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Bjmc i, cp, unit-iii, development communication


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Bachelor of Journalism & Mass Communication, Communication Development,

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Bjmc i, cp, unit-iii, development communication

  1. 1. Development Communication Concept of Development: act of improving by expanding or enlarging or refining; Concept of development is used here in a wide sense so as to include, not merely the definition or explanation, but also the theory, experience and problems. We hope you will be able to have a broad understanding of the concept of development. ‗Development‘ is perhaps one of the most fiercely debated concepts in the contemporary social sciences. The concept is often equated with ‗modernisation‘, ‗industrialisation‘, ‗social change‘, ‗progress‘ and ‗growth‘, and like these other terms is invariably seen as something desirable and positive for society in general, and for the community in particular. Also, ‗development‘ as a socio economic phenomenon is seen as necessary, even inevitable; as good and salutary. Rarely is development discussed as possibly hazardous and destructive of the environment, or of social values and cultures. Development is in the main seen as absolute, inevitable, and universal; it is promoted as a laudable goal no matter what the society, the culture, the people and their resources and traditions. We welcome economic development but our development programmes should not pave ways for the long-run dangers. If economic transformation processesstart paving ways for the social dangers, the wave of development must be checked and be turned into right direction. Of course commercial considerations are important to survival and prosperity but in no case, the commercial motives should be successfulin establishing an edge over the social, cultural and ethical values. In an age of environmental disaster, population explosion, socio-cultural confrontation, tension and dissension, we need to review the present philosophy of transformation of the industrial economy. We cannot deny the fact that the present system of economic development, standing on the pillars of mechanized industrial economy, has helped sensing, serving and satisfying customers fantastically but at the same time have also been instrumental in inviting a number of social evils. Do we feelthat the development activities channelised during the 20th century would open doors for social interests in the 21st century? Do we fee that the industrial development process of today is not to engineer a sound foundation for slow murder of the coming generations? Do we feelplanet earth will remain safe tomorrow? In no case,the answer is to be positive. We do not find any justification for promoting the fast food industry, especially when researchesrevealthat most of the food items served by them are harmful. The hamburger, fried chickens are found gaining popularity the world over though these are found injuring consumer health considerably. The service generating industries are also found actively involved in the process.To be more specific the communication services have been found invading on social and cultural values. All of us witness the movies and TV serials very much instrumental in promoting the social evils. The educational institutes, hospitals are also in queue. The financial institutions in general and public sector banks and insurance corporations in particular are not contributing substantially to the process of motivating low-income group and mobilizing small savings. The social organizations, religious organizations and even Red Cross society often fail in creating public awarenessand sub serving social interests. Do we find any justification for endangering social interests just for generating profits?
  2. 2. Today or tomorrow, we have no option but to change our attitudes. Whatever we think is for society, whatever we plan is for society, whateverwe produce is for the society and whatsoever we market is for the society. This makes it essential that we are well aware of the multi-dimensional changes found in the society. Development, understood as widening the range of people's choices, has to consider three interrelated and crucial dimensions: human, or "people-centred " development, global development and sustainable development. Together they imply a radical change to the current development paradigm. If one or more of these factors is missing in decision-making, then conflicts between people and nations are inevitable. These three dimensions represent the conceptual base and necessaryfocus of action for people's movements, for policy making and for the missions of any private initiative. Human development of people, for people and by people means investing in human capabilities to empower individuals to take charge of their own destiny. People are the end goal. Therefore, the benefits of development are to be directed toward them and it should serve them. It means that economic growth is distributed fairly and widely, that people benefit from their contributions to work and social life, and people are given the chance to participate in the process. Global development has three dimensions: spatial, time and holistic. The spatial dimension refers to ensuring that actions have applicability to the rest of the world. The time dimension provides for a perspective of the continuity of events and facts. The holistic dimension ensures that development is not fragmented,but analysed from an integrated viewpoint and as a part of the same system. Sustainable development utilizes resourcesto satisfy present needs without compromising the satisfaction of the needs of future generations. Until the last quarter of this century, we have not considered the world's resourceslimited. Decision-making needs to take greater responsibility for the implications in the lives of others, including future generations. Development, therefore,is a whole; it is an integral value loaded, cultural process; it takes in the natural environment, social relations, education, production, consumption and welfare.The approach to development depends upon the local cultural or national situations, not on any outside model. In other words, development springs, from the heart of each society, relying on its history and traditions, as also its own strengths and resourcesas far as possible. Concept of Development Communication: Sociologists, psychologists, economists and communication experts agree that the proper use of communication can foster the pace and process of development. In generalterms, communication means interaction between two individuals or within a group or a community or a nation. In communication, the four principle elements are communication source, a message,a channel or medium and a receiver or audience. But in development communication it becomes the process of affecting or influencing behaviour of individuals or groups towards certain desired goals and objectives, necessarily for the benefit of the entire society. Thus, the receiver is expectedto show the behaviour desired by the source of communication. Development communication is a relatively new field of study within the discipline of communication. Like the science of communication, development communication has come to stay. However,we should always remember that development communication is only one of the elements or inputs for speedy progress and development. Development communication is mainly concerned with the role of information and communication in social and economic development of an individual, society and nation. It identifies what mass media can do directly or indirectly to improve the quality of life to both urban and rural masses.
