Monday, 9 February 2015

The Scope and Uses of Development Communication

Development communication into two basic modes: the "monologic" mode, based on the classical one-way communication model associated with diffusion, and the "dialogic" mode, based on the interactive two-way model, associated with participa­tory approaches. Being familiar with these two modes helps one to better under­stand which to apply under what circumstances. 

Monologic Mode: One-Way Communication for Behavior Change
The monologic mode is linked to the development communication perspective known as "diffusion."  It is based on the one-way flow of information for the purpose of disseminating information and messages to induce change. Its main intentions can be divided into two different types of applications: 

(1) communication to inform and 
(2) communication to persuade.

"Communication to inform" typically involves a linear transmission of infor­mation, usually from a sender to many receivers. It is used when raising awareness or providing knowledge on certain issues is considered enough to achieve the intended goal.  These approaches are frequently used in health initiatives. 

 Its underlying assumption is that indi­vidual attitudes and behaviors can be changed voluntarily through communication and persuasion" techniques and the related use of effective messages. 
The primary objective is for the sender to be able to persuade the receivers about the intended change.  

Dialogic Mode: Two-Way Communication for Engagement and Discovery
On the other hand, the dialogic mode is associated with the emerging participatory paradigm. It is based on the horizontal, two-way model of communication, creating a constructive environment where stakeholders can participate in the definition of problems and solutions. The main purposes of this model can be divided into two broad types of applications: 
(1) communication to assess; and 
(2) communication to empower.

"Communication to assess" is used as a research and analytical tool that,  can be used effectively to investi­gate any issue, well beyond those strictly related to the communication dimension. The power of dialogic communication is applied to engage stakeholders in explor­ing, uncovering, and assessing key issues, opportunities, and risks of both a techni­cal and political nature.

Dialogic communication is empower and effective as a problem-solving tool, also builds confidence, prevent conflicts, and addresses the issue of poverty by engaging the poorest and most marginal sectors in the process concerning issues of relevance to them. 

The overall goal of the dialogic mode is to ensure mutual understanding and to make the best use of all possible knowledge in assessing the situation, building con­sensus, and looking for appropriate solutions. By facilitating dialog with key stake­holders, this type of communication enhances the analysis and minimizes risks.