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Highlights of the Communication for Social Change Consortium’s Leadership

Since its earliest days, the Consortium has focused on changing thinking, practice and the priorities of development programming in many parts of the world, but especially in developing countries.  Many influential development agencies, funders and other nonprofit organizations today take for granted that participatory, community-led communication strategies must be an essential part of their work.  Over the past two decades, communication for social change proponents have played pivotal roles in advocating for participatory communication and community level storytelling, ownership and advocacy. 

Next Phase of Leadership in Communication for Social Change  

In the coming months, the Consortium’s board of directors will examine ways to implement a shared leadership model that transitions the Consortium’s organizational strengths to practitioners and local leaders.  This is consistent with the Consortium’s organizational goal to put ownership of communication processes in the hands of those directly impacted by the desired social change.

The board is especially interested in making sure Consortium resources are available – in a shared leadership model -- to practitioners and organizations in developing and middle-income countries. 

During this transition process, Jim Hunt, one of CFSC’s founding organizers and a long-time practitioner of communication for social change, will advise the board and work closely with the communication director Ngbita Pendje Wallace.

11 Years of Innovation

Among the accomplishments of the CFSC Consortium since 2003 are:

Produced and published the first and only anthology of contemporary and historical scholarship in communication for social change, The CFSC Anthology:  Historical and Contemporary Thinking. (available for sale at www.cfsc.org or via Kindle)

Launched Mazi, an electronic report showcasing the stories and voices of people leading participatory communication in poorer communities.

Compiled the largest collection of reader-inputted printed materials (published and grey matter) on communication for social change – the Communication for Social Change Body of Knowledge.

Led the communication working group of the aids2031 task force, under the direction of former UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot.  aids2031 looked at long-term recommendations for managing AIDS as a chronic disease.

Developed a communication for social change master’s curriculum, working with a cadre of communication leaders – as an outgrowth of a Bellagio meeting on CFSC capacity strengthening. 

Created communication for social change courses or curriculum at several universities (with university partners) such as Universidad del Norte (Colombia), Royal Roads University (Canada) and the  University of the West Indies-Mona (Jamaica).

Played critical roles in community and household-level communication about polio vaccination, contributing to increased uptake of polio vaccines in Nigeria and of vaccinator teams equipped with participatory communication skills. 

Formed university research and practice collaborations aimed at better preparing the next generation of CFSC practitioners – and of enhancing the skills and locating additional resources for current professionals.

Produced learning DVDs and CDS currently in use across the globe such as Public Conversations for Social Change and Voices of the Magdalena.

Created African Shared Values dialogues in 7 African countries for the African Union (with funding from GIZ).

Developed communication for social change learning modules and communication research for numerous development organizations among them IFAD, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women, Social Contract Center (the Government of Egypt pre-revolution), GIZ Tunisia, African Services Committee, African Union,  Skillman Foundation, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to name several.

Increased local knowledge of participatory monitoring and evaluation of communication programmes through evaluation of Soul City Institute’s Zambia Communication Programme  and assessments of community conversations (AIDS and youth) sponsored by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The Communication for Social Change Consortium was started with a significant special projects grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.  Over the years, support continues from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the Asian Development Bank, IFAD, UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women, Carnegie Corporation of New York, GIZ, AT&T, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Skillman Foundation, IDRC, DfID, plus USAID partners including John Snow International and AED/FHI-360 (the USAID C-Change cooperative agreement). We also receive financial support from generous individual donors.



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