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MAZI Articles

Archived MAZI Articles:

  • "˜Difficult Dialogues' and Communication for Social Change
    As the discussion guide of the communication for social change process following this essay shows, development depends on our talking openly and honestly, even about controversial issues. These issues may be so sensitive that they create tension and sometimes even pit people against each other. How can we find common ground, a place to start airing our differences, listen respectfully to each other and begin working together to solve problems? Recently, Heidi Larson, a Consortium senior adviser, along with Consortium consultant Jim Hunt, facilitated a "Difficult Dialogue," one in a series taking place on university campuses across the United States. Larson writes about the process.
  • Time to Deliver: Report on the Toronto AIDS Conference by Heidi Larson
    With encouraging calls for a social change approach to fighting AIDS heralded during the XVI International AIDS Conference, Heidi Larson, senior adviser of the Consortium, writes that changing the social and cultural context of AIDS communication will not be easy in many parts of the world.
  • aids2031 Examines Long-Wave Phenomena
    by Denise Gray-Felder

    After nearly two years of work, aids2031, a consortium of institutions and individuals who have come together to examine what the world has learned about the AIDS response in its first quarter century, will issue its recommendations by year-end. By taking a close look at the implications of what has worked, what has not worked and what's necessary in the future, aids2031 working groups have focused on the following thematic areas: programmatic response, financing, social drivers, leadership, countries in rapid transition, hyper-endemic countries, science and technology, modelling the epidemic and communication. In addition, initial public dialogues and conversations during a San Francisco kick-off event led to an aids2031 Young Leaders Network that continues to focus worldwide attention on the needs of young people, who are at greatest risk of AIDS.
  • Always a Friend, Rarely a Stranger
    by Denise Gray-Felder

    Consortium President Denise Gray-Felder reflects on what it means to be a global citizen, the responsibilities that brings, and practicing communication for social change in complex situations.
  • Analysing How Decision Makers Perceive Communication for Social Change
    In this audience research report, authors Wendy Quarry, who does development work in Afghanistan, and Ricardo Ramirez, who is an assistant professor at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, demonstrate the need for knowing how policy makers perceive communication for social change and whether they truly understand its implications for the success of any development initiative. When this work was done, the researchers used the term communication for development as it is broadly in use. We hope that we make clear to the reader the strong emphasis on participatory approaches that involve affected people in making their own decisions. The editors.
  • Are International Aid and Community Participation Inevitably at Odds? by Silvio Waisbord
    Community participation is the glorified ideal of international aid. So why is it seldom at the centre of development programmes? Silvio Waisbord, a professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs, at George Washington University, Washington, D.C., United States, argues that multiple interests and contradictory ideas too often influence the international aid system. According to Waisbord, organizational procedures, imperatives, and cultures explain the disconnection.
  • Battling Stigma and Silence: Using CFSC to Fight HIV/AIDS in African American Communities
    by Lenora Kukome

    How can communication for social change help clergy address the HIV/AIDS crisis in African American communities? A Nashville, Tenn.-based community initiative is using the communication for social change approach, as volunteers and staff engage in outreach among African American people in rural and urban areas of the United States. This piece, by Lenora Kukome, a communication and development master's student at Ohio University, highlights the work of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church's Technical Assistance Network, a U.S.-based community organisation the CFSC Consortium has worked with.
  • Becoming Visible: CFSC and Cameroon's Public Conversations
    by Lourdes Margarita A. Caballero

    To help the global initiative known as aids2031 identify future AIDS challenges and the kinds of leadership necessary to meet those challenges, the Consortium has facilitated a series of public conversations. In the African nation of Cameroon, these public conversations–involving men who have sex with men, wealthy, educated women and commercial sex workers–preceded a live national radio broadcast of a panel discussion about the realities of preventing and living with AIDS.. In this article, Consortium research associate Lourdes Margarita A. Caballero shares what we heard from people who typically have no voice in their country's national response to HIV/AIDS. She also shares with MAZI readers how communication for social change can help strengthen the response to the pandemic.
  • Call For Papers: Communication and Development Studies
    Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Communication and Development Studies (CommDev) at Ohio University, Athens, OH, the program invites submissions of papers for the CommDev Graduate Student Conference. The conference will take place in Athens on April 13 - 14, 2007 with the theme "Communication and Sustainable Development in Intercultural Contexts."
  • Can New Communication Technology Improve Communication for Social Change?
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

  • Carta desde Sydney Nuestros Medios
  • Celebrating 20 Years of Growth: Communication and Development Studies at Ohio University
    by Laura Newman

