exactly, as many of these countries lacked basic infrastructure items like electricity and transportation. The dependency argument played an important role in the movement for the New Information and Communication Order in the 1970s (MacBride, 1980).

B. Secondary Stage

After researchers explored modernization theory and the dependency model, development communication focused on indigenous knowledge, participation, and empowerment. All of these concepts have a clear communication dimension. Many people associated with these approaches build on work begun in South America in the 1970s by Paulo Freire. An educational theorist, he modified the very concept of education, stressing education that leads to awareness. Rather than a "banking" model in which the teacher makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and reproduce--a form, he argued, that serves only to increase the recipients' dependence upon the teacher and to perpetuate their oppressed conditions--Freire suggested a model where education becomes a dialogue in which the teacher and student learn from each other. In this model, the student is enabled to understand better the causes of his oppression and thereby to do something about it. This he called conscientization or consciousness raising (1970).

This model, combining discussions of nationalism, development, and democracy with basic education, argues that for adults, learning to read and write can also be a process of analyzing reality and of becoming critically aware of their situation. To change basic attitudes, Freire introduced the anthropological concept of culture and insisted that people are the makers of their own culture, that change is possible if people work for it. The local indigenous media of story telling, songs and acting became major tools in this endeavor of culture and consciousness raising. Freire's writings show a steady growth in his thinking from a reformist and liberal democratic stance (1967) to revolutionary Marxist humanism (1970b). Later he focuses on cultural action (1970a) and his associate, Augusto Boal (1979) more clearly spells out his concepts of using indigenous media for development.

Development communication that claims Freire as an inspiration links awareness raising, politicization, and organization processes (Richards, Thomas, & Nain, 2001). According to his more influential model (1970b), development communication can be considered as a tool that the grassroots can use to assert control through becoming aware of the various facets of the real development problems in their region; organizing in order to react collectively and effectively to these problems; bringing to light the conflicts that divide the various interest groups; becoming politicized--learning to provide alternatives to problem situations and finding solutions to various problems; and becoming "technicized"--obtaining the necessary tools to put to concrete use the solutions provided by the community.

An educational system based on the local culture of the people posits the idea that development must be conceived as an integral, multi-dimensional, and dialectic process which can differ from country to country. Every nation needs to define development for itself and find its own strategy (Servaes, 1989, p. 3). This, in turn, affects models of development communication. The stress on local empowerment leads to four more participatory approaches to development communication: development communication from a human rights perspective, development communication based on indigenous knowledge systems, development communication based on the participatory or liberation models discussed above, and development communication based on empowerment.

C. Development Communication from a Human Rights Perspective

The United Nations has played a leading role in promoting human rights and duties. These ensure a person's responsible participatory action in society by balancing empowerment through communication with social responsibilities and service to one's own society. This is necessary because the history of development theory shows that paradigms such as modernization have led to a strong state and to alliances that have favored one set of interests to the exclusion of other groups. Modernization, for example, favored economic and technical entrepreneurs as the agents of development to the exclusion of the rural populations.

The UN Declaration on Human Rights promotes a culture of dialogue and community, a culture of human rights (Hamelink, 1994, pp. 284-316; Linden, 1998). The logic of a discourse of human rights affirms that no right is secure unless it is universally respected and implemented. There are three key rights that touch on communication.

1. The right to communication/expression is a basic human right, which points to every human being's basic need to express what he or she thinks about any matter. It is essential to that morality of inter-subjectivity whose prime characteristic is the relationship and which sets freedom, equality, and solidarity above all else. Since all democratic relationships presuppose interactions that are mutual, there can be no relationship without dialogue. To enter into relationships, to establish communities, to survive, people must communicate. Genuine communication is therefore a basic human need--like food, clothing and shelter (Fisher & Harms, 1983).

2. The right to information. The citizens of a country have the right to know everything that affects them in the social, political, cultural, and economic spheres, including that state's plans for development. To hide information from them is a violation of a human right. And so, among the trends in development communication is the need for more information. With the rapid growth of the communication and information sectors, information has a specific commodity value today. And so, development communication stresses not only education itself, but the people's right to know more about the need for development, the causes of underdevelopment, and the government's plan for development, etc.

3. Democratization of communication. Given the right to communication, democratization of communication demands that every citizen has access to the media. In the current situation of a global market economy, this is a challenge. Even though national public broadcasting systems have been established in democracies, a small professional elite or commercial advertising interests control communications in most countries (Linden, 1999).

D. Indigenous Knowledge Systems

One of the major discoveries for U.S. researchers in Third World countries is that the local people have their own knowledge base, and these can be powerful change agents if properly utilized (Blunt & Warren, 1996; Warren, Slikkerveer, & Brokensha, 1999). More research needs to address these indigenous knowledge systems: their transfer to others could be an ideal tool for massive improvements in areas like farming, deforestation, environmental protection, poverty alleviation, and population control, all areas of concern in developing countries (Chambers & Thrupp, 1988; Chambers, Pacey, & Thrupp, 1989; Scoones & Thompson, 1994). The "Farmer First" concept (Coldevin, 1995) showed that, in several parts of the Third World, agricultural scientists were developing complementary research methods, mostly participative in nature with the support of local farmers and other social agents. The evidence indicated that these new approaches could serve the complex, diverse and risk-prone agricultural sector that supports almost a quarter of humankind.

But even here, periphery countries need access to information. Without information about resources, finance, and trade, periphery countries are continuously at a disadvantage in negotiations with core countries, and this jeopardizes their survival as independent nations. The national sovereignty of periphery countries is threatened when so much information about them is stored in data banks in other countries (Hamelink, 1995). If a country does not have enough information about itself--and about its indigenous knowledge systems--it is limited in the decisions it can make about its future. All this points to the importance of empowering all, especially the poorer sections, with as much information as possible about their own country. Because it is often the indigenous knowledge systems that can help transfer this important information to the target group, it is necessary that development communication uses indigenous channels.

E. Participatory/Liberation Models

The term "participatory development communication" is often used to draw attention to an emphasis on two-way communication processes, and to distance them from one-way communication approaches that involve disseminating messages, transmitting information, or persuading people to change their behavior. It wants to give preference to horizontal approaches that encourage dialogue centered on problem analysis and a search for solutions, as well as bottom-up approaches that aim to raise the awareness of decision-makers (Otsyina & Rosenberg, 1997). In spite of a diversity of approaches and orientations, there is a consensus today on the need for grassroots participation in development and on the essential role that communication plays in promoting development. This is very well said in a popular FAO slogan: "There is no development without communication" (Balit, 1988). White (1994) argues for more concrete commitment to participatory communication and, with several colleagues (White, Nair, & Ascroft, 1994) outlines methods. She returns to pressing the case for grassroots communication with an edited facilitator's guide (White, S., 1999).

"Communication" here refers to grass roots communication. Many development communication researchers in this tradition build on the concepts of Freire and Boal, described above, which emphasize the participation of those most in need of economic development. Such approaches focus attention on group media and group discussion as agents of development. Among the key aspects of their work are interactivity, the use of "small media," awareness raising, and direct participation (Bessette, 2004). Each method consciously seeks to correct the dependency model's national level emphasis on the relationship between communication and politicization with a political participation starting at the lowest levels. Dagron (2001), in a report to the Rockefeller Foundation, describes 50 participatory projects in 30 countries, using media as diverse as cell phones, multimedia, community theater, community radio, and community video. Bessette and Rajasunderam (1996) outline an agenda for such communication in West Africa.

Another aspect of this paradigm, inspired also by Freire--the "paradigm of another development"--emphasizes not only material development but also the development of values and cultures (Richards, Thomas, & Nain, 2001). Where development communication interventions are concerned, it emphasizes the small media operating in networks and the use of grassroots communication approaches. According to this paradigm, grassroots participation reinforces the chances that communities will adopt activities appropriate for them. One of the models attached to this paradigm is the methodology of community media. Boal, the Brazilian theater activist who worked with Freire in Sao Paulo, has shown that theater, a group medium, can be a rehearsal for social change. Burkey (1993) also emphasizes self-reliance among rural peoples through their participation in local communication.

The concept of interactivity, with traditional media as its operational instrument, makes possible the endogenous acquisition of knowledge and skills within the framework of a search for solutions and the communication process. This methodology of community media has as its principal elements:

* identification of needs by means of direct contacts with the groups;

* concretization: examination of the problem identified by the groups in the light of local conditions;

* selection of priority problems by the groups;

* formulation of a durable methodology for seeking solutions;

* identification of the amount of information required and access to this information;

* action: execution by the groups of the projects they have designed;

* expansion towards the outside to make known the points of view of the groups to other groups or to the authorities; and

* liaison with the communication system to make known their action (Berrigan, 1981).

Another concept--support communication in development projects--combines a community approach and recourse to the small media with practices that can often be linked to a model for disseminating new innovations. This approach emphasizes the planning of communication activities as a support to a development project. Aiming to produce a common understanding or a consensus among all the participants in a development initiative, it emphasizes facilitating exchanges among the various people involved in the development project and aims at taking into account grassroots perceptions in planning the project and mobilizing them in the development activities set out in the project. The methodology originated with educational technology and is characterized by the integration of needs analysis and evaluation mechanisms in the communication process (Kamara & Denkabe, 1993; Dudley, 1993; Bergdall, 1993).

