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Development Communication

To better understand media effects and reception, attention now will focus on development communication theories and strategies, which are highly related to entertainment-education. According to Stevenson (1994) the basic concept behind development communication is the utilization of media to the promotion of social change.

Development communication starts with post-war international aid programs to countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa that are struggling with poverty, illiteracy, poor health and other socio-economic plagues. Therefore, development equates values of western society translated into political democracy, high literacy ratings, increased industrial production, and other factors that third world countries are thought to emulate (Inklet & Smith, 1974). Even though the path of communication theory is not a linear one, concepts and strategies have been utilized simultaneously. Recent definitions of development education equates its purpose to a better quality of life, not only by raising income and well being, but also by promoting social justice, land reform, and establishing community centers for leisure and entertainment (Melkote, 1991). There is now a trend to search for equalization and participation. Non-Govermental Organizations, as well as government agencies, and international organizations are involved in development communications. The definition given by the World Bank division of development communication appears to embrace their efforts for a more collaborative approach:

The Development Communication Division (DevComm) supports the Bank's mission of reducing poverty by providing clients with strategic communication advice and tools they need to develop and implement successful projects and pro-poor reform efforts.

Development communication involves creating mechanisms to broaden public access to information on reforms; strengthening clients' ability to listen to their constituencies and negotiate with stakeholders; empowering grassroots organizations to achieve a more participatory process; and undertaking communications activities that are grounded in public opinion research (The World Bank Group web site).

To further understand the myriad concepts and disciplines that contribute to the formation of development communication, some of the different approaches will be described.



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