August 2016

Communication for Development

Tait Brimacombe

This three-page Concept Brief introduces ‘Communication for Development’ (C4D). It is designed for those who are new to the idea, and addresses three main questions: What is C4D? How is it used in international development? And what are some of the common pitfalls associated with its use?

C4D supports development and/or social change by promoting voice, participation and access to information and ideas. It facilitates dialogue, and does not just disseminate information in a linear way. C4D underpins transparency and accountability, collective action, and the shaping of attitudes and norms. It is used in many sectors – to enhance health, governance, livelihoods, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response, for example. C4D draws on a range of communication platforms and a strong understanding of the sociocultural context.

C4D approaches need to consider how to limit the spread of inaccurate information (such as rumour and myth) and negative messages, as well as how to promote positive messages.

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Communication for Development

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