Other practices are based on the community approach and the grassroots awareness-raising model. The same is true of the alternative for democratic development communication, which emphasizes grassroots access to the communication process for the purpose of promoting social justice and democracy (Brawley & Martinez-Brawley, 1999). In certain cases, this is translated by an emphasis on participation by the most disadvantaged in the communication process (access to small media at the local level), and in other cases, by actions promoting cultural expression and the search for ways of taking control of the mass media (Boafo & George, 1991). Finally, in the case of the fight against AIDS and the promotion of condom use, social marketing approaches, research techniques adapted to small groups, and the large-scale use of the mass media have all been used (Yoder, Robert, & Chirwa, 1996; Hornik, 1997).

Recognizing the importance of development communication, the International Development Research Centre in Canada (IDRC) started a research program in that field in the 1980s. This program aims to support people's participation in their development by enabling groups and communities to diagnose the problems they face, make well-informed decisions, mobilize for action, and assume responsibility for their own development. Generally, four different ways of participation can be observed in most development projects claiming to be participatory in nature (Uphoff, 1986).

* Participation in implementation--People are actively encouraged and mobilized to take part in the actualization of projects. They are given certain responsibilities and set certain tasks or required to contribute specified resources.

* Participation in evaluation--Upon completion of a project, people are invited to critique its success or failure.

* Participation in benefit--People take part in enjoying the fruits of a project, such as water from a hand pump, medical care, a truck to transport produce to market, or village meetings in the new community hall.

* Participation in decision-making--People initiate, discuss, conceptualize, and plan activities they will all do as a community. Some of these may be related to more common development areas such as building schools or applying for land tenure. Others may be more political, such as removing corrupt officials, supporting parliamentary candidates, or resisting pressures from the elites. Yet others may be cultural or religious in nature: organizing a traditional feast, prayers for an end to the drought, or just a big party, to have a good time.

F. Empowerment

The final approach to development communication arising in the second wave of research emphasizes empowerment (Melkote & Steeves, 2001). The implementation processes of development communication--essentially interactive and participatory at all levels--coincide with a fundamental mission: empowerment through knowledge (Boeren & Epskamp, 1992). Here people are empowered by an environment that gives them the freedom to express themselves. A major theme is the communication support of the concept of "new development," as presented by the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation (Legacy, 1987) and by several authors and researchers who emphasize decentralization, access to communication, and participation (Singh & Titi, 1993; Craig, 1995; Nelson & Wright, 1995; Prasad, 2004; White, 2004).

Among the characteristics of the "new development," we find:

* action based on needs, including nonmaterial needs like social equality, democracy, etc;

* the endogenous and autonomous nature of communication (change based on a community definition of community resources);

* protection of the environment (rational use of potential within the limitations of the local ecosystem);

* efforts to achieve structural transformation of social relations, economic activities, and power structures; and

* exercise and promotion of participatory democracy at all levels of society (Servaes 1991, p. 66).

Several researchers also emphasize the reinforcement of institutional and individual skills, ways of approaching decision-makers, and grassroots communication. Thus, Beltran proposes the following notes for "an agenda for development for the 20th century": It should combine the best of the development support communication activities with alternative means of communication (technical skills with political perception); it should aim increasingly to reinforce institutions rather than mount short-term operations; it should persuade the large communication schools to include development communication in their curricula; it should support research into communication aimed at democratic development; it should support small communities, NGOs, and union organizations; it should place an emphasis on communication aimed at health, hygiene, nutrition, and the grassroots; it should insist that political planners and leaders use communication to reach development objectives; it should encourage basic communication training at all levels; and it should reinforce institutional regional communication (Beltran 1993a, p. 30).

G. Summary

To be durable, development must take into account human factors and make it possible for the communities in question to decide for themselves what objectives they want to aim for and what means they want to use. Development communication is the tool that makes this process possible. Historically, research has paid attention to the effects of the mass media. This focus corresponded to a modernization paradigm and the utilization of the media to create a global environment for development and the transmission of ideas, knowledge, and new attitudes. It is interesting to note that this trend is now coming back, with interactive school radio, television for development, and the utilization of the mass media in the fight against AIDS. Satellite television devoted to education and development has also been successfully tried (Flay & Burton, 1990; Rush, 1996).

Subsequently, in the 1970s, people turned to the role of communication in supporting development activities and specific projects (family planning, oral rehydration, basic health care, agriculture, etc.). Attention then turned to the potential of small media and community media: participatory videos (Global Village in Bangladesh, Belkins in Tanzania, DNAFLA in Mali, CEPAC in Peru, CENDIT in India), audio cassette forums, and traditional media (theater, puppet shows, stories, etc.). People also placed more emphasis on the contribution of communication to the promotion of democratic and social rights, which led to the development of community radio and communication agencies in the South dedicated to these aspects (Dagron, 2001).

Finally, during the past few years, interest has focused on various areas like the impact of new communication technologies (satellite, telephone, e-mail, the Internet, etc.); appreciation of the knowledge held by First Nations; and implementation of communication units within government structures for the purpose of analyzing needs, training of personnel, and production of training materials.

3. The Current Situation: Concepts

In the last 10 years development communication work and research has taken its lead from both institutional and academic sources. I will first present some key concepts, then introduce key players.

A. Notions of Alternative Media

After a strong emphasis on mass media as agents of development, a general scepticism emerged in most developing countries about the media's contribution to development. Today people recognize that the modern electronic media are more apt for the dissemination of information and for entertainment, whereas small low cost cultural media are much better suited for education, awareness, and development (Atton, 2002).

Development workers need to choose their type of communication media carefully. Development needs a method of communication that is liberating, egalitarian, indigenous, rural, and geared to the betterment of all, especially the poor, the marginalized, and women. This is difficult with the mass media because, by their very nature, they are not culture-specific. They cater to a large mass of people and hence the question arises, "Whose culture will it assume?" Often it includes the culture of the elite, which to the ordinary people is alien, and they look at it as "glamour," sometimes to their detriment. Urban based, the media have easy access to the cities with developed technologies. They find it easy to talk to the urban audiences, and so they carry news and concerns of the urban classes that form a majority of their audience. Involvement or participation in the mass media also entails huge costs. Well beyond the means of the lower income groups, the glamour and showmanship displayed in the mass media mesmerize the ordinary illiterate people, and entertainment becomes the end-all of the mass media.

Standing in contrast to the mass media are "cultural media," "low-cost media," "rural media," "educational media"--but these are not different names for one and the same thing. They have similar characteristics but different thrusts. Their similarities appear in the World Association of Christian Communication Principles of Christian Communication. Such media promote similar ends:

1. Communication is participatory.

2. Communication creates community.

3. Communication liberates.

4. Communication develops and supports cultural identity.

5. Christian communication is prophetic, i.e., it challenges existing oppressive structures and leads to action for transformation. (WACC, n.d.)

These are ideal roles of the media to which the various forms of group and cultural media contribute. Similarly, elements of development can easily be shared with the audiences through the use of indigenous cultural forms like street plays, story-telling forms, puppetry, singing, dancing, etc.

B. The Concept of Group Media

The Puebla Document of the Catholic Bishops of Latin Ameerica sums up concisely the advantages of group media: "Without neglecting the necessary and urgent presence of the mass oriented media, it is urgent we intensify our use of the Media of Group Communication (MGC). Besides, being less costly and easier to handle, they offer the possibility of dialogue and they are more suited to person to person type of evangelization that will evoke truly personal adhesion and commitment" (CELAM, 1979, p. 171).

Group interactions, where people can share opinions, listen and be listened to, discuss and debate play a major role in awareness creation. Media can facilitate such interaction, when they are available (Okunna, 1995). Group media and other participatory methods, further, can educate, motivate, convince, and gently encourage people to change for the better. Non-formal education rooted in the culture of the people using various indigenous media like popular theater and other cultural programs can help, as was shown by Freire (1978) and Boal, (theater as "rehearsal for revolution," 1979) in creating a civil consciousness and subsequent desire for development. Empowering the people through participatory forms of communication and action is key to development. Group media encompasses both traditional and popular media (Deacock & van Poelje, 1996).

The expansion of small group and community media increasingly allows the people to become producers of media discourses and to affirm their perception of reality to themselves and to others in the community (Rodriguez, 2001). Citizens' media tends to be local, about supposedly everyday events, produced by people in the local groups for their own discussion or for exchange with other groups. Often citizens' media does not directly question power relationships but simply celebrates local culture and local people.

Radio. Community "animation radio," for example, deliberately opens a space for less powerful groups to express their oppressions and to bring this out into open community debate. A skillful animator will detect when protests against misuse by more powerful persons begin to emerge and will lead this into open discussion from all points of view. This kind of media deliberately avoids getting mass audiences so that it is possible to respond to the momentary, fragmented violations of human dignity and equality in daily life (Downing, 2000). At times, hundreds of little movements may come together in a large movement, but these movements resist becoming too institutionalized. The programming and themes may be continually changing, fluid, contingent on response and support. If there is no response, the effort dies or changes (Huesca & Dervin, 1994; Dervin & Huesca, 1997).

