A quick look at some relevant books in the evolving field of development communications or communicating for development. Since these terms can be interpreted different ways, some of these documents take very different approaches.
If you have a view on these or can suggest other titles, please leave a comment below.
Communication for Another Development: Listening before Telling
Wendy Quarry and Ricardo Ramirez
Paperback, 168 pages
Published by Zed Books, 2009
Profile: Argues that in the development process, communication is everything. The authors are expert teachers, practitioners and theorists and argue that Communication for Development is a creative and innovative way of thinking that can permeate the overall approach to any development initiative. They illustrate their argument with vivid case studies and tools for the reader, drawing on the stories of individual project leaders who have championed development for communication, and using a range of situations to show the different possibilities in various contexts.
Reviews: "A book about development and why it too often goes wrong...argues that the development sector mainly uses communication to tell people what to do or think, rarely to listen and learn what people think and know. Funny and entertaining, it provides insight into the value, potential - and ultimately hugely frustrating practice - of using communication to listen rather than tell. Anyone interested in development will learn much from this book." "A highly readable, information-packed, lucid book on the challenges and successes of communication for international social change, showing how grassroots communication contributes to sustainable change." "Should become required reading for communication for development practitioners. Lays bare the reasons why we are so often frustrated with the outcomes of our work, while showing clearly the opportunities for creative support of empowering development from good deployment of communication processes."
Communication for Development and Social Change
Edited by Jan Servaes
Paperback: 356 pages
Published by Sage Publications, 2nd edition (2008)
Profile: Underlines that development communication: is about people and the process needed to facilitate their sharing of knowledge and perceptions in order to effect positive developmental change; is based on dialogue necessary to promote stakeholders' participation; follows the two-way, horizontal model and makes use of emerging many to many forms of communication made possible through new technologies; gives voice to those most affected by the development issue(s) at stake, allowing them to participate directly in defining and implementing solutions and identifying development directions; recognizes that reality is largely socially constructed-and thus culture-specific; uses a number of tools, techniques, media and methods to facilitate mutual understanding, define and bridge differences of perceptions, and take action towards change.
Communicating For Development: Human Change for Survival
Colin Fraser and Sonia Restrepo-Estrada
Published by I.B. Tauris, February 1998
Hardcover price: $94.00
Paperback price: $26.95
Profile: focuses on communication processes in development. Shows how communication can be used to mobilize societies, facilitate democratic and participatory decision making, and help people acquire new knowledge and skills. Social mobilization worldwide for child immunization; communication as a means of facilitating rapid advances in family planning; and the use of video to enable peasant farmers to participate in their own development.
Communicating for Development: A New Pan-Disciplinary Perspective
Edited by Andrew A. Moemeka
Published by SUNY Press, April 1994
Hardcover - 280 pages.
Paperback - 280 pages.
Profile: discusses the place of communication in economic development and social change, not only as it pertains to 'developing' societies, but also as it relates to the "developed" societies where socio-economic advancement has created a pressing need for social change or the elimination of the dysfunctional effects of industrial development. Addressed are historical development, theoretical perspectives, and implementation strategies and methods.
Review: "revitalizes the study of 'development communication.' Since information and communication processes are becoming crucial to competitive health, this topic has both theoretical and practical relevance."
Communicating for development: experience in the urban environment
Edited by Catalina Gandelsonas.
Published by ITDG Pub., 2002.
Profile: Communicating urban research knowledge in international development cooperation; the information and knowledge management systems of the urban poor; the role of communication in urban communities; information dissemination and exchange through formal and informal networking; cultural differences and legibility; barriers and gaps; cities, NGOs and the cultural politics of development discourse. Case studies: broadcasting for change; national and regional Internet-based research networks; electronic conferencing; Pakistan - building capacity among industrialists for pollution abatement; building for safety in Bangladesh; communication in HIV/AIDS prevention: a case study from Vietnam.
Review: "How can the lessons of good practice and innovation and the results of research benefit the poor? Challenges traditional participatory methods of relating to the needs of poor urban communities and proposes instead the application of new communication and knowledge management methods currently used in business management."
Communication for Development in the Third World: Theory and Practice for Empowerment
Srinivas R Melkote and H Leslie Steeves
Hardcover: 422 pages
Published by Sage Publications Pvt. Ltd, December 2001 (2nd ed)
Review: "an excellent decade-by-decade analysis of the theory and practice of DC by a Third World scholar who has not only learnt about problems of development from books but has experienced them"
Communication in development
Fred L. Casmir
Paperback: 352 pages
Published by Greenwood Publishing Group, 1991
Profile: Until the past decade, development experts shared a conception of how to facilitate development in the Third World countries of Latin America, Africa, and Asia. One essential factor in this paradigm was the role of mass media communication. The media were expected to convey useful information from government development programs to their intended audiences. This dominant paradigm of mainly one-way communication flows did not lead to widespread development in the Third World. Instead, scholars and development planners began to search for alternative models of development and for other conceptions of development communication.
Review: "Growing out of dissatisfaction with the theory and implications of the dominant developmental paradigm (of mainly one-way communication flows from developers to "developees"), this volume explores alternative viewpoints of development communication, with chapters focusing on Japan, Korea, Nigeria, Poland, China, Brazil, Latin America, Australian aborigines, Canada, and Germany."