    Development communication practitioners and academics from several countries participated in the recent graduate student conference of the Ohio University communication and development studies programme. With its theme, "Building Skills and Sparking Dialogue for Social Change," the conference, as O.U. graduate student Laura Newman shows, was aligned with the principles of communication for social change.
  • CFSC Analysis and Opinion: Assessing Davos and the Global TB Campaign by James Deane
    For the first time in an initiative of its kind, the Stop Tuberculosis Partnership has adopted a communication approach that blends behaviour and social change communication strategies, social mobilisation and advocacy into a single coherent framework of action. James Deane, the Consortium's managing director for strategy and one of the architects of the Stop TB integrated communication plan, explains why this approach is critical.
  • CFSC Analysis and Opinion: Developing a Unique Proposal for Communication for Development in Latin America by Luis Peirano
    Describing the history and philosophy underlying the methods he and his colleagues use in training communication practitioners, Luis Peirano, dean of the School of Communication Arts and Sciences of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, explains their deep conviction that development is feasible in their country. Peirano's co-author here, Hugo Aguirre, is coordinator of the communication for development department of the School of Communication Arts and Sciences. The following was presented at the Consortium's global university network meeting at the University of Philippines-Los Baños, in September 2005.
  • CFSC Analysis and Opinion: Looking At The G8 Summit Through The Prism Of CFSC
    James Deane, the Consortium's managing director-strategy, analyses the G8 Summit and predicts what to expect from the U.N. Millennium Summit. His conclusion: Logic dictates it's time for CFSC to become a higher priority.
  • CFSC Analysis and Opinion: Mobilizing Resources for Social Change Communication: Is This the Best of Times or the Worst?
    In this essay, James Deane, the CFSC Consortium's managing director of strategy, explains why our times are the best and the worst, in terms of optimism that humanity will finally defeat poverty.
  • CFSC Analysis and Opinion: Understanding the Mission of the Partnership for Communication in Africa by Peter daCosta
    Peter daCosta, a communication for development consultant, argues that the scope and creativity of today's communication initiatives in Africa give reason for optimism. He argues, though, that, practitioners must take advantage of this historic opportunity"”or they risk not being taken seriously.
  • CFSC Analysis and Opinion: Voiceless People Speaking Truth to Power
    Jim Hunt, senior adviser of the Consortium, presented during a pre-conference seminar of the Public Relations Society of America's fall conference. In his presentation, Hunt challenged public relations professionals to "˜do more to confront the realities of power.'
  • CFSC Analysis and Opinion: Whose Class is This Anyway?
    This question is one in a series of important questions CFSC educators must ask ourselves and those who gather for training in communication for social change approaches. We'll discuss this question in this article and welcome your feedback. In subsequent articles, we will discuss other questions "“ including those you believe are critical to a communication for social change learning dialogue. We believe we can best teach participatory approaches like CFSC by using the process of dialogue to teach. Our role as teacher, like the role of the communicator in a community engagement, is facilitation.
  • CFSC Analysis and Opinion: Winning the Argument: But What About Communication for Social Change Practice? by James Deane
    Developing an international network to address obstacles facing communication for social change programmes"”particularly increasing capacity and expertise"”is one of the success factors James Deane, the Consortium's managing director of strategy, sees as crucial to the success of the CFSC approach. The following originally appeared in the Globala Tider (http://www.globalatider.nu/) a Web magazine on communication for development published by Malmö University in Sweden.
  • CFSC and the Commission on Africa: Culture, Education and Development : Some Gaps
    In theory Britain could be on the way back to its "˜ethical foreign policy', if indeed the recommendations of Bob Geldof's and Tony Blair's Commission for Africa are implemented by the Labour party. Acceptance by the G8 leaders however remains a distant dream and the Gleneagles summit had done little to nourish it.
  • CFSC and the Commission on Africa: Deciding How Aid is Spent
    The Global Development Conference 2005: Africa's Development"”Who Decides? was held in London in July 2005. In his presentation at the conference, James Deane, the Consortium's managing director-strategy, argues that it is not the volume of aid that matters most, but who decides how it is spent. The media, he says, has a central role in ensuring that an intelligent debate of the issue takes place.
  • CFSC and the World Summit on Information Society: The Beginning of a Global Information Society Discourse by Parminder Jeet Singh and Anita Gurumurthy
    The apparent "fuzziness" of the WSIS' outcomes must be viewed in context. The meeting had no clear mandate, according to Parminder Jeet Singh and Anita Gurumurthy, who both work for IT for Change (www.ITforChange.net). In their commentary on WSIS, they write that civil society must take a lead role in shaping the future of the Information Age"”or it will remain driven only by the private sector.
  • CFSC Case Study: La Primerísima
    The CFSC Consortium's managing director of programs, Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron, presents in this case study of a hugely popular and long-lived citizens' radio station in Nicaragua the critical elements of the station's social, political and financial sustainability.
  • CFSC Consortium and UNDP Oslo Governance Centre Partner to Address the Communication Needs of Poor People
    For nearly three years, the CFSC Consortium has been working as an implementing partner with UNDP Oslo Governance Centre on its Communication for Empowerment initiative in three countries of Africa and two Asian nations. Funded in part by the United Nations Democracy Fund, this innovative trial has revealed several valuable lessons about how people living in poverty view their communication opportunities and information needs. It has allowed the Consortium to test our theoretical views in challenging real-life circumstances, making our practice more grounded and effective. In this piece, excerpted from the final report of the Communication for Empowerment project with UNDP OGC, Consortium President Denise Gray-Felder also reflects on the opportunities for large aid agencies to work most effectively with smaller, more nimble NGOs.
  • CFSC Pioneer: A Conversation With Nora Quebral by Cel Cadiz
    Writing about CFSC Pioneer Nora Cruz Quebral, Maria Celeste H. Cadiz, dean of the College of Development Communication, University of the Philippines-Los Baños, says Quebral views development communication's ultimate goal as the "realization of human potential.' In 1978, Cadiz was the most junior member on Quebral's faculty. Today, she says she enjoys working closely with her in consultancies and on projects at the University. Cadiz is also secretary-treasurer of the CFSC Consortium's board of directors.
  • CFSC Pioneer: Honouring Nora Quebral
    Linje Manyozo, Ph.D. candidate at Australia's La Trobe University, highlights the leadership role of CFSC pioneer Nora Quebral at the University of Philippines-Los Baños. This story is excerpted from a longer piece that will be published in the Asian Journal of Communication soon.
  • CFSC Quotations: The Dynamics of Citizens' Media
    In her landmark study, Fissures in the Mediascape: An International Study of Citizens' Media (Hampton Press 2001), Professor Clemencia Rodriguez presents case studies of electronic media in the hands of ordinary people"”in Nicaragua, Catalonia, Colombia and USA Latino. The book calls for an approach to the study of citizens' media that recognizes that each community has a unique geographic, historic, cultural and socio-economic context.
  • CFSC Quotations: Toward a New Kind Of Communication to Defeat Zambia's HIV/AIDS Pandemic
    Minister Gladys Nyirongo, Zambia's Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development, recently spoke at a UNICEF-Zambia workshop on communication for social change at which the Consortium's Denise Gray-Felder and consultant Ailish Byrne worked with local community leaders on using and monitoring the CFSC process. Workshop participants aim to create a social movement within Zamia in which every resident knows his or her HIV status.
  • CFSC Research: Tracking the Impact of an Advocacy Paper
    Sponsored by the International Development Research Centre, with support from the Communication Initiative, this study by graduate students at Canada's University of Guelph lays out a methodology for evaluating the impact, effectiveness, dissemination of, and potential applications for, an advocacy paper. It also suggests how to improve the document itself. The authors are Cassie Barker, Heidi Braun, Marshall Gallardo Castaneda, Franklin Kutuadu, Richard Marfo, Pete Sykanda and Rosana Vallejos.
  • CFSC Retrospective: Looking at the MacBride Report 25 Years Later, Part I
    Jemimah Mwakisha, Ph. D. candidate at Binghamton University (State University of New York) and an editor of Kenya's The Nation, examines what's happened since 1980, when UNESCO issued its MacBride Report: Many Voices, One World. She refers to its promise as "the order that was never to be." Ms. Mwakisha served as the Consortium's first communication intern while completing a Hubert Humphreys fellowship at Boston University in the United States.
  • CFSC Retrospective: Looking at the MacBride Report 25 Years Later, Part II
    In excerpts from his February 2005 presentation to the V Congreso International de Radios y Televisiones Locales Publicas y Alternativas, Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron, the Consortium's managing director- programmes, explains why, in his view, there's nothing much to celebrate 25 years after publication of the MacBride Report.
  • Changing the Face of the World
    In a speech delivered at a recent conference of the BBC-World Service Trust, Hilary Benn, U.K. Secretary of State for International Development, asked, "How can we ensure that we hear many more Southern voices talking for themselves and about what they want for the future of their country, rather than two people from the North having an argument about what we think is good for someone else?"
  • Collective Wisdom Is Always Better Than Individual Opinion - Message from Denise Gray-Felder
    I was once asked by a very good interviewer: what keeps you awake at night? This has become one of my favorite interview questions. Because if answered thoughtfully, this query forces the person being questioned to closely examine her actions, values, anxieties and accomplishments "¦ on a short-term and long-term basis.
  • Communication and Participation: Two Sides of the Same Coin? by James Deane
    If communication for development and participatory development are two sides of the development coin, why has there been almost no real, structured dialogue to bring together the two fields?