Today radio seems to be the most appropriate medium for development (Sposato & Smith, 2005). With the proliferation of community radios in most parts of the Third World, it is possible to use these as local conscientizing agents. Besides providing much needed information to the local audiences, it can focus on local problems with a certain commitment. Local radio can transform communities by giving a voice to the people, increasing the free flow of accurate information, and celebrating local culture in music, songs, and story-telling. A healthy local station is accountable to its community, broadcasts programs that meet the needs of its listeners, and helps bring about government accountability. A healthy station has diverse sources of revenue to ensure the integrity of its programming and its long-term viability. More than any other media, radio is increasingly playing an invaluable role in rural, post-conflict communities.

Unfortunately, despite several success stories, these community radio stations struggle daily to continue their operations. In the short-term, they need significant funding and equipment, and assistance with staff training and management issues in order to maintain and grow their programming.

Journalism. Although the lack of literacy is a major drawback in the development of newspaper journalism, wall newspapers, with large typefaces for neoliterates, have been a regular feature among NGOs in Third World countries. In India the government publishes a weekly broadsheet called Hamara Desh ("our country") which is pasted on the walls in neo-literate villages. The purpose of these papers is to share much needed information. But when governments publish, there can be a kind of censorship. Here NGOs can often do it better. Of late, in literate, underdeveloped villages, community newspapers too have started. However, the idea of public journalism has still to catch up in many village communities.

Television. Community or local television has not yet followed the lead of community radio in rural areas, but rather remains local entertainment media. Television is expensive and the rural audience cannot usually manage to have sets. And, like FM radio stations in the cities, these stations tend to serve a community need, but not necessarily a development need. However, with developments in technology, productions of local videos have become very common among NGOs and other cultural activists. Several funding agencies and foundations interested in development initiate such endeavors throughout the Third World. Media and cultural organizations organize video forums where these videos find an audience and a market. These have played remarkable roles in initiating discussions on various heretofore unexplored areas.

Theater. All forms of singing and dancing, theater, story telling, etc. have been tried as a starter to discussions of serious issues of oppression, social imbalances, injustices, and so forth among the less privileged classes. Following the example of Freire and Boal, social action groups in the developing countries have nurtured theater cells that concentrate on the use of theater for development. This has proved to be extremely useful as this includes all the necessary elements of development communication like people participation, local cultural forms, empowerment of the participants that help them to be leaders in real situations (Srampickal, 1994, p. 256). The argument in the use of theater for development is that in the very process of making theater the participants get enlightened, and the lessons they learn are put across to the audience through the process of the presentation of the play. After the presentation there is also further discussion and enlightenment. Mda (1993), Mlama (1991), and Kalipeni and Kamlongera (1996) provide additional case studies of the use of theater for development communication.

C. Communication Campaigns

An area that has developed enormously over the years is using the media for campaigns. Based on social marketing theories where advertising techniques are used for selling social messages (Walsh, Rudd, Moeykens, & Moloney, 1993), such campaigns can address a variety of development needs, from health issues (Valente, Kim, Lettenmaier, Glass, & Dibba, 1994) to environmental issues (Maibach, 1993). Snyder observes that a communication campaign for development is an organized communication activity directed at a particular audience for a particular period of time, to achieve a particular goal (Snyder, 2003). These can be carried by national media institutions, or by NGOs, or by any other interested persons or groups through group and indigenous media. Such campaigns have proven successful all over the world. According to Snyder, development campaigns have had an average effect on behavior between 3% and 14%, almost equal to that of commercial campaigns.

Obviously these campaigns have greater effect if group media techniques are involved, i.e., the group is involved primarily in writing up the campaign and secondly those who watch are involved in analyzing these to understand the intended meanings, and then there are sensitizing groups that discuss and motivate the people to action (McKee, 1999).

D. Information and Communication Technologies: "Informatization"

Whatever the criticisms, technologies have remained a mainstay in development programs. According to Everett M. Rogers and Arvind Singhal, "informatization" is the process of communication and social change made possible by communication technology that moves a nation more and more toward becoming an information society. The computer software industry and digital information and communication technologies (ICT) have aided this rapid growth of globalization enabling middle class persons from the Third World to reach global markets (Singhal & Rogers, 2001).

Every medium has an alternative use. The vast majority in rural areas can benefit from ICTs (Prasad, 2004b). In fact, e-mails and e-groups are used by several NGOs and action groups to share ideas and create awareness and consensus on vital issues pertaining to people and their needs, especially to those neglected by the mainstream media. Any country keen on the development and well being of all its citizens and the healthy functioning of democracy has to provide access to information to everyone. Initiatives are reported from rural areas to assemble computers which can be used by farmers, fisherman, factory workers, etc., to get reliable and useful information regarding their area of work and to communicate using the Internet (Richardson, 1996; IDRC, 1996; Rico-Mora, 1996).

More important is the service of campaigning, advocacy, gathering supporters for any issue concerning the people through e-groups, etc. These can help reach information in a non-threatening way and thus can promote important causes among the people. Minimum literacy is needed for Internet usage, however simplified the process and technology may be. The databases at the rural people's movements may be used for resource collection, while for dissemination of these, folk media can very well offer adequate support. E-zines, e-groups, weblogs, and websites can be used for rural development if development workers so choose. As ICTs spread, more researchers focus attention on their possible uses in development (Richardson, 1995; Talero & Gaudette, 1995; Mansel, & Wenn 1998; Panos Institute, 2000; Tine, 2003; Thioune, 2003; and Lefebvre, 2004).

Any discussion on modern information technologies has to address the problem of a digital divide, too, in the context of development communication (Inyang, 1996). There still exists an undoubtedly wide gap between the information-poor and the information-rich today. This exists not only between developed and less developed countries but also within the less developed countries.

4. The Current Situation: Players

Both institutional groups and individuals work with and for development communication. In this overview, I will mention governmental and non-governmental groups, then people from the academic community.

A. The State

The state plays several roles in development communication. First, it can resist movements that limit the development of its people. If it abandons its economy, politics, culture, or control of information flow to global autonomies, the state has essentially surrendered itself. This need not happen. Several states (Iran, Brazil, Canada, France, Korea, Ireland) are aware of this and have thwarted total globalization: their strategy maintains a bifocal approach that considers the multifaceted relationship between states and globalization in studies of communication and development (Waisbord, 2003).

Second, one of the crucial tests to media's serving development is the government's attitude to media in general. If the government has allowed trans-national media to come and dominate, or allowed local media institutions to take to mindless entertainment and serve the interests of the market economy, it is hard to use the very same media to serve development needs. For instance television was started in India in 1959 with the sole purpose of transmitting development messages, like the importance of cleanliness, preserving drinking water, avoiding dangerous sicknesses, etc. But within six months the same channel began showing entertainment like "Here is Lucy" for city dwellers. Later, in 1975, the government launched a one year massive satellite instructional television experiment (SITE) with the aid of the Canadian government in 2400 villages of India. Here again, the people showed more interest in the Sunday feature film and avoided the educational programs shown on the weekdays. Later Indian television even experimented with the entertainment-education format in a serial called "Hum Log," inspired by the Mexican telenovela. But then later with the market being conquered by multinational media, the national television, too, followed the lines of market economy. In such a situation it is almost meaningless to talk of the national media supporting development.

Some governments tried to resist or limit such cultural invasion; this formed the backdrop to the UNESCO debates of the 1970s and the MacBride report. Many governments criticized any limitation on the flow of information, arguing that it limits the freedom of the media or follows an authoritarian theory of the press. However, media need to be used in accordance with the social, political, and economic pressures of a given country. In several developing countries governments have tried to initiate development programs using the media, but they faced a medley of problems involving social, political, and religious issues.

B. International Bodies

Several international bodies situated in the western world have consistently addressed development. They not only fund local initiatives, but also take up their own projects through their country agents. Communication is a major component in their work. Because many follow the modernization theory, some in the Third World view them with suspicion as these efforts can maintain the dependency syndrome as well as alienation of the rural, indigenous cultures.

1. UN agencies. The United Nations (UN) has several development agencies under its umbrella: UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), UNDP (United Nations Development Program), UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), OHCHR (United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights), UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Educational Fund), and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). These agencies have always been interested in development communication. In 1963, for example, UNESCO identified components for bettering development communication:

* The collection of basic data and systematic analysis of the population densities, geographical limitations to communications, variety of social structures, ecology and agricultural transportation, physical communication, mobility of population, electrification industrial capacity, manpower capacity, etc.

* The production of an inventory of the present community resources, including the modern and traditional media, an analysis of the variety of present communication structures.

* Critical analysis of communication policies (or lack of the same), including such considerations as ownership, structures, decision making, etc.

* Critical analysis of the communication needs of each society, especially in relation to the existing social and communication structures and the uses of communication.

UNICEF was created to work with others to overcome obstacles affecting children: poverty, violence, disease, discrimination, and so on. Media of all kinds especially print and graphics have been used extensively to spread their goals, including universal primary education, girls' education, and HIV/AIDS education (UNICEF, 1996).

