Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Development communication-Introduction

Development communication  referred to as "communication for development' "development support communication' and  "communication for social change. Development Communication can be simply define, when communication is used to promote social development. Systematically applying the processes, strategies. The principles of communication to bring out positive social changes called development communication .

During the period of world war II, the term “Development Communication” was first introduced.

The Dominant Paradigm: Modernization

This dominant paradigm rooted in the concept of  development as modernization.  It emerged after  World War II. The central idea of this dominant paradigm was to solve development problems by "modernizing" underdeveloped countries. This approach advised the society, how to be effective in following in the footsteps of richer, more developed countries. Development was equated with economic growth. 

Communication was associated with the dissemination of information and messages aimed at modernizing "backward" countries and their people. Mass media were at the center of communication initiatives that relied heavily on the traditional vertical or one-way model: Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver (SMCR).
Widely criticized paradigm of  modernization has been in part abandoned—and a new paradigm has yet to be fully embraced.'

The Opposing Paradigm: Dependency

In the 1960s strong opposition to the modernization paradigm led to the emergence of an alternative theoretical model based on the dependency theory. It is rooted in a political-economic perspective. 
This school of thought criticized some of the core assumptions of the modernization paradigm such as  neglecting social, historical, and economic factors.  They also accused the dominant paradigm of being very Western-centric, refusing or neglecting any alternative route to development. The dependency theorists emphasized the importance of the link between communication and culture. It was  demand  more balanced and equitable exchange of communication, information, and cultural programs among rich and poor countries.

Although the dependency theory had gained a significant impact in the 1970s. Yet in the 1980s it started to lose relevance

The Emerging Paradigm: Participation

 This participatory model is less oriented to the political-economic dimension and more rooted in the cultural realities of development focusing on people's participation began to emerge.

The development focus has shifted from economic growth and include other social dimensions needed to ensure meaningful results in the long run.  Participation is increasingly recognized as a necessary part of sustainable development strategies'  

It emphasized the  application of genuine two-way communication principles and practices.  Development communication has increasingly moved toward a horizontal, "two-way" model, which favors people's active and direct interaction through consultation and dialog over the traditional one-way information dissemination through mass media.

This approach insist the  need ofinvolvement of the affected people in the decision-making process.   The horizontal use of communication, which opens up dialog, assesses risks, identifies solutions, and seeks consensus for action, came to be seen as a key to the success and sustainability of development efforts.  This paradigm is changing the way communication is conceived and applied. It shifts the emphasis from information dissemination to situation analysis, from persuasion to participation. It is broadening its scope, maintaining the key functions of informing people and promoting change, yet emphasizing the importance of using communication to involve stakeholders in the development process.

Source paolo mefalopulos- developement communication source book