    To determine why, the Consortium recently participated in a meeting in London, in partnership with Concern UK, the Institute of Development Studies, Healthlink Worldwide and Panos-London. James Deane, the Consortium's managing director of strategy, was at the meeting and provides this overview for Mazi readers. If you'd like the full summary, Making Connections: Participatory Development and Communication for Social Change Symposium, please see information at the end of this overview.
  • Communication For Social Change Anthology: Historical and Contemporary Readings
    After the Second World War, the strategic role of communication in development and social change became clear: The liberation movements of many former colonies, the growing number of non-governmental organisations and the rapid spread of mass media all demonstrated that the communication process is essential to advancing social change, combating poverty and giving people the power to improve their own lives.
  • Continuing the Struggle for Social Justice
    by Dayna Cunningham

    CFSC Consortium executive board member Dayna Cunningham was formerly a civil rights attorney working for voting rights in the Southern United States. Now, as director of the Co-Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she advocates for community voice, participation and policy change as strategies to move people out of poverty and to reinforce strong communities. Cunningham recently worked with Consortium staff on ways to help strengthen community engagement in public schools of the Mississippi Delta region of the United States. This region remains "de facto segregated" due to social patterns that have been in place in Mississippi for decades. One result is that Black students and their parents in some of the school districts of this region feel voiceless, powerless and overlooked. They question whether public school children of the Mississippi Delta are receiving the best possible education they deserve. Cunningham reflects on the merger of her past civil rights work in the South with today's realities in this letter below.
  • Critical Need for Water Information in the Congo
  • De la Cumbre al Llano: el piso de arriba y el piso de abajo
    Pareciera que ahora que se recuerdan los 25 años del informe MacBride no tenemos mucho que celebrar, estamos igual o peor. Hace 25 años la UNESCO llevó adelante la más grande y jerarquizada ofensiva en contra del control hegemónico de los flujos de información por lo países industrializados, y en particular por Estados Unidos.
  • Democracy in Nepal: The Role of Community Radio
    What role did community media play in helping to restore democracy in Nepal? In October 2006, James Deane, managing director of strategy for the Communication for Social Change Consortium, facilitated a panel at the World Congress on Communication for Development, which took place in Rome. The panel focused on the role of community media in development. The panel's organisers were AMARC (the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters), SDC (the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) and UNESCO. Raghu Mainaly, a founder of Nepal's Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, spoke with Deane. In this interview, he explains the critical role of community media in encouraging democratic principles.
  • Democracy, Development and the Media
    by James Deane

    Development actors should take a more active interest in the role of media in the world's developing countries, argues James Deane, head of policy development at the BBC World Service Trust and the Consortium's former managing director of strategy. Without debate, action and leadership, democracies will exist only in name, not substance. In this paper, delivered at the University of Uppsala Collegium for Development Studies, Deane argues that sustainable development depends on media focused on the enormous challenges facing people who are poor and powerless.
  • Dissemination vs. Dialogue: A False Dichotomy
    Arvind Singhal, Ph.D., is a professor and presidential research scholar at the School of Communication Studies, Ohio University, where he teaches and conducts research in diffusion of innovations, mobilising for change, design and implementation of strategic communication, and entertainment-education communication. Singhal argues here that dissemination of information and dialogue are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can complement each other effectively when it comes to bringing about sustainable social change. Author of eight books, his latest work is Organizing for Social Change (Sage, 2006).
  • Dreams Deferred?
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

    I think a lot about children this time of year, and not just my own kids. In both of my countries (the one of my birth and the one I’ve adopted), it is nearing the time of year when students graduate from secondary schools and universities. My personal diary is filled with dates for parties, commencement ceremonies and “notes to self” to purchase cards and gifts.
  • Ensuring Vulnerable People Have Information and Communication Channels: Communication for Empowerment
    by Birgitte Jallov

    When vulnerable people are not involved in policy processes, fragile democracies in poor countries face severe challenges. The Consortium is working with the United Nations Development Programme and the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre to develop—and then to launch globally—a tool to help all people in developing countries have the information and communication channels necessary to improve their lives. The aim of this project, called communication for empowerment, is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. After her strategic overview, Birgitte Jallov, senior communication specialist, outlines key facts, processes and next steps of the communication for empowerment initiative. We will keep Mazi readers informed as we move forward with this important and exciting process. For more information sources, see end of this report.
  • Ethiopia’s Civil Society and the Current Media Environment
    by Lourdes Margarita Caballero

    The Ethiopian government recently legalised community radio and announced plans to liberalise the airwaves. But the country also has some of the world's most tightly controlled media. In this essay, Lourdes Margarita Cabellero, research associate at the Consortium, analyses the impact two new laws will have on the future of Ethiopian community radio and the country's prospects for achieving substantive democracy.
  • Evaluating Social Change and Communication For Social Change: New Perspectives by Ailish Byrne
  • Facing our Humanity in 2006 - Message from Denise Gray-Felder
    In this letter to readers, Consortium President Denise Gray-Felder reflects on confronting the challenges to humanity in 2006.
  • Focusing on People's Cultural Beliefs and Social Influences: Soul City's Approach by Lebo Ramafoko
    Nothing less than a social revolution is necessary to combat the real drivers of HIV in southern Africa, says Lebo Ramafoko, senior manager of South Africa's renowned Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication, an institute that uses multiple media to present real-life drama about critical health and development issues. Speaking as part of a panel on "Refining the Prevention Paradigm," at the recent XVI International Conference on AIDS, Ramafoko argued that communication for social change, including storytelling that focuses on men's fears and women's yearning for empowerment, is the most consistent predictor of positive behavior.

