17 September 2008

Peace and communications for development

As we mark the International Day of Peace, 21 September, how apt that the World Bank announces two new publications on peace and communications for development:

Policy briefs of both are available:
Towards A New Policy Model for Media and Communication in Post-Conflict and Fragile States
The media and communication sector plays a complex role in post-conflict and fragile states. In states experiencing conflict, violent political upheaval or complete collapse, the media can provide important, reliable, and timely humanitarian and political information in the midst of chaos, helping people to navigate their tumultuous surroundings. Moving toward the longer term, media and communication processes can enable citizens to engage in dialogue, serve as platforms for debate and oversight, anchor governance reforms, and facilitate peacebuilding and poverty reduction. Yet, despite its importance, the media and communication sector is frequently an afterthought in post-conflict reconstruction. This paper calls for a new model in post-conflict and fragile states, one that prioritizes communication's role in governance and peacebuilding. Authors: Shanthi Kalathil, with John Langlois and Adam Kaplan

The Missing Link—Fostering Positive Citizen-State Relations in Post-Conflict Environments
High expectations for a quick “peace dividend”, a public that does not trust the state, and state-citizen relations severed by years of exclusion are among the most challenging issues national governments, and the international community supporting them, encounter in planning and executing post-conflict recovery programs. These issues are too often neglected by policy makers. Experience has shown the cost of this oversight. Because of their direct relation to long-term stability and governance, dealing with these issues needs to be at the very heart of post-conflict work. This study applies the public sphere as a framework to deal with the “connective tissue” of state-building and calls for change in current post-conflict assistance policy and practice. Author: Henriette von Kaltenborn-Stachau

09 September 2008

OECD paper on 'Building public awareness about development'

New publication by the OECD:
"Building public awareness about development – communicator, educators and evaluation"
By Annette Scheunpflug, Professor of Philosophy of Education at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universit├Ąt Erlangen-Nuremberg, and Ida McDonnell, policy analyst at the OECD Development Centre and co-ordinator of the Informal Network of DAC Development Communicators (DevCom).

Blurb: Just how effectively are OECD-based aid agencies in communicating about poverty, inequality and development co-operation? The honest answer is: we don’t really know. Very little attention is paid to evaluating the communications, advocacy and education activities of aid agencies. This Policy Brief shows policy makers how to create a culture of learning for all public awareness-raising work. In doing so, it addresses hands-on questions. Can an evaluation even measure the impact of a campaign on public attitudes? Who should pay for the evaluation and how much should it cost? How to approach resistance to and fear of evaluation?

02 September 2008

Ghana: 'There Can Be No Development Without Communication'

1 September 2008
Amos Safo

According to a West African Manual on "Participatory Development Communication", unless people participate in all phases of an intervention, from problem identification to research and implementation of solutions, the likelihood that sustainable change will occur is slim. Development communication is at the very heart of this challenge. The manual argues that though the term is sometimes used to indicate the overall contribution of mass media to the development of society, it is the planned use of strategies and processes of communication aimed at achieving a specific goal that has attracted academic attention.

But is development communication all about using mass media channels? Within the perspective of development communication, two trends have emerged; firstly, an approach that favours the use of mass media and an approach that promotes community participation in small-scale projects. Proponents of the latter empahise the use of interpersonal communication ( videos, posters and slide presentation and or one-on-one) to achieve results.

Read more [AllAfrica.com]