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Voice, Citizenship
and Civic Action
Current Challenges in Communication for Development
Thomas Tufte, PhD
Professor
Roskilde University, Denmark
Keynote presentation given at Symposium V at
Moi Univeristy’s VIIth International Conference:
’Knowledge Creation and Dissemination for Realization of
Millenium Development Goals’
Eldoret, Kenya, 7 September 2011
Today’s presentation:
Communication for development at a
crossroad
 Role of network society and media
developments in the new dynamics
between citizens and decision-makers
 Dominant paradigms in communication for
development
 Case from Tanzania: civil-society driven
media platform
 New opportunities of voice
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The Crossroads
 transformation
of the relation
between production of media
content, technology and audiences
 social
media have altered the
relation between sender and receiver
in communication processes.
ComDev on the move…
 public
connection
 public sphere engagement
 citizen journalism
 participatory journalism
 citizen media
 civic engagement
Civil Society-driven Media Platforms
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Altering relations between decisionmakers and citizens?
Leading to new spaces of deliberation and
public debate, critique and civic action?
Unpacking the processes of empowerment
and citizen participation?
Communication, Citizenship and
Social Change
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Co-evolution of new and old media
Citizenship: a social practice grounded in
everyday life
Civic action: active manifestation of
citizens as claimants of development
Citizens as media producers, citizen
journalists, bloggers
Communication Power

‘in a world marked by the rise of mass selfcommunication, social movements and
insurgent politics have a the chance to enter the
public space from multiple sources. By using
both horizontal communication networks and
mainstream media to convey their images and
messages, they increase their chances of
enacting social and political change – even if
they start from a subordinate position in
institutional power, financial resources, or
symbolic legitimacy’ (Castells 2009. 302)
Innovation and Caution
 Innovation:
social media offer us a
new communication model: dynamic
and interactive
 Caution:
The media don’t drive social
change. The sentiment of exclusion
is the driving force.
Dominant Paradigms in…
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Development Support Communication (UN/FAO)
Development Communication (Los Banos/Quebral)
Behaviour Change Communication (Public Health)
Information, Education and Communication
Participatory Communication
Alternative Comm (Latin American Scholars)
Communication for Development
Communication for Empowerment (UNDP)
Communication for Social Change (RF)
Comm for Social and Structural Change (Servaes)
Comm for Social and Sustainable Change
Social and Behaviour Change Comm (Wits)
C4D (UNICEF)
Models of communication..
 Persuasion
 Behaviour
change communication
 Social marketing
 Information, education and
communication (IEC)
 Participatory communication
 Communication for social change
Communication for Social Change
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‘process of public and private dialogue
through which people themselves define
who they are, what they need and how to
get what they need in order to improve
their own lives. It utilizes dialogue that
leads to collective problem identification,
decision making, and community-based
implementation of solutions to
development issues’
(www.communicationforsocialchange.org)
CfD - Multiple Approaches (Obregon & Mosquera, 2005)
Communication Continuum
Diffusion/
Individual
Participatory/
Structural
Diffusion/
Persuasion/
Social Marketing
Information/
Education/
Communication
Behavior
Change
Communication
Social
Ecological
Approach
Communication
For Social
Change
Convergence model
No magic formula
Diversity of frameworks + diversity of strategies
+ multiplicity of interventions = growth of the field =
New conceptual approaches
Civil Society-driven Media Platforms
The case of Femina HIP
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Tanzanian NGO, 1999Largest print media
producer in Tanzania
Many donors on board, but
is a ’homegrown’
organisation
Entertainment-education
through real life stories
Multi-media platform
Femina HIP Objectives
To build supportive
environments in
Tanzania where:
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Young people in their
communities enjoy their
right to access information
& services and are
empowered to make
positive informed choices
around sexuality and lead
healthy lifestyles in order
to reduce the negative
impact of HIV/AIDS.
Femina HIP Objectives
To build supportive
environments in
Tanzania where:
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Communities exercise
their right to express
themselves,
participate in public
debate & engage in
civil society. (Femina
HIP Logical
Framework, 2007)
FEMA
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FEMA. A glossy
magazine, 64 pages,
170.000 copies
Published 4 x a year.
Targets youth aged
15-24 especially
secondary school
students in every
region of the country
SiMchezo
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Si Mchezo! 32
pages, 170.000
copies.
6 x a year. Targets
out of school youth
and their
communities
particularly in rural
areas.
Multi Media Platform
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Pilika Pilika. A radio soap
opera. 4 x week.
FEMA Tv Talk Show. Half ½
hour talk show, national TV 4
times a week.
ChezaSalama (‘play safe’).
Interactive website. First of
its kind in Tanzania.
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5-600 Femina Clubs in
schools and communities
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Community outreach
programme
Reach and Social Media
 Femina
reaches
approx. 10 mio
of Tanzania’s 42
mio people
 Social
Media Use:
- ChezaSalama
– Femina Facebook
– SMS-strategy
Outcomes
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Continuity sustains
engagement
Community
mobilization enables
engagement
Young people engage
in journalistic practice
Sparks motivation and
self-confidence
New public spheres
emerge
Embryonic civil society
Accountability
 Upward
Accountability:
– Gaining political
clout
– Balancing social
critique and
political influence
 Downward
accountability
– Balancing a
mass vehicle for
millions of
audiences with
space for
personal
engagment
Why voice matters
- the role of media and technology in carving out space
Allowing voice in public for a vastly
increased range of people
 A greatly increased mutual awareness of
these new voices
 New scales of organisation
 Understanding what spaces are required
for political organization
 New forms of listening
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Citizen Tactics
 Efforts
made by ordinary peple to
create spaces for themselves,
overcoming power structures to
which they are subjected
Citizen Media
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The term ’citizens media’ implies, first, that a
collectivity is enacting its citizenship by actively
intervening and transforming the
established mediascape: second, that these
media are contesting social codes,
legitimized identities and institutionalized
social relations: and third, that these
communication practices are empowering the
community involved, to the point where these
transformations and chages are possible
(Rodriguez 2001/2006: 774)
Thank you!
[email protected]
or
http://ruc-dk.academia.edu/ThomasTufte
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