The FAO addresses issues of hunger. It seeks to endure good nutrition for all by helping developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry, and fisheries practices. This leads to wide-ranging interests: It has produced case studies on communication campaigns in Lesotho (Coldevin, 1990), rural communication in Mexico (FAO, 1990), information and communication technologies in Africa (Etta & Parvyn-Wamahiyu, 2003), and population issues in Malawi (FAO, 1995). Other FAO studies address farmers' communication networks (FAO, 1995; Fraser, 1996) and the "farmer first" approach to communication (Coldevin, 1995). The FAO has also reported on regional efforts (Balit, 1996) and provided large scale overviews of development communication (FAO, 1996).

2. In addition to its direct development activities, the PANOS Institute works with journalists in developing countries to produce news, features, and analysis about the most critical global issues of today. Since its founding in 1945, it has focused special attention on developing rural areas, using the expertise of its staff to collect, analyze, and disseminate data that aid development (http://www.panos.org.uk/). It has branches that focus on West Africa (http://www.panos.sn) and the Caribbean (http://www.panoscaribbean.org/index.php). Established as a non governmental organization, it gives support to media pluralism, with these objectives:

* Strengthening developing countries to produce and disseminate pluralist information, in relation with all the components of the civil society, which is the guarantee of a culture of peace and democracy;

* Supporting the production of information on priority issues (peace, good governance, human rights, migration ...); promote the journalists' and decision-makers' expression, from the South and the North on these issues, to foster public debates on those thematic issues, in the North, the South, and at the intersection of these two geographical areas;

* Sparking off and sustain a critical reflection on information and communication issues in a globalized world, deeply transformed by the development of the technologies of communication. (http://www.panos.org.uk/)

Supporting "Communication for Development" as one of its global themes, the PANOS Institute publishes study papers (http://www.panos.org.uk/global /featurethemes.asp) and books on themes as diverse as covering children (Balgos, John, & Subba, 2000), participation in ICT decision making (MacLean, Souter, Deane, & Lilley, 2002; Lush, Rushwayo, & Banda, 2000), reporting on Africa (Opuku-Mensah & Budge-Reid, 1998), and broadcasting in different countries in Africa (Wanyeki, 2000; Opoku-Mensah, 1998; Thiam & Sy, 1996). In addition, the PANOS website provides extensive links to other Internet-based resources.

3. The Communication Initiative, based in Victoria, Canada, is a partnership of development organizations seeking to support advances in the effectiveness and scale of communication interventions for positive international development. It is
 an online space for sharing the experiences of,
 and building bridges between, the people and
 organizations engaged in or supporting communication
 as a fundamental strategy for economic
 and social development and change. It does this
 through a process of initiating dialogue and
 debate and giving the network a stronger, more
 representative and informed voice with which to
 advance the use and improve the impact of communication
 for development. This process is
 supported by a web-based resource of summarized
 information and several electronic publications,
 as well as online research, review and discussion
 platforms providing insight into communication
 for development experiences. (http:
 //www.comminit.com/mission.html)


The Initiative sponsors websites in English (one with a global outlook and one focusing on Africa) and Spanish (focusing on Latin America).

The Communication Initiative's goals include fostering debate on development communication issues, sharing strategies, supporting the voices from the South, and expanding communication and development networks in the South. By providing a common clearinghouse of information (much of it in real time), the group seeks to link people and provide opportunities for development. Its activities include maintaining its website of summarized information (over 17,000 pages) on communication for development, publishing electronic resources (magazines and newsletters), and supporting specific projects in development communication (http://www.comminit.com/mission.html).

4. One of the newest (2003) NGOs focused on development communication, Communication For Social Change (CFSC), aims to build "local capacity of people living in poor and marginalized communities to use communication in order to improve their own lives" (http://www.communicationforsocialchange .org/). Starting with work at the Rockefeller Foundation, the network now numbers hundreds of scholars and practitioners, united by a belief in participatory communication for development, in "empowering ... based upon principles of tolerance, equity, justice, and unleashing the voices of the previously unheard." The organization's website provides CFSC publications, proceedings, and speeches in downloadable format.

More formally defined,
 CFSC is a process of public and private dialogue
 through which people themselves define who
 they are, what they need and how to get what
 they need in order to improve their own lives. It
 utilizes dialogue that leads to collective problem
 identification, decision making and community-based
 implementation of solutions to development
 issues. (http://www.communicationforsocialchange.
 org/mission.php)


In addition to the website and publications, CFSC's activities include developing curricula for university courses, teaching short courses and providing training, supporting research fellows, and compiling best practices.

5. Indymedia. The Independent Media Center defines itself as "a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. We work out of a love and inspiration for people who continue to work for a better world, despite corporate media's distortions and unwillingness to cover the efforts to free humanity" (http://www.indymedia.org/en/static/about.shtml).

The Center was established by independent and alternative media organizations and activists in 1999 for the purpose of providing grassroots coverage of the World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle. It now acts as a clearinghouse of information for journalists, as well as publishing stories and reports growing from popular communication efforts. While not itself focused on communication for development, it provides a portal for participatory communication.

6. id21 is a development research reporting service that presents a selection of the latest and best UK-resourced international development research (http://www.id21.org/). It aims to be part of the process of putting international development policy into practice. By producing summaries of the most recent UK-resourced development research, id21 is increasing the communication of research findings and policy recommendations to policy-makers and development practitioners worldwide. Published by the UK-based Institute of Development Studies (http://www.ids .ac.uk/), id21 focuses on disseminating development information, especially in the areas of health, education, global issues, urban development, rural development, and natural resources.

7. Other efforts at alternative models. All over the world a number of development communication centers have flourished, concentrating on producing media materials available for development animation, networking, discussion, and research. The model of the Fundacion Social in Colombia (http://www.fundacionsocial. com.co/webb/contenb.htm) and the model of Calandria in Peru (http://www.calandria.org.pe/), which is more a grassroots idea, are good examples in Latin America. The Fundacion is a not-for profit organization, the largest and oldest foundation in Colombia, which receives all the net produce of a large consortium of for-profit organizations and businesses (Grupo Social). It intertwines communication as a fundamental component into its activities and projects. The Foundation has an explicit objective of creating communication thinking and not using communication as something instrumental, dedicated to the concept of communication for change. The Fundacion Social is a very solid political project, with a clear objective of triggering social change and an awareness of the structural role that communication has to do with this.

Calandria in Peru is the result of Rosa Maria Alfaro's dedication to grass-roots work in the barrios of Lima. She began many years ago in the "Barrios Jovenes" of Lima (squatters' settlements), and her target group were women and the use of alternative communication. From very solid work on the ground using community media and other alternatives, Calandria begins to research into communication analysis, as well as production of information on communication issues in Peru. It is today an energetic self-sustained center of media production, media information, theory development, and analysis.

In Asia and Africa, too, there are numerous centers of this kind run by NGOs, but networking often not being a priority, they tend to duplicate their approaches.

C. Individuals

1. Jesus Martin Barbero, a Latin American communication theorist, examines communication from an indigenous perspective (1993). He manages to combine a practical overview of contemporary theories of communication, culture, and hegemony with a compelling Latin American application of those theories.

Following the cultural studies tradition of Gramsci, Althusser, Laclau, Mouffe and more, especially Stuart Hall and De Certeau, Martin-Barbero believes that one can understand communication only from the specific culture of those that "do or make" communication. Linking cultural imperialism and communication, Martin-Barbero argues for strong links among cultural history, the history of anthropology, communication, and culture (in the anthropological, not sociological, sense). Communication is also intricately linked to politics and exerts an influence on national policies. He conceives reception of media as always linked to the social uses of communication--what people do with what they see, read, or listen to. Mass communication study is no longer a question of analyzing markets and consumption. Rather, he sees it as a strategic site for the redefinition of the public and the construction of democracy.

Weaving together the ideas of de Certeau, Bourdieu, Gramsci, Williams, Benjamin, Hoggart, Thompson, Bakhtin, Eco, Baudrillard, Foucault, and Habermas, Martin-Barbero draws a common thread of a rediscovery of people's roles in producing meaning and creating their own identities through localized cultural processes that operate in spite of, or in resistance to, attempts at cultural domination through communication media. At the heart of this argument lies the author's passionate belief in people as active, intelligent, and tactical beings who are fully capable of disrupting, subverting, resisting, and appropriating media processes and messages.

Rather than following theorists who denounce mass media imperialism, Martin-Barbero asks readers to join him as he explores the immense variety of modes of media use in the daily lives of the people who make up the cultural mosaic of Latin America. Rather than simple vessels to be filled with dominant ideologies, the people of Latin America, while susceptible to domination by communication technologies, are able to exploit contradictions that enable them to resist, recycle, and redesign those technologies. He also shows that people are capable of decoding and appropriating received messages and are not necessarily duped by them. Both technologies and messages are mediated through culture and through the processes, struggles, and pleasures of everyday life during which people constitute and reconstitute their identities.

Martin-Barbero illustrates his thesis by examining two uniquely Latin American phenomena: the telenovela and the proliferation of local radio throughout rural areas and urban barrios. In the telenovela, he sees stories arising from strong oral narrative traditions that enable characters, authors, and readers to exchange places constantly.
 It is an exchange, confusion between story and
 real life, between what the actor does and what
 happens to the spectator. It is a literary experience
 open to the reactions, desires and motivations
 of the public. (1993, p. 228)


While he recognizes the commercial essence of the telenovela, he shows that it can never be reduced simply to a function of capitalism. The telenovela enables people to recover and reconfigure popular culture and to assert identities that conflict with capitalist agendas. It is "much of what we are--fatalists, inclined to machismo, superstitious--and what we dream of becoming--stealing the identities of others, nostalgia, righteous anger ... [it] taps into a deep vein of collective cultural imagination" (p. 225).