  3. 3. 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 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. (Quoted in Development Communication - rhetoric and reality by Pete Habermannand Guy de Fontagalland.) F. Rosario Braid is of the opinion that development communication is "an element of the management process in the overall planning and implementation of development programs". Development communication is, in a broad sense "The identification and utilization and utilization appropriate expertise in the development process that will assist in the increasing participation of intended beneficiaries the grassroots level." Rogers says, "development communication refers to the refers to the uses to which communication is put in order to further development. Such applications are intended to either further development in a general way, such as by increasing level of the mass media exposure among a nation's citizens, in order to create a favorable 'climate', for development, or to support a specific development programme or project this type of development communication is often termed as 'development-support communication' DSC". The practice of Development Support Communication, DSC, is a multi-sectoral process of information sharing about development agendas and planned actions. It links planners, beneficiaries and implementers of development action, including the donor community. It obligates planners and implementers to provide clear,explicit and intelligible data and information about their goals and roles in development, and explicitly provides opportunities for beneficiaries to participate in shaping development outcomes. It ensures that the donor community is kept constantly aware of the achievements and constraints of development efforts in the field. Development Support Communication makes use of all available structures and means of information sharing. Therefore it is not limited to mass media alone. It also uses both formal group and non-formal channels of communication, such as women‘s and youth associations, as well as places where people gather.... markets,churches, festivals, and meetings. But its contribution is in using these in a systemic, continuous, co-ordinated and planned manner, to perform linkage and enabling functions. It requires analysis of the communication environment, of the available and needed communication competencies and resources(hardware,software,financial and human), and clearly indicates expected results from specific resource inputs, so as to maintain accountability. In short, DSC is a legitimate function of development planning and implementation. DSC therefore needs to be examined as a valuable «technology» for using the social communication process to foster and strengthen sustainable development at local and national levels. It should be taken more seriously in programs of social change, and should be reflected explicitly in development policy and strategy. One way of doing so is through the enunciation of a national information and communication policy, which can be explicitly integrated into national development thinking and practice. Development communication has two primary roles: a) A transforming role, as it seeks social change in the direction of the higher quality of life. The higher quality of life can be achieved in various ways. Might be by adopting all the required vaccines for the infants of each family of the society. Some countries might adopt techniques of producing enough food for the citizen. Some countries might systematically and scientifically break all the myths surrounding various religious and social customs. And communication could be a marvelous instrument to achieve these objectives.
