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Some development communication scenarios Introduction One of the most significant and exciting developments in reconstituting government communication systems in South Africa, has been the commitment to a democratic, participatory and responsive public Development communication in africa programme where people are the most important ingredient.
By this we mean that government communication is driven by the needs of people, that it facilitates citizen participation in the creation and use of information, and that it opens the activities of government to public scrutiny thus promoting democracy and efficiency.
These aims were spelt out in the Comtask Report of October which ushered in a new order in public information systems. In this regard a few important points should be made: Development communication can be seen as a thread linking a number of national development Development communication in africa aimed at eradicating socio-economic drawbacks.
As development communication is practiced in a number of spheres in which public policy is exercised - sanitation, health, safety, economic stability, agriculture, land rights etc - the approach requires careful co-ordination if it is not to deteriorate into a haphazard and water-down effort - doing the right thing in the wrong way!
In South Africa, Multi-purpose Community Centres have been identified as vehicles through which development communication activities can reach communities. It should be recognised that the development communication approach is wider than the MPCC initiative and drives the service and information delivery approach used by a number of government departments.
The development communication approach is expressed and enhanced, in the South African context, through its connection with the following efforts: Development communication is about the content of what is communicated as well as the context how the message is relayed to the receiver.
Historical snippets Development communication is an approach perfected by the developing world.
This approach was first used in the agricultural sector and the first development communication agents were village level agricultural extension officers. The approach flourished from the s onwards and roughly paralleled the de-colonisation experiences of many developing nations. What is development communication?
This describes an approach to communication which provides communities with information they can use in bettering their lives, which aims at making public programmes and policies real, meaningful and sustainable.
Such information must be applied in some way as part of community development but it must also address information needs which communities themselves identified.
The outcome of this approach, in short, is to make a difference in the quality of life of communities.
Nora Quebral, a leading academic in this field defines development communication as follows: 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 fulfillment of the human potential.
Communication for development The discipline of communication offers the development process a number of inputs: Key elements of the development communication approach It is responsive: It is also fundamentally about consultative processes being managed at community level.
Development Communication workers should, however, balance creativity with an understanding of what communities would be prepared to accept and where consideration has been given to the norms and prevailing values of that community. This approach builds participatory mechanisms and functional networks involving NGOs, CBOs, Traditional Leadership structures while also encouraging links with networks from across the country and indeed all over the world.
These can either prove or disprove the validity of the information transmitted. The standards, norms, values, habits of the community are paramount. This may mean that those accustomed to a liaison style hinging on comfortable hotels with prepared meals and warm fluffy duvets will need to make some adjustments to their style!
A primary emphasis of this approach is to plan with communities, create structures which offer communities and developers equal power, and use communication methods which are fundamentally participatory in nature.
This often requires that government planners, developers or community workers have to listen to the advice of communities and change the views they themselves hold. This approach reverses the practice of communities having to travel long distances and at relatively great cost to access government Services and information.
This is made worse when government is not clearly and properly identifiable and access is difficult because of inaccessible buildings, unfriendly and unprofessional staff etc. The development communication approach brings government employees face to face with communities so promoting accountability at local level.
This is not possible when civil servants are remote and impersonal. Methods used for development communication The local adopter: A community liaison programme which links with the life rhythms of that community: Videos then record issues important to the community -either feature as the content of the next community meeting or sent to decision makers in provincial capitals, nationally etc - why not let communities capture things for the Cabinet?
Some of the themes could be: Is the Kei District Council on track? This could be a campaign leading up to a public meeting with government decision makers on Youth Day rather than an expensive bash at a stadium which has little developmental value and entrenches negative stereotypes of young people as frivolous and disinterested in their future!
It is an open discussion following the principles of small group dynamics and where specific deliverables - questions to be answered, products to be introduced, programmes to be initiated - are brainstormed.
This can take the form of a studio panel discussing a relevant topic, where use is made of the Telecentre where communities can gather to phone in. In another iteration this medium can operate as follows: The GCIS Communication Office runs discussion circles across the district on a topic which communities have identified - perhaps domestic violence.
This happens over a one or two week period.development communication in rural Africa with a view to conceptualizing a new approach, 17 which will address the challenges and constraints in Africa Rural Development.
This alignment, according to Ayedun-Aluma () is necessary, if Africa is to develop. The dominant paradigm has been associated with a one way dissemination of. Development communication has given little attention to the peculiar circumstances and traditions of various world regions, choosing instead to search for continuities and broadly generalizable principles, the present analysis argues for the need to treat African nations .
Development communication efforts, along with other development strategies, have failed to improve the conditions of women on a global scale, and when compared with men, women are disproportionately subject to poverty, illiteracy, domestic violence, discrimination, and barriers to senior professional positions, even in development organizations (Harbour & Twist, ).
Communication Development in Africa and its Impact on Cultural Synchronization of Africa and its People.
by Cecil A. Blake.* Abstract This paper examines the problems and prospects of the development and application of communication infrastructures and products in order to.
states in Africa, Asia and the success of socialist and popular movements in Cuba, China, Chile and other countries provided the key themes at the World Summit on Social Development held in,,, Communication. Approaches to Development Communication 1. Communication and the Persistence of Poverty: The Need for a Return to Basics.
CULTURE, COMMUNICATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA A Paper Prepared for the African Itinerant College for Culture and Development African Institute for Economic Development .