Local radio clearly illustrates the importance of understanding people's uses of media. Local radio in Latin America is radically different from local radio in Canada, for example. In Canada a person can travel from coast to coast and hear virtually the same combinations of radio formats and music programming. In Brazil, and increasingly in other Latin American countries, there are hundreds of micro-transmitters, some with a power of only five watts, which are operated by local entrepreneurs to serve remote rural areas, and distinct ethnic and linguistic populations that have migrated to urban barrios from the rural countryside. Radio is a technology that has been appropriated to serve neighborhoods and family systems. It is highly commercial, yet it involves people in collective participation and gives voice to neighborhood-level discourse, interests, and demands. Martin-Barbero describes local radio in Peru:
 Although those broadcasts have no professional
 announcers, use music recorded by amateur
 groups from the local immigrant communities
 from different Andean regions, and speak with
 an often hard-to-understand colloquial language,
 thousands of immigrants in the city of Lima listen
 to these stations to provide themselves with
 an interval of identification which is not just the
 recall of common memories but a profound
 experience of solidarity.... These stations transform
 radio into a meeting place and promote solidarity
 by a little parallel "culture industry" that
 stamps records of regional music and organizes
 fiestas or championship football contests among
 people of the region. (p. 236).


Such examples of media use challenge the reader to reconsider traditional analyses of communication with their dichotomies of dominating sources and dominated recipients and conceptions of passive consumption and alienation.

Though not directly addressing development communication policies or programs, such work grounds participatory communication and offers a new direction for development communication efforts. Beginning with the work of Freire, Boal, and Martin-Barbero, Latin America had a tradition of using communications for development. The contribution of persons like Nestor Garcia-Canclini (1995) in Mexico, Luis Ramiro Beltran (1993b, 1997) in Bolivia, Armand Mattelart (1980) in Chile, Antonio Pasquali (1967, 1977) in Venezuela, Mario Kaplun (1981, 1985) in Uruguay, Hector Schmucler (1986; Mattelart & Schmucler, 1983, 1985) in Argentina, and Juan Diaz-Bordenave (1977) in Paraguay have all contributed to a localized understanding of communication that can be applied to development. In addition, publications like Lenguajes and Comunicacion y Cultura contributed to these. These thinkers placed Latin America in the foreground in UNESCO and the NWICO debates (McBride, 1980).

2. A European academic, Jan Servaes (1996a, 1996b, 1999, 2000, 2005) provides a comprehensive view of virtually all of the issues in development communication that must be considered at different levels of analysis, from local to international, and he integrates the thinking of most of the major contributions over the last 30 years. He argues that initiatives for development must begin with grass-roots communities and organizations (1996b, 1999, 2000). For him, the main actors in the development process are social movements that break out of submission to a hierarchical structure to establish their own independent system of communication and organization (1999, pp. 158, 189). To take advantage of the development "energy" of such movements, local organizations should be allowed to decide to make their program, define the issues the program should deal with, determine how to carry it out, and determine how to evaluate it. Servaes further speaks about conditions or steps that really make a country truly developed. A participatory structure of communication, leading to self-reliance and decentralization from power structures and controllers leads to greater autonomy, responsibility, and true development.

Servaes argues that if development must be based on local initiatives and be self-reliant, every unit of development will have its own particular model--there will be multiple paths of development. Indeed, he would consider having a conscious awareness of unique cultural values as a central goal of development, as important as economic productivity. This strikes at the heart of the modernization and dependency theories and the measurement of development in terms of the adoption of a style of life around particular models of advanced technology borrowed from the West

This model is closely related to another premise, namely, that development must be primarily defined in cultural (1999, pp. 59-76) rather than economic or political terms. Amajor role of theories of communication for development points to the cultural movements which simultaneously reveal ideological distortions, affirm cultural identity, and find ways of resisting cultural hegemony. Servaes emphasizes culture as the arena of the struggle for empowerment, in part, because the new nations and movements for empowerment have themselves insisted on independent cultural identity. Technological, economic, and political systems are themselves cultural constructs. Servaes locates the "struggle" for cultural identity within a theory of ideology taken from the critical cultural studies tradition.

Servaes recognizes the importance of political-economic power in propagating cultural imperialism (Hamelink, 1983), but he draws on the theories of Latin Americans such as Martin-Barbero, Canclini, and Pasquali to explain how the popular classes are continually constructing new cultural identities in the face of hegemony. Servaes opts for models of communication and development education that are focused on the struggle with ideology and giving people capacity to be the constructors of identity and culture. His analysis becomes the basis for a development education which systematically deconstructs the ideologies in language, media, rituals, and all institutions.

3. A unique contribution of Srinivas Melkote and H. Leslie Steeves (2001) is to show the importance of religion for development--specifically the liberation dimension of major religions. This questions the tradition of Weber (1930) who argued that mystical, transcendent, and spiritual elements act as obstacles to development while a religion promoting instrumental rationality such as the Calvinist Protestant ethic promotes development. Melkote and Steeves offer evidence to show that precisely the mystical, transcendent, and paradoxical logics of religion can also support development. They hold that the liberation dimensions contribute to personal and social empowerment.

Among other things, Melkote and Steeves offer the following check list to show how religion can promote development:

* religions present universalistic, transcendent sets of values which stress universal human dignity, human rights, and human freedoms.

* Virtually all major religions promote a base community, with its participatory communication, which encourages dialogue, solidarity, and activities to create social integration which is the basis of grass-roots organizations.

* Religions develop a process of education for liberation and can build up an extensive educational infrastructure at the grass-roots level.

* Religious movements, in themselves, can be seen as a network of alternative communication, counter-balancing the control of communication systems by power elites.

4. Bella Mody, like Melkote originally from India, made an impact in the world of development communication with her first book on designing development communication messages (1991), an analytical study of development communication technologies. Beginning with modernization paradigms, her work moves to many of the thinkers supporting participatory communication. Designing Messages for Development Communication takes the reader step by step through the process of designing audience-responsive messages in the Third World.

A more recent edited book (2003) brings together studies of international communication with studies of development communication. In separate introductions, Mody provides historical background and situates the contemporary analysis of each field (international and development communication) and shows how the first applies to the second. The book examines how communication media and telecommunications are considered central to globalization and to national development, and discusses globalization in history, the role of media, changes in structural biases of media and telecommunication institutions, national forces of capitalism, and biases in international and development communication messages.

In her introduction to the section on development communication, Mody traces the history of the research that led first to an emphasis on mass media (ideas of power structures and the promotion of technology) and then to more participatory communication (with an emphasis on ethnographic research methods) (p. 126). The individual essays carry most of the weight here: Melkote (2003) introduces theories of development communication: modernization (and the attendant theories of diffusion of innovations, social marketing, and entertainment-education strategies); and social change theories (participation, participation action, and empowerment). Waisbord (2003) examines the role of the state and its interaction with communication strategies. Snyder (2003) reviews the history of communication campaigns for development and cites more successful ones (using social marketing for health and family planning, participatory campaigns for AIDS awareness, and advocacy campaigns to change governmental policy). In addition she sketches the necessary conditions for such success. Singh (2003) turns specifically to technology, comparing instrumental, institutional, participatory, and strategic approaches. In a particularly helpful chart, he compares the technologies, goals, costs, proponents, agencies, policies, contexts, and types of study of three periods of development communication (p. 191). Huesca (2003) provides an overview of participatory communication approaches while Wilkins (2003) outlines an agenda for future research (see below for more detail on both). Steeves (2003) rounds out the section with a feminist critique of a development communication that has shown a "neglect of the nonmaterial" and a "neglect of gender considerations" (p. 227) despite decades of scholarship on gender inequalities. Development communication, she notes, has been based in a liberal capitalist model, one which favors market economies and ignores the role of women in traditional societies.

The first part of the book, on international communication, takes up the issue of globalization. Here Mody tends to see more good in globalization although several Third World development activists see this as doing more harm to indigenous development. To those who see only the negative aspects of globalization and argue that it is nothing but repackaged modernization theory, Mody offers some insights, arguing that globalized communication structures, for example, helped activists "defeat the World Trade Organization and state-supported private empires on questions of labor rights, a multinational carte blanche on investment, peace issues, and biotechnology at the turn of the century" (p. 2).

5. Arturo Escobar and Sonia Alvarez. The important growth from NGOs to the development of people's movements has not happened all over the Third World. Research on people's movements argues that it makes little sense to talk of participatory communication, grass-roots initiatives, or communication catalysts if there is no change in the power dynamics of developing countries that could redistribute resources to the urban and rural poor. According to Escobar and Alvarez (1992), a number of groups have come together to forge a social process of strength.

They outline the general characteristic of the movements for social change, especially in the Latin American context. There is a shift, they argue, from the economic to the cultural level. The goal is not simply getting control of the state and the political apparatus, but rather to resignify or redefine what is meant by democracy. In the Latin American region, the rationalist, universalist, and individualist symbols were transformed into a defense of oligarchical, clientelist, and hierarchical exclusionary systems. In this context the goal of the movements is a process of resignification of terms (such as liberal democracy), which have lost their original meaning.