  4. 4. b) A socializing role, by seeking to maintain some of the established values of the society. In playing these roles, development communication seeks to create an atmosphere for change as well as providing innovation through which society may change. Each and every society has some traditional values. These values give the people of each society an identity and a sense of belonging. The aspirations of a society sometimes are embedded in these values. Now, the values, customs and beliefs of other societies might make inroads into other societies. If, the people are not careful, they might be taken off their grounds by the new incoming sets of values. Communication can play a very vital role by making the people aware about this pitfall. It can also help immensely by drawing the attention of the members of a society to the richness of their own values, customs, beliefs and, above all, aspirations. Key elements of the development communication approach: It is responsive - it does not provide ‗useless‘ information - that which people did not want to know, but which centralplanners deemed as crucial. People understand their own needs better and through this approach communication becomes a tool in the planning and development process, not a mechanism to persuade communities once unpalatable decisions have been made (‗in their best interests!‘) It hinges on feedback - it is not a one-way process but involves dialogue mechanisms about the information, which was transferred. It is also fundamentally about consultative processesbeing managed at community level. Innovation and creativity - the message must not be dull and boring but show clearly how the information transmitted will make a difference in the life of the recipient - it must not instill doubt or disbelief, but trust and confidence (look for local adopters). 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. Independent validation - it is not about ‗government speak‘. This approach builds participatory mechanisms and functional networks involving NGOs, CBOs,Traditional Leadership structureswhile 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. It’s about sustainability and continuity- it is not about dumping information in a community and never going back for months. It’s about establishing common ground with communities who are to be the recipients of the information/message - it is not about the public servant who swoops in and out of a community in his or her GG like some ‗phantom expert‘ to ‗educate and uplift‘ communities. 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!) It’s about community participation- development programmes which plan for communities or supply information which planners feel communities need, fail to be relevant initiatives and more often than not fail to be sustainable. 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,
  5. 5. developers or community workers have to listen to the advice of communities and change the views they themselves hold. It’s about access and visibility of governmentwhere governmentis no longer a distant and unknown entity in community development experiences. 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. It’s about the use of simple and relevant language where concepts are packagedin the experiencesof communities, in their own language and where communities themselves have played a major role in the development of material for development communication programmes. It is purposive one looks for specific behavioral objectives, such as getting farmers to go in for a specific variety of seed,pesticide, etc. It is positive - positive value is attached to what one communicates about. Take the example of the high yielding variety of seed. Once adopted,the farmers can increase their harvest manifold. This means more income, which can be utilised to buy land, cattle or equipments. This is what we mean by positive value attached to development communication. It is pragmatic In this context we might define pragmatic as practical and purposeful. In development communication, the purpose of communication is important. Let us assume that we want the farmers to plant a particular rice variety or the so-called miracle rice. The judgement or evaluation of communication does not rest on the mere invention of communication activities performed, such as the number of the press releases issued or the number of farm visits made. Findings have showed that mere increase in the flow of information does not necessarily result in those behavioral changes, which are desired to be achieved. Development communication is a tool, and not a product. Development communication is goal- oriented. The ultimate goal of development communication is a higher quality of life for the people of a society. The role of the media also changes in development communication. It plays the following four responsibilities: Circulate knowledge that will inform people of significant events, opportunities, dangers and changes in their community, country and the world. Provide a forum where issues affecting the national or community life may be aired. Teach those ideas, skills and attitudes that people need to achieve for a better life. Create and maintain a base of consensus that is needed for the stability of the state. To perform these roles, the media keeps the development orientation in its perspective. Three approacheshave been identified in relating communication to development. These are empathy, diffusion, and multiplying of information. We shall discuss each separately, individually. 1.Empathy: Daniel Lerner in his book, Passing of Traditional society, saw the problem of 'modernizing' traditional societies. He saw the spread of literacy resulting from urbanisation as a necessary precondition to more complete modernisation that would include participatory political
