Development Communication - Definitions

Definitions

Development communication is recognizing the power of communication as a catalyst for social development. It is also the utilization of existent communication tools and applicable theories for result-driven strategies for the advancement of society.

Development communication can also be defined as purposive communication intended for a specific target audience that allows for the translation of information into action resulting in a higher quality of life.

It is greatly linked with the concept of sustainable development (which can be defined as the improvement of a community using information and technology and the community's ability to maintain the created ideal state without compromising its environment and resources). It also relies greatly on Community and People Participation, which is the voluntary involvement of a group of people in a development activity with full knowledge of its purpose that will allow them to grow individually and as a community.

Development communication is the process of eliciting positive change (social, political, economic, moral, environmental, etc.) through an effective exchange of pertinent information in order to induce people to action.

If the present understanding of communication and development are integrated, the horizon of a practitioner's understanding of development communication will widen. It will not be limited by historical definitions but include the following elements and more such aspects. Development "communication" thus would include: information dissemination on developmental schemes/projects, communication for eliciting positive change, interactivity, feedback on developmental issues, feedback/reverse communication for eliciting change. On development side, sustainability issues need to be given proper importance vis-a-vis economic development.

Development support communication (DSC) can be described as development planning and implementation in which adequate action is taken of human behavioural factors in the design of development project and their objectives. It addresses development planning and the plan of operation for implementation. Development support communication is urgently suggested by UNESCO, UNDP and communication scholars and practitioners worldwide. DSC stands for linking all agencies involved in the planned development works such as political executives, political planners, development administrators, subject specialists, field workers, opinion leaders, media representatives, researchers and the beneficiaries who continue the final delivery points and the consumers of the information. The route of communication envisaged are not only vertical as flowing from upper level to bottom or bottom level to upwards but also horizontal between the institutions and personnel connected with the process of development.

The fundamental objective of DSC is to communicate the latest skills, knowledge and innovation to the agriculturists so that by adopting them the agriculturists may increase their output manifold. In this connection three vital groups are identified which are as follows:

  1. Innovation or knowledge generation
  2. Political leaders or government of the state
  3. Users of the knowledge or agriculturists

A very close interaction is necessary among the three groups as mentioned above, to achieve the success of development support communication. (Phazcom 26.02.09.)

International communication, the intellectual field that deals with issues of mass communication at a global level, is sometimes also called development communication. This field includes the history of the telegraph, submarine communication cables, shortwave or international broadcasting, satellite television, and global flows of mass media. Today it includes issues of the Internet in a global perspective and the use of new technologies such as mobile phones in different parts of the world.

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