[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
AFRO-NETS> The Drum Beat - 14 - Communication for Social Change - March 1, 1999
- Subject: AFRO-NETS> The Drum Beat - 14 - Communication for Social Change - March 1, 1999
- From: Warren Feek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 02:13:49 -0500 (EST)
The Drum Beat - 14 - Communication for Social Change - March 1, 1999
Contact: Warren Feek
COMMUNICATION FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
This issue of The Drum Beat focuses on The Rockefeller Foundation fa-
cilitated "Communication for Social Change" Network. This international
group of practitioners, policy developers and funders is exploring the
most effective ways for communication interventions to support and pro-
mote development. To learn more about "Communication for Social Change"
contact Denise Gray Felder email@example.com and Brian Byrd
firstname.lastname@example.org in the Dept. of Communications at The Rockefeller
Improving the effectiveness of the contribution communication can make
to development requires an assessment of trends in both communications
structures and development agenda and priorities. The Network's analy-
sis is based on a number of observations: information technologies, me-
dia liberalisation and fragmentation, and economic and cultural global-
isation have created new communications environments in developing
countries; there is still an information chasm between South and North
and between elites and the general population in the South; and, the
development agenda increasingly emphasises long term actions people can
take relevant to their own circumstances, as reflected in the growing
call for sustainability, capacity building and participation and an in-
creased focus on gender and culture. These trends heighten the need and
create a positive environment for communication for social change poli-
cies and interventions.
While recognising the value of communication strategies focused on in-
dividual behaviour change, there is a need for communication strategies
and activities to move: "from [present focus on] people as objects of
change... to people and communities as agents of their own change; from
the design and communication of 'messages'... to fostering dialogue and
debate; from a focus on individual behaviours... to a focus on social
norms, policies, culture and a supportive environment".
Therefore the Communication for Social Change approach is to view com-
munication as "a process of public and private dialogue through which
people define who they are, what they want, and how they can get it".
The emphasis is on "supporting improvements to the lives of the politi-
cally and economically marginalized ... informed by principles of tol-
erance, self-determination, equity, social justice and active partici-
pation for all".
The Network draws its analysis and direction from a variety of program-
ming experiences, including:
Community Radio - 'Pulsar' was initiated in 1996 to provide community
radio stations in Latin America with stories and information relevant
to civil society. Pulsar's central focus is the right to communicate.
It strives to increase the credibility and impact of community radio in
order to promote pluralism and participation at local, national and re-
Jose Ignacio Lopez Vigil
Poverty - The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa ad-
dressed the violence aspects of the political change process. There was
an equally serious problem with the social ravages of apartheid, in-
cluding the consequences of education, housing, employment and other
policies. A number of community groups created the National Poverty
Hearings as a communication strategy to address this perspective. The
hearings, held throughout South Africa, provided people living in pov-
erty, community and national decision makers, and experts with an op-
portunity to present and debate their experiences and perspectives. As
a result of this process the Government adopted the current National
Media Pluralism - The "Strengthening Democracy and Governance through
Development of the Media" project in Mozambique commenced in 1997. Its
core philosophy is media pluralism, a national media structure that al-
lows presentation of a range of voices and views. The project supports
the development of independent media and the decentralising of media
primarily based in Maputo.
Violence Against Women - Soul City has been working with The National
Network on Violence Against Women (NNVAW) in South Africa to prompt a
national debate on issues related to violence against women. After 2
years planning, this initiative will go public in July 1999. The Soul
City communication vehicles, including popular prime time radio and
television dramas, schools learning kits, print materials, media rela-
tions and government and corporate partnerships will be used to raise
the debate. Other goals include: inform women of their rights and advo-
cate for healthy public policy to eradicate violence against women.
Dr Shereen Usdin
Supporting individuals and organizations currently engaged in or want-
ing to practice communication for social change by sharing knowledge
and skills is a key aspect of the Network's focus. The intention is to
find ways to share information and expertise, so that we don't reinvent
the wheel and do involve and introduce knowledge that comes from the
peoples and communities experiencing major development concerns. A
group from within the network is examining different ways to spread
learning, including a site-specific strategy. Suggestions most welcome.
The Network is seeking a set of relationships that will expand engage-
ment, debate and action from its perspective on communication and de-
velopment. The processes need to be innovative, interactive, organic,
user-friendly, culturally sensitive, and broad-based (both in terms of
reach and use of media). Next steps include mapping the field for
knowledge and work that already exists and sharing the mission of the
inquiry with practitioners interested in contributing their knowledge.
Suggestions are welcome
MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION
A major challenge in evaluation is agreement on the set of core indica-
tors on which to collect information. Those indicators need to provide
short-term feedback that predicts long term change and relates the com-
munication intervention to that change. The Network has begun the proc-
ess of applying itself to this task. 6 general indicators have been de-
veloped. 3 of these are: expanded public and private dialogue and de-
bate; increased accuracy of the information that people share in the
dialogue/debate; supported the people centrally affected by an issue[s]
voicing their perspective. These provide a strong social change per-
spective to balance the established behavioural approaches to evalua-
A list of people involved in the Communication and Social Change net-
work can be found on:
Your views and opinions are most welcome. To learn more and/or contrib-
Denise Gray Felder
The Drum Beat will post further information about the Network as it de-
Based on contributions from The Rockefeller Foundation's Communication
for Social Change Network.
The Drum Beat Editor
Send mail for the `AFRO-NETS' conference to `email@example.com'.
Mail administrative requests to `firstname.lastname@example.org'.
For additional assistance, send mail to: `email@example.com'.