People's movements among indigenous Indians, Afro-Brazilians, and Afro-Colombians in Latin America are examples of attempts to re-signify ethnic and racial identity to their own people and to resist hegemonic cultural systems of the nation. To carry out this process of re-signification, the movements try to establish their own internal media systems in a hybridization of the indigenous with the modern.

Alvarez, Dagnino, and Escobar (1998, p. 5) address the politicizing process in these movements. They introduce the practices of direct popular participation in decision-making, something formerly reserved to political parties. People's organizations demand accountability from their own leadership and from the political leaders who agree to support them. Such movements introduce new actors in the form of the coalition of movements in the city and move political discourse from concern about interest groups and clientelistic favors to the rights of people and the continual evaluation of whether these rights are being realized. Such movements also attempt to link everyday protests, manifestations, and confrontations to a broader political process. Discussions going on in market stalls, local bars, and family courtyards become important sites of discussion of people's exclusion, their exploitation, and the depreciation of their identities. These submerged communication networks then link into major urban social movements. The resignifying process going on in rather informal discussion becomes part of the demands that larger movements put forward.

6. Nora Quebral, a leading academic figure from the College of Development Communication in the Philippines, has served as president of the Development Communication Center, and professor emeritus of the Institute of Development Communication, University of the Philippines, Los Banos, College of Agriculture. In these positions she has led research into several agricultural programs sponsored by international agencies. For her, development communication "is a term for method-driven and theory-based praxes that use participatory communication tools to strengthen community decision-making processes and structures. The aim: improve livelihoods and promote social justice" (Manyozo, 2005).

Quebral argues that development communication is both a concept and a curriculum. As such, it must teach people to change their communication, not just their economic standing.
 It has ... become clear through time that the
 processes by which these goals [of development]
 are achieved are just as important for the outcome
 as the goals themselves. And so we have changed
 the qualifier to development from "economic" to
 others like "another," "participatory," "sustainable,"
 and "equitable." At the core of our altered
 perception is the lesson learned that we cannot
 really change others; we can only help them
 change themselves--from where they are and at
 their own enlightened pace. (Quebral, 2006)


There is an ethics, then, at the heart of teaching development communication. Her insights about transparency and honesty have added another dimension to development communication. In a situation of corruption, non-transparency in governance, imbalances between escalating populations, unequally distributed resources, and disease outbreaks, Quebral feels development communication practitioners need to show the way by being honest and transparent themselves. Successful development communication depends on interpreting and clarifying everyone's position to all the other protagonists in order to facilitate meaningful dialogue. They can do that in mediated and face to face communication. Negotiation and mediation with the authorities and those in power are the keys to succeed in this area.

Quebral proposes seven points for a curriculum in development communication. It is not enough to teach only skills. A model development communication curriculum has these characteristics:

* It is open to diverse ideas coming from many sources of knowledge.

* It combines wisdom from both the study and practice of development and of communication.

* It is ever-evolving, never static, as it responds to changes in development, in communication, and in the environment surrounding both.

* It is animated by a philosophy that spells out the goals of development desired and the ideal procedures by which they are to be attained.

* It grounds students in the basics of development in general and on the particulars of economic, social, political, cultural, moral, or spiritual development, taught in integrative courses.

* It teaches students the principles, values, and skills that will prepare them for a profession of service, of helping others--especially the poor and the disadvantaged--to develop their potential.

* It integrates information technology into its program as an added tool in the preparation of future development communicators. (Quebral, 2006)

7. Clemencia Rodriguez, Robert Huesca, and Brenda Dervin. The failure of popular alliances and movements (such as the New World Information and Communication Order), which were based on a binary analysis of power and democratization has led to a rethinking of the role of communication for democratization (Rodriguez, 2001). Huesca and Dervin (1994) argue that the tendency to define issues in terms of "vertical communication versus horizontal communication, communication for domination versus communication for liberation, and communication as information versus communication as dialogue have led to a theoretical confusion which does not correspond to the reality, and cuts off the most significant possibilities for democratization" (1994). In a later article (Dervin & Huesca, 1997) they described participatory communication as "verbing" to emphasize that no theory is final or complete. Power needs to be continually re-negotiated and today's formula for liberation becomes tomorrow's distorting ideology. There needs to be a continual dialogue of knowledge.

In this sense, citizenship is not primarily a legal status but a form of expression of identity, something to be constructed and reconstructed (Rodriguez, 2001, p. 19; Mouffe 1992). Citizens have to enact their citizenship on a day-to-day basis by their participation in everyday political practices. "As citizens actively participate in actions that reshape their own identities, the identities of others and their social environment, they produce power" (Rodriguez, 2001, p. 19). Empowerment emerges from relationships in particular places and organizations such as families, groups of friends, church, neighborhood, workplace, community, town, and city. The actions of voting may be less important than contesting given identities, languages, and relationships. Rodriguez suggests that the term "alternative" has lost its charm due to overuse and prefers the term, "citizen's media" (2001, p. 20). This denotes all those media to which the ordinary citizens have access, to support them in times when the mass media seem unproductive (Rodrigues, in Wilkins, 2000, pp. 149ff). The citizens themselves need to empower these media, contesting legitimized identities and introducing new communication practices contrary to the mass, homogenized, uniform cultural categories. This conception of democratization points to challenging actions dealing with varied and fragmented forms of oppression touching on many facets of identity in a person.

In this concept of people's movements, the multiplication of activity in everyday life is important, even if these are relatively short-lived. Each action leaves its imprint on the collective memory. Where groups have experienced this enactment of citizenship, they are far more open to seeing community activities as opportunities for rebuilding themselves. Democratization is not a once and for all phenomenon but a continual redistribution of power in the face of tendencies toward continual concentration of power.

In an attempt to give a state-of-the-art summary of research, Huesca (2003) situates the move to participatory communication in a Latin American context that challenged concepts imported from the United States and explored praxis--"self-reflexive, theoretically guided practice" (p. 211)--as an alternative to the top-down models. Emerging from such community experience, participatory communication is simultaneously a means and an end (pp. 214-216), much as Rodriguez describes the growth of democracy. Within his review Huesca acknowledges problems facing participatory communication:
 Practical impediments include a lack of institutional
 support as the approaches' long-range,
 time-consuming, and symbolic (conscientizacao,
 empowerment) dimensions do not conform
 to the evaluative criteria of many development
 bureaucracies.... [S]trong participatory projects
 transfer control from officials to beneficiaries
 and are often met with resistance from
 experts whose power is jeopardized. Conceptual
 impediments include definitional fuzziness ... [B]ecause
 of this definitional fuzziness, dominant
 communication patterns and oppressive
 social relationships can be and are reproduced
 under the guise of participation ... (p. 220)


At the same time, Huesca holds out some hope, since the ongoing process of participatory communication can become a "curriculum," in Quebral's phrase, noted above. Many organizations, both small and large NGOs, and schools have embraced the possibilities of participatory communication models and scholars seek to clarify concepts, including multiplicity and the primacy of culture (pp. 220- 221).

8. Karen Gwinn Wilkins (1999) begins with the assumption that to reshape the field of development communication we must situate its discourse and practice within the contexts of power. The early dominant paradigm articulated by Lerner, Schramm, and others assumed that media, as tools to promote national development goals would have the power to inspire individuals to act and think in modern, Western ways. The thinking of dependency scholars remained within a global structure that situated developing countries and kept power in the hands of wealthier nations. Participatory approaches to development drew attention to the power of local communities to recognize and resolve social concerns. The recent emergence of social movements complements participatory approaches by emphasizing the ability of marginal communities to control their own social change.

In looking to the future, Wilkins (2003) proposes a research agenda for development communication that balances attention to communication for development with attention to communication about development. Both these aspects of development communication now work within several overarching concerns: globalization and the attendant loss of power for local groups; the privatization of public programs, with development agencies looking for "partners" from business or media; the availability of new communication technologies; new social movements, including local participatory groups and transnational organizations; and sustainability, in development projects themselves and in the communication about them.

5. Concerns in Contemporary Development Communication

This section examines concerns in development communication in the light of new developments--some already raised above by Wilkins, Mody, and Steeves, for example. These grow out of ideas in the secondary stage: indigenous knowledge, participation, and empowerment.

A. Globalization

Most development communicators agree that globalization brings back aspects of the era of modernization theory with its concomitant dependence on the power of western technology. Today globalization is a phenomenon of the information/communication age. Mass produced computers, commercially proven satellites for exchange of information and data, the Internet and email facilities, digital telephony, and so on have converged to increase globalization.

The old threat of cultural imperialism has returned with the dominance of U.S. and Western media companies and media products, which foster an essentially uncritical participation in consumption. The culture of globalization highlights a culture of conspicuous consumption, which in an earlier time was said to be the self-indulgent pastime of the leisure class (Brown, 2001, p. 71). Such movements not only concentrate powers, but also economic and political ideas, often to the detriment of developing nations (Wilkins, 2003, p. 246). Aided by international institutions like the IMF and World Bank, the culture of globalization benefits from the strategies of the major actors in the international info-com industry, whose businesses promote the sale of hardware and software that do not often meet the needs of developing areas.