    We have edited her verbatim remarks here. You can view her slides by clicking on the end of this story. Video of this panel is also available through the Kaiser Family Foundation network coverage of the conference.
  • From Early Field Trials to Global Reach: The Roots of the Communication for Social Change Consortium
    by Francina Radford and Denise Gray-Felder

    Many people working in development know how and why the Consortium got its start. Yet many do not. This review by Francina Radford and Denise Gray-Felder is a summary of the earliest days of communication for social change projects in Southern African. From this early exploratory work, the Communication for Social Change Consortium was born, with its current foci on training practitioners and students, expanding the field and building knowledge, developing resources and training, working with local partners to use communication for social change, maintaining networks of universities and practitioners skilled in CFSC, and serving as a repository for information and data on communication for social change. This review was compiled from various reports, including a review of CFSC programme evaluations. Radford, a graduate of Spelman College, now works with ABC television and was the Consortium's first intern.
  • FUTURECONNECT™ Forum in Taiwan
    by Lourdes Margarita Caballero

    The growth of global platforms such as Facebook or Orkut and of national or regional sites such as Renren and Ibibo has been explosive. This trend presents opportunities and risks for those working in HIV/AIDS. In 2009, aids2031 and the Communication for Social Change Consortium commissioned research on the impact of social networking on AIDS communication. The resulting report, FutureConnect: A Review of Social Networking Today, Tomorrow and Beyond, and Challenges for AIDS Communicators explores how young people rely on and trust social networking sites as reliable sources of information on sexuality and other important aspects of their lives. To prompt discussion about the findings of this research, the Consortium is sponsoring a series of dialogues around the world, starting in Asia. In this article, Lourdes Margarita Caballero, a communication associate at the Consortium, describes one such dialogue in Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Gaining Speed and Confidence: Reflections on Progress - Message from Denise Gray-Felder
    These are "the dog days" in North America, those end-of-summer weeks when time seems to stand still. Well, the Consortium's "clock" is on high speed. We don't sleep much these days keeping up with the demand for our services as we mature into a global nonprofit organization with broad reach, a strong voice, proven work record, effective convening power and impact.
  • Geometries of Development by Hemant Shah and Karin Gwinn Wilkin
    In this examination of current development ideology, Hemant Shah and Karin Gwinn Wilkins argue that "the ethnocentric and hierarchical nature of First/Third, North/South, and East/West divisions at the center of the global structure of development hold neither validly nor moral sway." Hemant Shah is a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Karen Gwinn Wilkins is an associate professor and graduate advisor with the Department of Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas-Austin.
  • Global Media in Disasters and Media Disasters: Alleged Looters in Haiti
    by Jude Fernando, Ph.D.

    Global mass media often sensationalise disasters: Disaster sells. Depending on how they cover the disaster, the media can either help or hinder relief efforts. Jude Fernando, a Clark University professor specialising in humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies and natural disasters, explains how repressive governments often play up stereotypical images of alleged looting to transform a humanitarian crisis into a law-and-order crisis.
  • Grappling With the Complexity of Change
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

    Complexity is a subject that intrigues and confounds scholars and practitioners the world over. Many of us who work in international development think that complexity must be grappled with, wrestled to the ground and tamed.
  • Guest Contributor: Communication for the Abandonment Of Female Genital Cutting
    Neil Ford, UNICEF's regional adviser for programme communication in Eastern and Southern Africa, advocates using communication for social change based on human rights principles to help stop female genital cutting, a practice that violates the right of young women to sexual and reproductive health.
  • Happy Birthday, Mazi: We Have a Lot of Work Ahead - Message from Denise Gray-Felder
    As Mazi celebrates its first year anniversary, CFSC Consortium President Denise Gray-Felder reflects on the work ahead using communication to help reduce poverty.
  • Historia de caso: La Primerísima: la emisora de la gente
    Los procesos de migración del campo a la ciudad han sido intensos en América Latina en las décadas recientes. La región ya no es mayoritariamente "rural" como en los años cincuenta y sesenta, cuando emergieron las radios comunitarias. La violencia y el hambre han empujado a millones de campesinos e indígenas latinoamericanos a migrar hacia las ciudades, incorporándose a los cinturones de miseria. Ahora la mayoría de la población se concentra en áreas urbanas. Aún en países con alto componente indígena, como Bolivia, Perú, Ecuador y Guatemala, las estadísticas señalan una reducción constante de habitantes en áreas rurales. De ahí la importancia creciente de las radios comunitarias urbanas, que enfrentan las nuevas realidades del desempleo, la economía informal, y los problemas sociales de violencia, drogadicción, prostitución y carencia de libertades individuales y colectivas, entre otros.
  • How Ethiopian Youth and Community Dialogues Fight HIV/AIDS by Ailish Byrne
    Anti-AIDS Clubs and community conversations are ways the Consortium and its partners support local efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in rural Ethiopia.  Here, in a follow-up to an article that appeared in Mazi's November 2005 issue, Ailish Byrne, the Consortium's senior associate for research and evaluation, describes CFSC in action.
  • Inviting—Not Requiring—Social Change
    by Karen Greiner and Arvind Singhal

    In this essay, Karen Greiner and Arvind Singhal explore two successful programmes using communication for social change—one in Senegal and the other in the United States—that invite people to be agents of their own development, to be the change they wish to see. Karen Greiner is a doctoral candidate in the School of Communication Studies, Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, United States. Her interests include creative communication and social change. Arvind Singhal is the Samuel Shirley and Edna Holt Marston Endowed Professor in the department of communication, University of Texas, El Paso, United States, where he also directs the Social Justice Initiative. A longer version of this piece recently appeared in the Journal of Development Communication under the title "An Invitation to Social Change."
  • Journalists Look at Development Communication
    by G. Pascal Zachary

    What are the strengths and weaknesses of the global media’s coverage of development? Journalists cover development policy debates, highlight research results and hold governments accountable. And sometimes they miss—or they misinterpret—critical issues and trends. G. Pascal Zachary, a journalist with more than 10 years experience covering development, offers recommendations for improving how the media cover development—and six other journalists from around the world weigh in on the subject in a newly released publication from the International Food Policy Research Institute.
  • Kibera Field Centre Uses Innovative Programmes to Create Public Dialogue About Health Issues
    Jemimah Mwakisha, a Ph. D. candidate at State University of New York, Binghamton, describes CFSC in action in one of Africa's biggest slums.
  • La visión estratégica y participativa que irrita al poder - Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron
  • Letter from Sydney, Australia: OURMedia 6 Moves Toward a Just and Better World
    by Participants of OURMedia’s Most Recent Conference

