There are varied approaches to handle development communication which are not
exclusive to each other. The main approaches are:
1. Diffusion/extension approach
2. Mass Media approach
3. Development support communication approach
4. Institutional approach
5. Integrated approach
6. Localized approach to Dev Com
7. Planned strategy to Dev Com
Diffusion/ extension Approach to Development Communication:
The main focus of this approach is the adoption of technological and social innovations through diffusion of new ideas, services and products. Diffusion of both material and social innovations is necessary for development. Material innovations refer to economic and technological innovations and social innovations pertain to social needs and structure.
The process of diffusion starts with the need of individual and community decisions for acceptance and rejection of innovations depend primarily on the needs of the adopters. The resultant consequences of diffusion can be direct/indirect, latent/manifest, and functional/dysfunctional. The early models of diffusion focussed only on material growth. But it was soon realized that social growth along with material growth was necessary for diffusion of products, ideas and services. Therefore, diffusion decisions have to handle the economic, technological and social constraints .
Mass Media Approach Development Communication:
A well-defined developed mass media and interpersonal communication infrastructure is necessary for development communication. It is necessary that these infrastructures should be accessible to the people, both physically and socially. The content of the messages should be balanced. The content should be both rural and urban oriented and addressed to masses in both sectors. The messages should be need-based and they should appeal to the audience.
The integrated approach to development communication emphasizes the need to avoid duplication and waste in development efforts. The balance in the spread of
information facilities must be maintained both for rural and urban, backward and
Institutional approach focuses on education for development.
The emphasis is on literacy-universal education, adult education, formal and non-formal education. There is emphasis on need-based training and development – oriented programmes conducive to development.
Development support communication:
In the development context, communication strives not only to inform and educate but also to motivate people and secure public participation in the growth and change process. A widespread understanding of development plans is an essential stage in the public cooperation for national development.
Development communication and development support communication are thus two different terms.
Development Communication communicates development messages to people for betterment of their economic and social conditions, where Development Support Communication addresses development planning and the plan of operation for implementation. But often these two terms are substituted for each other.
Planned Strategy for Development Communication:
The success of development communication depends on team approach, i.e. the coordination between the communication agencies (extension workers, radio, TV, Press, etc.) and development agencies.
Community-based communication system approaches may be evolved to ensure greater participation of local people in planning and production of communication material which is community-based.