However, sometimes these global imperatives can serve development needs. A positive example is the growth of call centers. Here information technology makes it possible for Third World areas to integrate more with developed areas through communication practices. Moving away from the former "brain drain" concepts, wherein the talented people were carried away to the First World, the talented ones now work in their own countries, on files transported across the world by information technology. In another benefit from these global communication technologies, "mobile groups may stay connected with a diasporic identity across territorial boundaries" (Wilkins, 2003, p. 246).

B. Gender

The contributions of the female half of the world population in every field of development must be stressed (Moffat, Geadah, & Stuart, 1991). Every development funding agency seeks to address gender issues and to ensure women's participation in an often male-dominated developing world. Earlier research focused on how to help women get into more central positions "in a man's world." Increasingly now the emphasis is on the structural, institutional changing of the world so that all essentialist conceptions of gender, race, ethnicity, age, and other identities are questioned, leading to a more human world of equal citizens (Einsiedel, 2000).

On one level women's participation is a research priority, since women constitute a major work force in agricultural production, small industries, improvement of health and education, and other local community improvement programs such as primary education, clean water, cleanliness, etc. Women's involvement opens a space for a more participatory, dialogical, nondirective, and horizontal communication, which enables all in the group to gradually come into decision making and make a contribution to collective action. In these groups communication focuses not on the production of definitive messages to be "transmitted" by a powerful source to passive receivers, but on an ongoing process in which all participate. Recent programs of community radio, community video production, and popular theater have enabled women to reject hierarchical discourses and create a new mediated discourse in which their identities become part of the discourse. This can radically change accepted "media languages" (Rodriguez, 2001, pp. 109-128).

Riano (1994) outlines three key areas of research and action on gender issues. The first is to provide a space and a process for the articulation of women's competencies linked to their personal experience, their family experience, and their experience in groups. Since women are so central in development at the community and regional levels, this experience has to be channeled into decisions at the community level and to linkages with development organizations. Second, women's media production competencies need to be developed in all media, from group and community to national and international media. Third, women need to develop their capacities as socio-political actors both as protagonists in popular movements and in popular networking alliances and as representatives in governmental organizations.

On a deeper lever, an awareness of gender leads to more profound changes in development communication. As noted above, Steeves (2003) argues for a more positive role for women in initiating developmental efforts, by recognizing their spiritual, moral, critical, and feminist approaches. She also calls for a feminist critique of communication and development practices, noting that the very categories of traditional communication development research implicitly endorse capitalist patriarchy (p. 229). She extends this critique to development communication campaigns, which tend to promote scientific rationalism, nationalism, government-corporation alliances, and the exclusion and even oppression of women (pp. 230-231). A feminist critique encourages participatory communication, at the most basic levels.
 Issues of representation and participation cannot
 depend on macro-level change alone. Feminist
 scholars and activists must recognize that the
 democratization of communication is irrelevant
 to the majority of the world's women, who
 remain excluded from access to media or information
 technologies. Hence, projects focusing
 on basic access are critical. (p. 235)


She concludes by noting that, while usually ignored by development communication scholars, "the religious and spiritual basis of development communication" can have a more profound impact on cultures than the language of empowerment (p. 237).

C. The Entertainment-Education Syndrome

In general even developing countries regard mass media as tools for entertainment and wish fulfilment. The entertainment-education concept takes advantage of this by intentionally embedding educational messages in entertainment media in order to change individuals' knowledge, attitudes, and overt behavior. In recent years entertainment-education programs appeared on television in Latin America, Africa, and Asia on issues as wide-ranging as family planning (Rogers, Vaughan, Swalehe, Rao, Svenkerud, & Sood, 1999), HIV-AIDS prevention (Yoder, Robert, & Chirwa, 1996; Cullinan, 2001), female equality (Mlama, 1991), and environmental protection (Maibach, 1993).

However, if the merger of entertainment and education in media productions is not skillfully done and clever enough, programs tend to get preachy or patronizing; even villagers and less educated people detest that kind of treatment. If producers can merge the message with the entertainment with a certain subtlety, they can successfully teach and persuade. Here, one cannot underestimate the importance of entertainment in education. Anything deeply involving, gripping, captivating, and attention grabbing is capable of creating strong after-effects. People accept matters wholeheartedly when said well in an appealing and entertaining manner. The power of rhetoric in languages has the power to convince people. Satire, understatements, irony, wit, reproaches, and repartee are powerful means of communication. Thus, Singhal and Rogers (1999) call development communication producers to give more attention to the rhetorical, playful, and affective aspects of entertainment-education.

Tufte (2000) has noted that the traditional concept of entertainment-education can have a powerful impact for social change if properly complemented by discussions. His research shows that most of the women in his study demonstrated a strong identification with the emotional television dramas. This confirms a point made by Fuenzalida (1994): the fundamental emotional relation between media, culture, and everyday life. Telenovelas, for example, often proved more relevant to the Brazilian female audience than news broadcasts. Telenovelas, due to their widespread popularity in Latin American countries, constitute a much more important and relevant educational instrument than news programs or public service announcements. "The redundancy of the serials makes its attraction rationally inexplicable: but the interest is, precisely, emotional" (Fuenzalida, 1997, p. 25). This perspective also calls for modesty in expectations concerning the impacts of an entertainment-education intervention: "The educational efficiency of the televised messages depends much more on the viewers' perception than on the intentions of the broadcasting station" (Fuenzalida, 1994).

Telenovelas increase dialogue and debate and can break the silence around controversial or taboo issues. In Brazil, telenovelas from the late 1980s onwards introduced taboo issues. When embedded in identifiable settings and with realistic characters in a telenovela, these issues are not normally rejected but get debated. In HIV-AIDS communication, for example, taboo issues can be introduced, and discussions about these after the programs can help break the silence about, and the stigma concerning, people living with HIV.

In many other developing countries many watch serials or soaps as these have characters with whom the audiences identify intensely. The life-examples of the characters--their joys and sorrows, struggles and agonies--parallel those in real lives and hence the audiences confidently draw lessons from the way characters resolve their problems, making such programs valuable resources for development communication.

D. People-based Participatory Research

Regular research on how the media exposure affects social change is another component of using media for development (White, R., 1990, 1999). Such research involves the public at large and draws attention to the scope of a program and creates awareness among the target audience. For example, research among the target audience on the effect of an entertainment-education program in a village would show how much discussion and study of the issue at hand occurs at the village level. On the other hand, it might show that no discussions take place and people who watch the programs get the message right and they change their lives accordingly. Participatory research, as described by Tandon (1983), is itself a process of liberation that begins with faith in the people, the beneficiaries of development, and in their capacity to take their own decisions. It believes that the rural poor are voiceless not because they have nothing to say, but because nobody cares to listen to them. In this perspective, development begins with listening to the people. To accept this in actual practice is not easy, even for voluntary agencies working in development. Participatory research tries to make this happen.

Group action motivated by research teams has more efficacy--a consistent conclusion of studies of the empowering role of local groups of micro lenders in the Grameen Bank system of Bangladesh (Papa, Auwal, & Singhal, 1995,1997) and in the use of entertainment programs for development over radio in India (Papa, Singhal, Law, Pant, Sood, Rogers, & Shefner-Rogers, 2000). The research also shows that the groups involved in participatory research can also animate the villagers and motivate them for change. The role of the development communicators, planners, and researchers as facilitators is derived from participatory research methodologies much prevalent today in developing countries.

E. People's Movements and Empowerment Efforts

In some countries the NGO movement has come together to form people's movements that can highlight the kind of development that the people would really benefit from. Obviously this means a tremendous amount of communication at grass-roots levels involving participation at every stage of decision-making, sharing, collaboration, and final empowerment.

Recent research (Rucht, 1999) on people's social movements and the use of media in such movements develops the ideas of Servaes that movements are the major actors in the development process. Interestingly enough, these approaches are not particularly new. The model was clearly established in numerous institutions in the late 1800s and early 1900s in the form of the union movement, the cooperative movement, and many other such movements. Unfortunately, hegemonic interests which have controlled development institutions (such as the agricultural colleges and the rural extension systems) in the U.S. and in some European countries, supported the modernization paradigm over independent people's organizations, resulting in an ongoing investment in bureaucratic approaches to development.

The present context, however, lacks a theoretical explanation of how groups come into existence and reach the stage of acting as catalysts with service providers. More importantly, we still need to understand how local groups develop into large scale organizations aiming to transform the power structures around them. Often the presence of the NGO sector serves as a bottleneck in the formation of people's movements in many Third World countries, as these prefer to work alone and manage their finances.

Liberation from oppressive structures and empowerment of the people to take to action by themselves remain real concerns in development communication (see above, Section 2F). While the idea has been accepted, it is still a long way from full realization (Boeren, 1994). The power of group media like community radio, home-made videos, story telling forms, street plays, etc. in empowering people to take responsibilities and make calculated decisions has been established in many developing countries (Dagron, 2001), but the model has not spread widely enough.

Local groups and even individuals can play an empowering role. Locals who have a high sense of awareness achieved through media exposure can take animation programs among the rural folk to change attitudes and raise development issues. For example, several villages in India have combated the practice of excessive dowry in this way. Organizing for social changes has been done by several NGO groups. Here, the two-step flow of communication clearly played a key role in such processes. In the contexts of people's movements, media does matter, with the major focus of these movements being the reformulation of the media language in order to redefine and re-evaluate the identities and roles of the protagonists in the movements. The future of development communication depends much on the growth of stable people's movements around the developing world.