    Working towards “a more integrated, just and better world,” participants of OURMedia’s sixth conference declared their global network to be “one vital part of a systemic and inclusive approach to social change and the right for all to communicate.” The complete declaration from OURMedia 6 conference participants is posted here.
  • Living With HIV/AIDS - A Reflection on the 'Know Your Status' Project in Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia
    by Nyambe Kamungoma

    Open and inclusive dialogue about HIV"”and the factors contributing to its spread"”is key to halting the AIDS pandemic. Here Nyambe Kamungoma, a Zambian activist, talks about living with HIV/AIDS. He describes how the communication for social change process helps communities face the health crisis"”and develop strategies to confront it. The Consortium plays a key role in the "Know Your Status" initiative in Zambia.
  • London’s Africa Gathering Explores Using Technology to Advance the Continent by Karen Merkel and Mazi Editors
    In London, people are talking about Africa. And technology. While this may not seem unusual to some, bringing technophiles together with African development specialists is creating something of a buzz. Named Africa Gathering, this relaxed, non-industry confab of people who care about Africa and how technology might help move the continent forward, has gathered some steam.
  • Looking into the Eyes of Those We Serve: Reflections on Future Challenges
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

    We are entering our sixth year as the Communication for Social Change Consortium. It is a time of expansion, with our opening the Consortium’s European office in London. We welcome new board members Nick Ishmael Perkins, who’s at the Institute of Development Studies in the United Kingdom and Dilip Cherian, chairman of Perfect Relations in India.
  • Make Them Hear You
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

    This is the second issue of Mazi , our online report. Mazi means together. The CFSC Consortium has entered our second year of operation, and together, with our global network of supporters, we already see positive results.
  • Making a Bid to Become Africa’s IT Hub: Rwanda Makes Huge Strides
    by Shirley Randell

    Despite poverty and other daunting challenges, Rwanda intends to become the Singapore of Africa. As it implements the government's information technology plan, the country demonstrates resilience and determination as it moves from subsistence farming to a knowledge-based economy. Shirley Randell is senior advisor for education for SNV Netherlands, the Foundation of Netherlands Volunteers. She also is a member of the Order of Australia.
  • Making the Connection: CFSC and the ‘Report of the Commission for Africa’
    This year, the publication of "Our Common Interest: Report of the Africa Commission," combined with other events, could well mark a break with development policy as it has evolved since the Second World War. For the first time, the opportunity exists for developing countries to take control of their own development agendas. In this article, the Consortium's James Deane, managing director, strategy, suggests that, while many obstacles remain, the potential for people most affected by development to make their voices heard and to make decisions affecting their lives has rarely been greater.
  • Measuring Change: Exploring a Collegial Way to Share and Learn
    by Birgitte Jallov

    How do we promote a media system and an environment that foster democracy and contribute to development goals? How do we achieve sustainable change? These critical communication for social change issues were the focus of a recent symposium in Germany hosted by the Catholic Media Council. Birgitte Jallov, an independent consultant, was at the symposium and summarises its key discussions for Mazi readers.
  • Media in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding: An Opportunity for E.U. Leadership by Bernardo Monzani
    Media often promote violence. Example: the role Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines played in spurring the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. But text-messaging and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter actually have the potential to foster peace. Bernardo Monzani, a Europe-based representative of Search for Common Ground, a nongovernmental agency dedicated to transforming the way people deal with conflict, describes how recent events have heated up the discussion of the media's role in the 21st century. This piece originally appeared in the April 2009 edition of the European Union's report Institute for Security Studies.
  • Media, Freedom and Poverty: A Latin American Perspective by Alfonso Gumucio
    People in Latin America "are all looking at the same screen, and it is not our own screen," says the Consortium's managing director of programmes, Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron.  In this article, Gumucio explains why Latin American mainstream media sometimes fail to represent the social, economic and cultural challenges of the region.
  • Media’s Role in the Global Divides: A Report From IAMCR’s 2008 Congress by Florencia Enghel
    What is the relationship between media and global inequity? More than 900 participants from 85 countries gathered in Stockholm from July 21 to July 25, 2008 to address that question. Hosted by the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), a professional association of communication scholars, the conference explored the pivotal yet under-researched roles the media play with regard to today's global inequalities. Florencia Enghel, editor of Glocal Times, attended the conference and filed this report for Mazi.
  • Memories and Perspectives of the OURMedia Network
    by Alfonso Gumucio Dagron

    All people have the right to communicate their needs, to network and engage in dialogue with others, and to access information, technologies and know-how necessary to exercise these rights. These are the principles of a global network of nearly 500 activists, scholars and practitioners known as OURMedia. In April 2007, OURMedia held its sixth conference in Sidney, Australia, titled "Sustainable Futures: Roles & Challenges for Community, Alternative and Citizens' Media in the 21st Century." Alfonso Gumucio Dagron, the Consortium's managing director-programmes, delivered the opening remarks. His remarks follow.
  • Men and Traditions Against AIDS
    Jemimah Mwakisha, a Ph. D. candidate at State University of New York, Binghamton, describes how an NGO facilitated a three-generational dialogue about transmission of HIV/AIDS and how existing, or changing, traditions can save lives.
  • Message from Denise Gray-Felder
    “The Toronto AIDS conference made vivid for me, once again, the power of one voice, one advocate, one gadfly for change.”  The Consortium’s President, Denise Gray-Felder, urges us all to “listen to the voices of change."
  • Message from Denise Gray-Felder
    'We Are As Big As We Can Dream'

    The passing of a close friend, a courageous Ghanaian woman who was her role model, followed by a journey from Rome to Harare, inspire Consortium President Denise Gray-Felder to live her friend's wisdom: "˜We are as big as we can dream. And we are as successful as we perform.'
  • Mexico City Highlights: Looking at AIDS Globally and Locally
    by CFSC Consortium Staff