Development Communication: Reframing the Role of the Media
Edited by Thomas L. McPhail
Paperback: 256 pages
Published by Wiley-Blackwell (May 2009)
Profile: Media scholars explore the details of communication in areas where modernization has failed to deliver change. Discusses the major approaches and theories including educational issues of training, literacy, schooling, and use of media from print and radio to video and the internet. Explores the role of NGOs, the CNN Effect, and the power of grass-roots movements and 'bottom-up' approaches that challenge the status quo in global media.
Review: "an astute look at how the field of development communication has changed over time and why it has so much potential as a tool in development".
Communication for Development: Reinventing Theory and Action
Published in 2009
Volume – 1: Understanding Development Communication
Volume – 2: Advanced Development Communication
Distributed by B.R. World of Books, New Delhi
Profile: Volume 1 covers rural development and social movements, the use of technologies with a distinct focus on India and empowering users.
Volume 2 includes women’s empowerment, health communication, family welfare and population communication, environmental communication, the digital divide, political economy, and ethics.
Participatory Development Communication: A West African Agenda
Guy Bessette and C.V. Rajasunderam
Published by IDRC, 1996.
Online. 138 pg.
Profile: The International Development Research Centre created CIME, a development communication program that reflects the interrelations between Communication at the grassroots level, the exchange of Information, two-way Media, and nonformal Education. This book presents the conceptual framework that led to the articulation of the CIME program. It explains in detail how the program was formulated, with references to the recommendations of a meeting of Central and West African NGOs held in Burkina Faso in November 1994. It also draws from the recommendations of a February 1995 meeting in Canada, attended by Canadian experts in development communication and representatives of West African NGOs taking part in the program. This book presents valuable information on the use of participatory communication for nonformal education, on the specific needs of women and young girls, and on the roles they can play as communicators within their community.
Available entirely free online (PDF).
Development Communication Sourcebook: Broadening the Boundaries of Communication
Published by The World Bank, 2008.
Profile: "The main reason for writing this book was not simply to gather, organize, and disseminate knowledge on development communication. Rather, it was to make the case for its systematic adoption in development policies and practices. These are the two key messages of this publication: (1) two-way communication, when used from the onset of a development initiative, is not only a useful but also a necessary ingredient to enhance development initiatives and avoid the failures of the past, and (2) two-way communication should be applied professionally by specialists familiar with the rich body of knowledge and the diverse range of methods, techniques, and tools of development communication."
Available entirely free online (PDF).
World Congress on Communication for Development : lessons, challenges, and the way forward
Online. 308 pages
Published by The World Bank, 2007, with the FAO and The Communication Initiative
Profile: The ﬁrst World Congress on Communication for Development sought to provide the evidence and make the arguments for placing Communication for Development much closer to the center of development policy and practice. The Congress did so by creating a space for practitioners, academicians, and decision makers to come together formally and informally to review impact data, share experiences on processes and approaches, listen to stories, learn from new research, and strengthen networks.The United Nations deﬁnes Communication for Development as a process that “allows communities to speak out, express their aspirations and concerns, and participate in the decisions that relate to their development”. This contrasts sharply with the tendency to associate “communication” with dissemination, information, messages, media, and persuasion. “Communication for Development” encompasses these concepts but embraces a much broader vision. it is fundamentally a social process to involve people in their own development. Includes 'Sex, Lies, and Stories of AIDS', 'Communication for Polio Eradication and Immunization', 'Health Care, Communication, and Rights', and 'Enabling the Voices of Those Most Affected by Ill Health to Be Heard and Acted Upon'.
Available entirely free online (PDF).
Strategic Communication for Behaviour & Social Change in South Asia
UNICEF working Paper.
Online. 72 pages.
Profile: Working paper captures the essence of the 2004 Experts’ Consultation on Strategic Communication for Development in South Asia. Presents a synthesis of experiences in applying various communication approaches ranging from mass communication and entertainment education, interpersonal communication, participatory development communication, advocacy and social mobilisation.
Available entirely free online (PDF).
International and Development Communication: A 21st-Century Perspective
Published by SAGE Publications, 2003
Paperback: 320 pages
Profile: Examines the exciting field of international and development communication and illustrates how this field of study is composed and how it has grown. Revolves around media institutions and the conditions under which they have been used by the state and private capital. With contributions from experts in the field.
Review: "a wealth of current references and sketches a historical overview".
International Communication: Continuity and Change
Paperback: 384 pages
Published by Bloomsbury USA 2006 (2nd ed)
Profile: Maps out the expansion of media and telecommunications corporations within the macro-economic context of liberalization, deregulation, and privatization. It then explores the impact of such growth on audiences in different cultural contexts and from regional, national, and international perspectives. Review: "Thussu works across all the important social, economic, and political issues connected to the topic, making thoughtful and persuasive arguments. The book is well organized and highly readable."
Development Communication: What the Masters Say
The Journal of Development Communication
Vol. 8, Nr. 2, December 1997, 179 pp.
Communication and development: Beyond panaceas
The Journal of International Communication (JIC)
Vol. 4, Nr. 2, December 1997, 138 pp.
Published by Routledge.
Issue editor: Bella Mody