6. Some Conclusions: Development Communication--A Third World Perspective

The last 10 years have seen very little progress in development communication; the challenge comes down to honesty, sincerity, and commitment to the cause of development.

The lack of human dignity poses the greatest challenge to development today. Persons in the Third World, especially those living below the poverty line, need to feel that they too are human beings and that they need to live respectable human lives. Basic human rights like the right to live a respectable life, education, drinking water, participation in the democratic process, etc. are denied to many people. The media can highlight these issues. People can be made aware of these and prepared to take action against these oppressive structures. However, what happens in the face of systematic oppression and exploitation? Land reforms or any other ways to better the situation of the oppressed group is never allowed. Political structures often align with oppressive structures. Even the media are often helpless in such situations, especially if they are controlled by the ruling classes.

Today one must admit that the very economic and political structures of many nations and state governments cannot sustain steady development, and that democracies falter with corruption in election processes. The NGO sector is much vitiated, again with corruption and self interest. Human avarice and greed for power debilitate any positive development mechanisms. The situation seriously asks whether those who oppress the weaker sections can design ways to counter such misery, as most of those manning development projects belong to the upper class. In other words, will the upper class who by and large initiate research on development communication really get to the action that will weaken people of their status in society? Several of the development agencies and plans set up by the government or non-government agencies are not capable of withstanding the enormous challenges. Often many development communicators are trained as subject matter specialists (agriculturists, anthropologists, environmentalists, etc.) and not as communicators, social activists, educators, and animators.

The crux of development, as already mentioned, is the removal of the abominable disparity of wealth among the people that divides them into classes, land reform that gives equal shares of land to all, democratic governance that permits equal opportunities for political participation for all, the removal of all types of corruption from the ranks of those in power, and the careful cultivation of human rights and human dignity among all, especially among the poor and the marginalized. Instead of looking outside to technologies and ideas imported from the West, emphasis should be on self-reliance and developing appropriate technologies that can help agriculture produce more. The media can only highlight the need for these and any action towards this has to be moved by the government.

Over the years, research in the developed and developing world made certain facts clear with regard to development communication. Conclusively one can say the following: The real causes of underdevelopment lie in the very structures which lead to the oppression of a group where development of one sector (the upper, for example) comes at the expense of the lower sectors. NGOs are not able to tackle this massive problem. Only a government that aims primarily at an egalitarian society can bring about the development of all in any country. In such a system of government, mass media and group media can play major roles in development. If development is to be understood as the mobilization of all the human, social, and economic resources to better the quality of life of all the people, certain attitudes and conditions need to be met in every country. These include

1. Unity in the community;

2. Selfless leadership, working only for the common good;

3. Making the government personnel responsible for developments in the villages: create awareness among the people so that they demand that the government machinery work. The NGOs need to work in tandem with the government with financial support only from the government.

Based on these assumptions, let us see what the future holds.

Projecting success stories on the media

The media need to project successful development stories at regular intervals. This gives tremendous confidence to those involved and inspires others to act similarly. If an NGO has had a successful literacy campaign, every media outlet needs to publicize it.

An Ethical Note--Compassion

Whatever power theorists may attribute to communications for development, it is only a help in development. Governments and NGOs may get involved in development, but debilitating corruption runs deep. Any development project to be run without corruption needs a tremendous love for humanity and a sense of service which embraces a certain compassion for the less privileged segments of humanity.

As I close I want to reiterate that communications media can only inform. However persuasive the media, change agents have to get into action to make things happen. Ultimately, the sincerity and commitment of these agents are major factors in any developmental concern.

Editor's Afterword

Development communication has been with us a long time, in one form or another, but it has only been institutionalized and turned into something resembling an academic discipline during the past 50 years. Previously, its foundations had been laid in the colleges of "agriculture and mechanic arts" ("A&M") of the United States and some other countries, where practical necessity had created a demand for kinds of knowledge that met the needs of farmers, technicians, and others which were not addressed by more traditional academic disciplines. The rise of these more practical "arts" in academic respect was paralleled by a similar rise in the respectability of the social sciences, including those related to communication. Working together, the efforts of the applied physical sciences and the social sciences have created avenues of promise towards the solution of many of the problems of poverty and underdevelopment.

As some of the writers cited above in this issue of Trends have made clear, the challenges facing development workers, including development communicators, have mushroomed, rather than receding. The technical instruments that can be used to fight poverty and the various kinds of underdevelopment have multiplied and have been refined, but their effective application to the sources of development problems has often been stymied. Modern communication media are important weapons in this struggle, but their effectiveness, too, has often been disappointing. The task of development communications workers--at both the theoretical and practical levels--is to make the instruments of communication progressively more effective.

The means for improving efforts at development are diverse, but their benefits must be balanced against each other. For example, they include improving crop yields but also establishing the social and political mechanisms needed to guarantee proper distribution of the benefits of such crops. The advantages such innovations may give to some producers are likely to create severe disadvantages, even starvation, for their competitors. International agreements are just as likely to cause hardships to some segments of a population as they are to bring wealth to other segments.

The need for international cooperation in development of all kinds is obvious. The need to ensure that it is the right kind of cooperation--providing for the well-being of all stakeholders in the process--also is obvious. But special interests always are present in any decision-making mechanism, whether governmental or privately controlled, and they almost inevitably will skew development decisions in directions that have advantages for privileged segments of the stakeholder population and consequent disadvantages for others. A governmental structure that is thoroughly democratic will provide some protection from this tendency, but democracy, in itself, will not completely prevent abuses.

To keep both big government and big business "honest," powerful and respected social institutions beyond their control are essential. Among these, the Fourth Estate has been recognized for the past two centuries as preeminent. A free press--now including other mass media under the label, "press"--is not only essential for the preservation of democracy, but also for ensuring that development will benefit all stakeholders, not just a privileged few. Diversity of both ownership and editorial control among the various mass media will provide another safeguard against their being coopted by some hegemonic special interest.

Communication scholars, too, should be governed by some of the same considerations as those that ensure press freedom. Dedication to scientific and ethical principles of research is, of course, a starting point. But funding, political interests, and opportunities for publication of the research are among the many possible occasions for undue pressures to be exerted on the researcher. The nature of development communication raises special needs for ethical caution, since its findings can be used to steer development activities, by governments or private entities, in specific directions, sometimes with considerable financial implications.

--W. E. Biernatzki, S.J.

General Editor, CRT

Note: Portions of this essay appeared in Srampickal, J. (2006). Communication for education and development as a key to formation: Development communication studies at CICS in perspective. In J. Srampickal, G. Mazza, & L. Baugh (Eds.), CrossConnections: Interdisciplinary Communication Studies at the Gregorian University (pp., 343-360). Rome: Editrice Pontificia Universita Gregoriana.

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Journals on development communication

Communicator. New Delhi. Quarterly dealing with current issues in development communication.

ExpressionS: Facilitating Communication. Occasional development communication journal, from Abhivyakti, Nashik, India.

Gazette: The International Journal for Communication Studies. University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Edited by Cees Hamelink, Gazette is one of the world's leading communication journals publishing wide-ranging scholarly articles from the international community of communication scholars. The journal covers all aspects of communications including the modern mass media, the traditional media, community and alternative media, telecommunications and information and communication technologies.

Journal of Development Communication. Asian Institute for Development Communication (Aidcom), 6th Floor, APDC Building, Persiaran Duta, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Fax: (603) 6201-3785; email: devcom@ pc.jaring.my. Scientific journal on development communication.

Media Development. Monthly from World Association of Christian Communications, London. www.wacc .org.uk.

Media Asia. AMIC, 39 Newton Road, Singapore 1130, Singapore. Quarterly journal on mass media, focus on Asia-Pacific. Occasional articles on development communication.

Web resources

Asia Pacific Development Communication Centre. Dhurakij Pundit University, Bangkok, Thailand. http://www.dpu .ac.th/adcc/

Asian Institute for Development Communication: http://www.aidcom.com/

Centre for Communication for Development and Social Change. University of Queensland, Australia. http://www.uq.edu.au/journ-comm/?page =44029&pid=0

Communication For Social Change. South Orange, New Jersey, USA. http://www.communicationforsocial change.org/

id21: international development research from the UK. Institute of Development Studies. Brighton, UK. id21. http://www.ids.ac.uk/

International Institute for Communication and Development. The Hague, Netherlands. http://www.iicd.org/

International Development Research Centre. Ottawa, Canada. http://www.iicd.org/

Panos Institute. London, U.K. http://www.panos.org.uk/

Sustainable Development Communications Network. Winnipeg, Canada: http://www.sdcn.org/. Gateway to other materials gathered by the SDCN: http://www.sdgateway.net/

The Communication Initiative. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. http://www.comminit.com/

United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. www.fao.org

World Bank resources on Development Communication: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TO PICS/EXTDEVCOMMENG/0,,menuPK:34000201 ~pagePK:34000189~piPK:34000199~theSitePK :423815,00.html

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Jacob Srampickal, S.J.

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