    The human battle against AIDS has become a war of attrition. The XVII International AIDS Conference, which took place in Mexico City from August 3 to August 8, 2008, highlighted both good news and bad. The death rate from AIDS is falling globally. But people on the margins—poor people, sex workers and gay people—are still the most vulnerable. The implications for communication for social change—engaging in community dialogue to identify problems and work together to solve them—are enormous. Following are some meeting highlights from the conference Web site as well as from the Web site of the Black AIDS Institute, a United States-based think tank. For comprehensive meeting coverage, see Useful Links.
  • Money Talk: Microfinance as a Means of Reaching People who are Poor by Stan Parish
    While not a panacea for the world's poorest people, microfinancing can be a useful catalyst for helping those living on the economic margins of a society. In this piece, guest contributor Stan Parish, who writes for various magazines, provides an overview of how microfinancing works and how it can help strengthen struggling communities. He argues that the whole point of microfinance is, eventually, to become irrelevant.
  • New ALAIC Board
    The Latin American Association of Communication Research (ALAIC) has elected a new board on May 14, 2005. The new President of ALAIC is Bolivian Erick R. Torrico Villanueva, who was elected unanimously for the period of 2005-2008, during the General assembly held in Sao Paulo.
  • New Horizons and Challenges in Communication for Social Change in Zambia by Ailish Byrne
    What are the strengths and challenges of CFSC in action? Ailish Byrne, the Consortium's senior associate for research and evaluation, considers that question in this piece describing an intensive three-day workshop on CFSC and participatory monitoring and evaluation that she and Denise Gray-Felder facilitated in Kabwe, Zambia.
  • NuestrosMedios 7 by Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron
  • Nueva directiva de ALAIC
    La Asociación Latinoamericana de Investigadores de la Comunicación (ALAIC) es presidida, desde el pasado 14 de mayo, por el boliviano Erick R. Torrico Villanueva, elegido por unanimidad para el período 2005-2008 en la Asamblea General de la institución, celebrada en Sao Paulo.
  • Our Evolving Education Programmes
    Education and training programmes are an essential part of the mission of the Communication for Social Change (CFSC) Consortium and have been from the outset, serving as the focus for a series of international meetings sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation in its support of the CFSC project. This article describes the evolution of our programmes and our approach to them.
  • Our Media: Past and Future by Alfonso Gumucio
    The Consortium managing director of programmes, Alfonso Gumucio, attended the Our Media conference titled "Democracy and Citizens' Media," last December 2005, in Bangalore, India.  He delivered the following remarks.

    Our Media is a global network of activists, academics and practitioners that works for stronger alternative community and citizens' media.
  • OURMedia 7 Meets in Accra, Ghana
    by Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron

    OURMedia / NuestrosMedios, a network of academics, practitioners and activists focused on participatory communication, held its annual conference in Africa for the first time this August. The meeting’s theme was “Identity, Inclusion, Innovation: Alternative Communication in a Globalised World.” Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron, the Consortium’s managing director of programmes, shares what he calls a "vivid experience" that inspired conferees to "go forward in the continuous search of communication that struggles for justice, dignity and equality."
  • Participatory Media Help Ugandan Women Who Have Experienced Obstetric Fistula Tell Their Stories
    by Amy Hill

    Several years ago, Amy Hill, an instructor in storytelling, a documentary filmmaker and a public health/community development consultant travelled to Uganda to gather stories of rural women who have endured obstetric fistula. This article describes her methods, which offer women opportunities for counselling, health education and leadership development. She includes story excerpts and highlights local uses for such media pieces, which today are shared in training sessions to improve the skills of health providers. They also are effective in policy advocacy settings, to advocate for women's rights, gender healthcare equity and improved access to childbirth services.
  • Photo Essay: How Does Communication for Social Change Impact the Lives of Women Refugees
    by Lourdes Margarita Caballero

    This spring, Lourdes Margarita Caballero, a communication associate at the Consortium, travelled to the Kiziba Refugee Camp, in Karongi District of western Rwanda for a first-hand look at the camp's Abakundanye Association. Her goal was to learn how communication for social change has impacted positively on the lives of the female Congolese refugees in this cooperative. She found that communication fostered collective responsibility and helped the women feel less lonely and more powerful.
  • Photo Essay: Public Conversations in Cameroon About AIDS
    by Denise Gray-Felder with Dominique Kondji Kondji and BCH Africa Staff

    The Communication for Social Change Consortium retained BCH Africa to plan and implement a series of public conversations in Cameroon about the future of AIDS in their country and the challenges of managing AIDS on a long-term basis. The Consortium also implemented public conversations for the aids2031 initiative in Mexico City, San Francisco and Dakar, Senegal in 2008. This work was part of, and funded by, the aids2031 global initiative aimed at helping the world be better prepared for living with AIDS in the future. The CFSC Consortium led the communication working group of the aids2031 initiative.
  • Playing With Fire
    by Alfonso Gumucio Dagron

    Institutional agendas, red tape and the politics of power have prevented the profound organisational changes so desperately needed to make communication for social change widely implemented, argues Alfonso Gumucio Dagron, the Consortium’s managing director of programmes. This piece, the keynote address at the Centre for Media Studies Conference at India’s University of Hyderabad, November 1 and 2, explains why so many development decision makers mistakenly believe they're "already doing" communication for social change.
  • Praise for the Spanish edition of Communication for Social Change Anthology by Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron
    Since the Consortium launched the Spanish edition of Communication for Social Change Anthology: Historical and Contemporary Readings in Mexico at the IX Congress of the Latin American Association of Communication Research (ALAIC), events helped promote the book: The first Spanish review appeared in Bolivia; a second launching of the book took place in Bolivia, and a full-page ad appeared in a prominent Bolivian political journal. Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron, the Consortium’s managing director of programmes, reports the good news.
  • Pushing the Boundaries: New Thinking on How We Evaluate
    by Ailish Byrne

    Evaluation experts today are challenging conventional thinking and coming up with innovative approaches. The Consortium recently has been working with UNAIDS, Panos-London and other organisations to strengthen how we evaluate social change communication programmes and processes. Last May, Ailish Byrne, the Consortium’s senior associate for research and evaluation, facilitated a meeting of experts in the field. Here Byrne highlights emerging trends, challenges and concepts that an upcoming publication will detail.
  • Putting the Last First: Gandhi and Communication for Social Change by Arvind Singhal
    In his focus on India’s poorest, most marginalised people, Mahatma Gandhi used communication for social change approaches. Arvind Singhal, the Samuel Shirley and Edna Holt Marston endowed professor in the department of communication at the University of Texas in El Paso, explains how Gandhi’s success, including inspiring the popular movement that freed his country from colonial rule, was a result of his understanding how cultural symbols can help achieve positive social change.
  • Reflections on Communication Challenges of HIV-AIDS
    by Alfonso Gumucio, Ailish Byrne and Denise Gray-Felder