  6. 6. precondition to more complete modernisation that would include participatory political institutions. Development was largely a matter of increasing productivity. According to D. Lerner, development failed to occur because peasants were unable to 'empathise' or imaginatively identify with the new role, and a changed and better way of life and so remained fatalistic- unambitious and resistant to change. Every change in society must originate and begin in the hearts of the people. If the people would like to change, only then the development would begin. What is required is that some means of providing such people with clues as to what better things in life might be. Lerner saw the media as filling this need of promoting interest among the people for a better life. Not only that, he saw the media as machines, inspiring people for better things in life. He said 'empathy' endows a person with the capacity to imagine himself as proprietor of a big grocery store in a city, to wear nice cloths and live in a nice house, to be interested in "what is going on in the world" and to get out of his hole." 2. Diffusion: Evertt M. Rogers approached this with a perspective that had much in common with Lerner, but different with him somewhat in emphasis. He saw the diffusion of the new ideas and their practice as a crucial component of the modernisation process.He found that his home community less than impressed with his stock of innovations in agriculture; outside his country he had marked influence in the field of agricultural extension, through his textbook on the diffusion of Innovations, which over the years has been expanded and updated into the second and third editions. Rogers developed his concepts and theories of the diffusion of innovations from a synthesis of diffusion research studies in United States, and in later editions, of diffusion studies in the developing world as well. Rogers defined ‗innovation‘ as ‗an idea perceived as new by the individual‘. ‗It really matters little, as far as human behaviour is concerned‘,he added, ‗whether or not an idea is ‗objectively‘ new as measured by the amount of time elapsed since its first use or discovery. It is the newness of the idea to the individual that determines his reaction to it‘. By the third edition, Rogers begins to use ‗technology‘ as a synonym for ‗innovation‘, and to urge the adoption of a ‗convergence model‘ that stresses the intricacy of ‗interpersonal communication networks‘ that are in operation during the process of diffusion. People must be informed, persuaded, educated. Information must flow, not only to them but also from them, so that their needs can be known, and they might participate in the acts and decisions of the nation building; and information must also flow vertically so that decisions may be made. 3.Magic Multipliers Wilbur Schramm extended the arguments of Lerner and Rogers in favour of 'modernization' through the mass media - which he termed 'the magic multipliers'. His work was part of the efforts of the United Nations and UNESCOfor 'a programme of concrete action to build up press, radio broadcasting, film and television facilities in countries in the process of economic and social development. UNESCO carried out the survey itself on which the book was based, during a series of meetings in Bangkok, Santiago and Paris. To Schramm, as to mainstream social scientists of the time, the mass media were 'agents of social change', 'almost miraculous' in their power to bring about that change. Schramm argued that 'the mass media could help accomplish the transitions to new-customs and practices (the 'innovations' of Rogers) and, in some cases,to different social relationships. Behind such changes in behaviour must necessarily lay substantial changes in attitudes, beliefs, skills and social norms'. The process,he elaborated was simple: first, the awarenessof a need, which is not, satisfied by- present customs and behaviour; second, the need to invent or borrow behaviour that comes close to meeting the need. Hence a nation –that
  7. 7. wants to accelerate the process of development will try to make its people more widely and quickly aware of needs and of the opportunities for meeting them will facilitate the decision process, and will help the people put the new practices smoothly and swiftly into effect. Schramm went further than Rogers in taking account of cultural linkages, in acknowledging 'resistance to change' and in urging ‘an understanding participation'. However,his model of communication was still manipulative of behaviour towards the desired end of innovation adoption; it still cited as empirical evidence a strong correlation between high media exposure and development. Schramm argued forcefully that the mass media had the potential to widen horizons, to focus attention, to raise -aspirations and to create a climate for development. They also had the potential to confer status to enforce social norms, to help form tastes, and could affect a:lightly held. He was optimistic about the potential of the mass media (and also the educational media such as programmed instruction, language laboratories, electronic digital computers) in all types of education and training. Unlike Rogers, he conceded though that ‗the mass media can help only indirectly to change strongly attitudes and valued practices‘. He therefore recommended that 'a developing country should review its restrictions on the importing of informational materials, should not hesitate to make use of new technical developments in communication, in cases where these new developments fit its needs and capabilities'. The challenge, he concluded, was to put resourcesand the power of modern communication skillfuIIy and fully behind economic and social development. Role of Non-Governmental Organisations The role of non-governmental organizations and voluntary agencies in India has been very important. In situations of widespread poverty and deprivation, exploitation and discrimination, the State has not been in a position to ameliorate everything. The Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have stepped in to provide basic health and child care services,running home for the destitute and distressed and providing education and training opportunities. At the same time, these NGOs have also been working towards building a more humane society free from exploitation and want. The partnership between NGOs and the government has been of mutual benefit. Some Major NGOs Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA), Ahmedabad, Gujarat Society for Participatory Researchin Asia (PRIA), New Delhi Church's Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), New Delhi SAHELI, New Delhi NIRANTAR, New Delhi Voluntary Action Network, India (VANI), New Delhi ANKUR, New Delhi People's Rural Education Movement (PREM), Mandiapally, Orissa LOK SHAKTI, Balasore, Orissa UNNATI, Ahmedabad, Gujarat Society for Promotion of Area ResourcesCentre (SPARC), Bombay PREPARE, Madras ASMITA (Resource Centre for Women), Hyderabad Child In Need Institute (CINI), Calcutta Review Questions:  Explain the concept of development communication.  Explain the role of NGO‘s in development communication?
  8. 8. References- 1. De Fleur, Melvin and Dennis, Everette; Understanding Mass Communication; (1988); 3rd edition; Houghton Mifflin Co. 2. Narula, Uma; Mass Communication theory and practice; (1994); Haranand 3. Andal; Communication theories and model