Development communication with
Technology: Unfair Alliance
Mira K Desai
University Department of Extension Education
SNDT Women’s University
Juhu Campus, Mumbai
• Economic growth: Gross National Product
and Income per capita
• Improvement in Quality of Life: PQLI (Infant
mortality, death rate, life expectancy, literacy
• Distribution: social-economic-politicaltechnological-gender Equality
• Liberation from dependency and
exploitation: Human rights and social justice
• It is widely accepted that development
communication is an art and science of human
communication for ‘speedy transformation of a
• The name Development Communication’ (DevCom)
in 1971 and formally in 1975 by Nora Quebral
• Her own modification of definition in 2008 by
adding words, ‘linked to planned intervention’,
• The objectives of any Devcom intervention are
‘greater economic and social equality and larger
fulfilment of human potential’.
• Not only a nomenclature debate about DevCom,
C4D, M4D, ICT4D….!
• Not only about mere behaviour or practice change of
• Not mere Monitoring and Evaluation of outcomes
• Change in the quality of life of human societies
• Building up communities and helping them to help
• Making a world a better place to live not only for
present but also for future
7 Threads of DevCom
• UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)
and Erskine Childers
• Community participation
• Population IEC (Information Education
Communication) and health communication,
• Social marketing
• Institution building
• finally the ICT (Information Communication
ICT4D…..as a term…is:
• conceptualised mostly as a monolithic and
homogeneous entity (http://www.ict4d.org.uk/)
• consists of hardware, software, networks, and
media for collection, storage, processing,
transmission, and presentation of information
• used to seek, receive, create and impart
information and ideas by anyone, at any time and
for any purpose. This makes it possible for users
to bypass traditional and official channels of
ICT4D gets defined….by:
(online/open learning) eHEALTH, mServe (Mobile
technologies), Tele-centre forum, e-Agriculture, and
municipal IT with multiple applications.
• Funded by Government, private corporations, multilateral agencies or philanthropic organizations and
Non-Government Organisations (NGO), most being
multi-party or multi-stakeholder projects.
• G2G, G2B, G2C, and B2C. G being Government, C
is Citizen and B being private player.
• Sectoral like education, health, agriculture,
governance, livelihood, employment generation,
and so on.
• Bhatnagar and Schware (2000) (ed.) Information
and Communication Technology in DevelopmentCases from India, Sage Publications, New Delhi.
• Harris and Rajora (2006) Empowering poorInformation and Communication Technology for
governance and poverty reduction, A Study of rural
development projects in India, UNDP-APDIP
ICT4D series, Elservier, New Delhi.
• Agarwal (2007) (ed.) E Governance Case studies,
Universities Press India (Pvt.) Ltd., Hyderabad.
Bhatnagar and Schware (2000)
• 14 projects/programmes into 4 categorizations:
• projects for decision support to public
administrators in planning and monitoring of
• improving services to citizens and bringing in
• empowering citizens through access to
information and knowledge
• use of ICT for training in rural areas
Harris and Rajora (2006)
• 18 development projects using ICTs in the form of
community tele-centre for poor
• Evaluating key constructs relating to their
potential for scaling up; these were Project
Design, Community Participation, Project
Outcomes, and their contextual Political Economy.
• 2,156 users of the tele-centre completed
questionnaires and interviews were conducted
with project stakeholders and personnel.
• 41 on-going e-Governance projects entered for the
Computer Society of India- Nihilent e-Governance
Awards 2005-06 from 11 States and 3 union
territories out of 28 States and 7 union territories.
• Majority represented six States- Andhra Pradesh
and Kerala (6 each), Gujarat (5), Karnataka and
Maharashtra (3 each), Haryana (2) and
Government of India (6).
• One case study each from 5 States (8 NorthEastern States treated as one, Chattisgarh, West
Bengal, Uttaranchal, Assam) and three Union
Territories (Delhi, Chandigarh, Luckshdeep).
National e-Governance Plan of
Government Of India (NeGP)
• 27 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and 10
components approved on May 18, 2006
• NeGP as a part of its National Common Minimum
Program has been aimed at improving the quality,
accessibility and effectiveness of Government
services with the help of ICT with total estimate cost
of approx. 1276 million US$ using Public Private
• The project suggests creation of Community
Information Centres (CICs) to provide various kinds
of community information, State Wide Area
Networks (SWAN) and State Data Centres (SDC).
• MDG task force report of 2012 by UN
(www,un.org) remarks that Internet penetration
in the developing countries stood at 26.3 per
cent of the population in 2011 compared to 74
per cent in developed countries.
• Even with the rapid spread of ICT, the challenge
of making the technologies easier, more
accessible and more affordable continues.
Households in India……
42% do not have
within the house
Source: Census 2011
67 % use firewood,
only 29 % use LPG
for cooking, 55% has
kitchen in house
Has the demand for ICTs come from people?
Are ICTs part of day-to-day life?
Are ICTs solving day-to-day problems?
Can scaling up help in the given diverse contexts
if India? Language-culture-gender dimensions!
• Does ‘access’ resolve the challenge of ‘control’?
Is this not the Dominant Paradigm…?!
DevCom allied with technology
• Where technology remains only as means to
delivery and not the end
• In place of techno-centric to human-centred
• Locally relevant technologies and not
technology for vested interests
• Emphasis on ‘communication’ and not on
What is Communication TODAY?
• Technological connectivity does not guarantee
• Connectivity does not guarantee interaction
• Interaction does not mean TWO parties
• Two parties does not necessarily mean both
are listening to each other
• Listening does not mean understanding of
• Understanding may not mean acceptance
What is Communication?
Communication also means…….
Thank you for
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