    In this piece, prepared for a UNAIDS consultative meeting on social change communication held in August 2007, the Consortium's Alfonso Gumucio, Ailish Byrne and Denise Gray-Felder examine the opportunities ahead and failures to date of HIV-AIDS communication approaches They point out that "information dissemination per se, or marketing messages, are not enough." What's needed are communication processes involving people and helping them make shifts in the cultural norms and values of their societies. Clearly, they say, the emphasis should be on deeper and lasting social change.
  • Remembering Orlando Fals Borda (1925-2008)
    by Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron

    On Tuesday, August 12, the world lost one of Latin America's most important social scientists, Colombian sociologist Orlando Fals Borda. His passing is a great loss for the academic world across borders and a particular loss for us at the Consortium: Fals Borda is one of the authors in the Consortium's Communication for Social Change Anthology: Historical and Contemporary Readings. He was also a friend to many of us in the Consortium's university network. Alfonso Gumucio Dagron, the Consortium's managing director of programmes, writes this memoriam.
  • Report from Rwanda: Rebuilding in the Wake of Catastrophe by Shirley Randell
    Since the 1994 genocide in their country, the people of Rwanda have worked to rebuild the nation’s reputation and its commitment to law. Shirley Randell, senior adviser, education and governance for empowerment, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, East and Southern Africa Region, reports on progress she saw on her recent visit to Rwanda.
  • Roots and Relevance: Introduction to the CFSC Anthology
    By early July 2006, the Consortium will publish its first major book, Communication for Social Change Anthology: Historical and Contemporary Readings. What follows is an excerpt from the introduction to this groundbreaking textbook. If you'd like to order the anthology, published by the CFSC Consortium, please see the ordering information at the end of the excerpt.
  • Strengthening Our Alliance with the Universidad del Norte
    by Alfonso Gumucio Dagron

    The Consortium continues to forge strong alliances with universities worldwide. Alfonso Gumucio Dagron, managing director for programmes, reports the latest developments in the Consortium's relationship with the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia.
  • Striding Toward the Future in Rwanda by Shirley Randell
    In a nationwide effort to overcome poverty and the nightmare of genocide, the people of Rwanda are using communication for social change approaches. For instance, in an attempt to help erase the stigmatisation many rape victims suffer, one nongovernmental organisation has produced tape cassettes and CDs in which some 100 women tell their personal stories of sexual violence. Local radio-listening clubs listen to their stories. This and other examples come from the latest Rwanda report from Shirley Randell, senior advisor for education for SNV Netherlands, the Foundation of Netherlands Volunteers. She also is a member of the Order of Australia.
  • Talking Truth
    Letter from the President by Denise Gray-Felder

    In her quarterly update to Mazi readers, Consortium President Denise Gray-Felder challenges us all to continue to "speak the truth" about challenges facing the field of communication for development.
  • Talking With a Purpose: When Dialogue is Not Just Talk
    CFSC dialogue is the process through which people understand together, think together and see together their community's path to change. The Consortium's Jim Hunt, senior advisor, explains why dialogue is not just talk, and he invites Mazi readers to share stories of how CFSC dialogue has helped communities find development solutions.
  • The 10th U.N. Interagency Round Table on communication for Development: A CFSC Consortium Perspective
    by James Deane

    Based on his formal background paper for the recent U.N. Interagency Round Table on Communication for Development, this essay by James Deane, the Consortium's managing director of strategy, concludes that: " The bottom line is that unless the mainstream development system starts to ask questions regarding basic communication for development in assessing the nature of development problems, it will never identify communication for development as a critical component of the solution to those problems." The essay does not necessarily represent the views of UNDP, or any other organisation participating in the Round Table.
  • The Babel Challenge
    What made the World Congress of Communication for Development (WCCD), held in Rome this past October, so unique? Alfonso Gumucio Dagron, the Consortium's managing director of programmes offers his opinions.
  • The Complexity of Humanity
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

    From the rolling hills of Rwanda’s countryside to the busy streets of Jamaica’s capital, the communication for social change challenges being addressed by the CFSC Consortium are complex and require complex systems thinking. In this letter, Consortium President Denise Gray-Felder reflects on communication for social change and humanity. 
  • The Consistency of Stories, Dialogue and Reflection for Healing
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

    In this letter and in this issue of Mazi, CFSC Consortium President Denise Gray-Felder and staff reflect on how storytelling and collective dialogue contribute to development progress. But such progress may require expanded ways of looking at how communication interventions are delivered.
  • The Humanity of Muhammad Yunis
    by Arvind Singhal

    Much of the success and growing popularity of micro- credit approaches to moving ultra-poor people out of poverty can be traced to the work of Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus. In 1976, Yunus developed the idea of giving small loans to entrepreneurs in his country, Bangladesh. An early supporter of the Consortium's work and the communication for social change process, Yunus established Grameen Bank, which now provides millions of small loans within many of the world's poorest countries. Arvind Singhal, professor and presidential research scholar at Ohio University's School of Communication Studies, considers Yunus a friend. He describes his encounters with this phenomenal man.
  • The Irony of Communication for Social Change
    by Silvio Waisbord

    Communication must demonstrate its relevance if it is going to take a central role in development, argues Silvio Waisbord. Waisbord, a native of Argentina, is an author and scholar and is currently a professor at George Washington University. In this piece, based upon a speech he delivered during the 20th anniversary celebration of the communication for development program at Ohio University, he offers us tactics to meet the challenge of relevancy.
  • The KALAHOK Theater Approach: A Communication Perspective by Ricamela Palis
    The communication for social change approach often uses drama to foster inclusive and democratic dialogue. In this excerpt of a longer essay, Ricamela Palis, a student at University of the Philippines-Los Baños, places the KALAHOK Theatre Approach of Arts Research and Training Institute in Southern Tagalog (ARTIST), Inc. in the traditions of communication theory. The ARTIST Inc. is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization established in 1987 to extend cultural work to marginalised communities. The organisation uses arts training, research and development of arts productions to portray the realities of the region.
  • The Racial Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
    Throughout the world, whenever a natural disaster strikes, people who are poor and marginalised often suffer most. Consortium Board Member Dayna L. Cunningham, of Public Interest Projects, a social justice project-management organisation, writes about the insensitivity and incompetence surrounding response efforts after Hurricane Katrina. She argues for the CFSC approach by showing the critical importance of listening to the people most affected by poverty and injustice.
  • The Right to Communicate, Social Movements and Democratic Participation
    Starting with the image of poor women in Bolivia literally protecting their rural radio station with their bodies, Alfonso Gumucio Dagron, the Consortium's managing director of programmes, explains the power of community radio as a tool of social change. In November 2006, Gumucio presented his remarks at the "Global Framing of Democracy: International Perspectives on Civil Society, Communication and Democracy," a meeting organized by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
  • The Strategic, Participatory Approach: An Irritant to Power by Alfonso Gumucio
    The ability to work horizontally with communities, from within their own cultures and on the basis of their own agendas is just one feature distinguishing communicators for social change from others working in development. In this essay, Alfonso Gumucio, the Consortium's managing director for programmes, says communicators for social change focus on an inclusive, democratic approach to decision making.
  • Three Challenges of Communication for Social Change
    by Alfonso Gumucio Dagron

