The New Development Communication: a Review of Emerging Philosophy, Trends and Practices Globally and in Africa

Topics: Communication, Development, Millennium Development Goals Pages: 24 (7021 words) Published: October 30, 2012
THE NEW DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION: A Review of Emerging Philosophy, Trends and Practices Globally and in Africa

Dr Ani Casimir Kingston Chukwunonyelum Millenium Good Governance Project, Vice Chancellor’s Office, Institute of African studies, University of

Abstract This article introduces and attempts to question the global role of communication in governance and the challenges facing Africa in applying the tools of communication to achieve the moral ends of societal development. It equally highlights the major critical debates surrounding the relationship between communications, government accountability and responsiveness, and state-society relations in both the developed world and developing countries, especially development practitioners, researchers and scholars in Africa. It is intended to question the concepts of development, communication and the idea and practice of development communication as an emerging field of multi-disciplinary studies with professional and ethical challenges facing its practitioners. The article uses this conceptual context to build a new template for dialogic and developmental communication primarily as a reference for policymakers with implications for practical guidance, lessons learned and case studies on supporting the development of independent and plural media systems, increasing access to information, and using communication tools in governance reform processes across Africa where the poor and the marginalized are estranged from major development planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation because of a monologic communication policy that keeps them out of the door of African Governance policy and dividends of development. This paper therefore attempts to build a new system of communication that will be pro-people, pro-development, pro-consultation and partnership between the state and the people to drive the process of moving Africa towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals before 2015.

Key words-development, communication, philosophy, strategy, governance, sustainability

1. Introduction
The word ‘’development communication’’ comes from two ideas of communication and development. What does communication and development mean as separate philosophical constructs?

1.1 Communication--meaning
The word and meaning of communication has been further explored at different periods of time and would be worth further elucidation. Communication conveys mutuality in the sharing of messages, meaning, vision, purpose, media, programs and finally, an understanding of the community of human values. A group of scholars in the web portal, Communication Studies(2010)- research source for developing communication, agrees with this conception and presents the following similar view:

Communication is the act of conveying information for the purpose of creating a shared understanding. It’s something that humans do every day. The word “communication” comes from the Latin “communis,” meaning “to share,” and includes verbal, non-verbal and electronic means of human interaction. Scholars who study communication analyze the development of communication skills in humans and theorize about how communication can be made more effective.Humans convey information through a variety of methods: speaking, telephones, email, blogs, TV, art, hand gestures, facial expressions, body language and even social contexts. Communication can occur instantaneously in closed, intimate settings or over great periods of time in large public forums, like the Internet. However, all forms of communication require the same basic elements: a speaker or sender of information, a message, and an audience or recipient. The sender and recipient must also share a...
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