    What are the most critical challenges facing communication for social change? In his closing remarks at OURMedia's sixth conference, Alfonso Gumucio cites three challenges: using appropriate words to describe CFSC, developing the CFSC discipline and legitimising CFSC among the agencies making development decisions affecting our entire world.
  • To Change the Dance You Must Change the Music: Youth Programmes in Ethiopia Aimed at HIV/AIDS
    In this article, the Consortium's Ailish Byrne, senior associate, research and evaluation, and Jim Hunt, senior adviser, describe communication for social change in progress with youth programmes in Ethiopia. These youth dialogue programmes provide young people forums to discuss HIV/AIDS and encourage them take an active role in preventing the spread of the virus. The article also explains how participatory monitoring and evaluate of such programs is essential.
  • Transforming the Kenyan Dairy Feeding System through a Communication for Social Change Approach by Patrick Papania et al.
    Scaling up development impact is a constant challenge for people working on development projects. Going beyond "islands of success" and reaching hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries often seems an elusive goal. Patrick Papania, senior communications advisor at the Washington, D.C.-based Academy for Educational Development,(AED) with Zachary Fonner, Sam Bringhurst and Laurence Mach, describes a communication for social change methodology known as SCALETM that successfully scaled up a technology transfer by a leading international research organisation to benefit hundreds of thousands of dairy farmers in Kenya, transforming the nation's small farmer dairy supply chain.
  • Transforming Traditional Gender Structures: Giving Women Access to Information Technology
    by Ami Sengupta, Esther Long, Arvind Singhal and Corrine L. Shefner-Rogers

    Combining the use of suitable technology with information dissemination can be a useful way of prompting dialogue about pressing social issues. Authors Ami Sengupta, Esther Long, Arvind Singhal and Corinne L. Shefner-Rogers describe a project focused on giving Afghan women access to solar-powered digital audio players in order to access information about civic and voter education. As a result, the audio players—called Sada—helped promote open and inclusive family and community dialogue about gender issues.
  • Tres retos de la comunicación para el cambio social
  • Using Communication for Social Change To Build Social Capital for Bangladeshis Who Are Ultrapoor
    This paper outlines the communication for social change programme of the Advocacy and Human Rights Unit (BRAHU) of BRAC, formerly known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, and places it within a methodological context. The programme shows how communication can be used for much more than information dissemination and, when effectively implemented, can drive significant social change.
  • What Complexity Science Teaches Us About Social Change
    by Virginia Lacayo

    Exactly how social change takes place is a critical issue for CFSC scholars and practitioners. Complexity scientists view social change as complex, nonlinear, contradictory, and so its implications for the CFSC process are important. This essay, by Ohio University Ph.D. candidate Virginia Lacayo, is based on her master's thesis.
  • What My Grandmother Taught Me About Communication: Perspectives From African Cultural Values by Alfred Opubor
    What are the roots of African patrimony? And how are they relevant to communication, culture and social change? In this essay, Professor Alfred Opubor, of the West African News Media and Development Centre, in Cotonou, Benin, provides useful insights about African cultural values.
  • When It Comes to Social Change, The Machine Metaphor Has Limits by Virginia Lacayo
    If social change is nonlinear, long term and rarely predictable, why do so many organisations use a mechanistic approach in an attempt to measure and evaluate development initiatives? Virginia Lacayo, a Ph. D. candidate at the School of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University, in the United States, explains why Westerners especially are drawn to the machine metaphor, and she discusses the limitations of that approach. Lacayo, whose specialty is gender and social change, concludes by providing Mazi readers a variety of simple rules to avoid those limitations.
  • When Parents Say No
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

    Does any parent have the moral right to refuse care that might save his child’s life? This type of medical ethical question is debated often in professional journals and even mass media, especially those in North America and Europe. Before I became a parent I likely would have answered, "Of course she does: It's her child." But as I practice this craft of parenting I become more conflicted with each passing year.
  • When Typing is Not Talking
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

    The more we communicate the less we hear.
    I'm sure that whoever first made this observation was attempting to be cute or witty. Surely she or he did not imagine a day when there would be so many information channels and ways to keep in touch with friends and family that people would have to schedule time in the day to talk to those they care about.
  • Why Dialogue Is Priceless
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

    Several world events of the past few months weigh heavily on my heart and mind as I write this message. I’m troubled and anxious; yet I’m encouraged and buoyed by the determination and commitment of Kenyans and Zimbabweans living in their native countries as well as around the globe as they raise their voices and stand up against dishonest government. Their stories are stories of conviction and courage. Many have been beaten, persecuted and abused as a result of daring to point out that no one has the right to steal an election, especially those elected previously in democratic elections.
  • Why the Media Matter: Ensuring the World's Poorest People Have a Say
    In October 2005, James Deane, the Consortium's managing director, strategy, spoke at the Global Forum for Media Development, which took place in Amman, Jordan. In this excerpt, edited specially for Mazi, he discusses fast-moving global trends shaping today's media landscape"”and the role of media in helping people improve their lives.
  • Why Uruguay? Proving That Media Reform Is Possible
    by Silvio Waisbord

    Recent events in Uruguay prove that media reform is possible when civil society promotes strategic coalitions and it links up with sympathetic government allies. In the past two years, the country passed laws on community broadcasting, access to public information and national information archiving. This past June, Uruguay's Chamber of Deputies passed a bill to reform its penal code and press law. Silvio Waisbord, assistant professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, originally wrote this piece for the World Bank's blog, "People, Spaces, Deliberation."
  • Winning the Youth Vote for Obama: A Conversation With Jonathan Kopp by Susan Mach
    Social networking and digital information technologies helped spark the massive increase in youth participation that led to President Barack Obama's victory in November. During the U.S. presidential campaign, Jonathan Kopp, now global director at Ketchum Digital, was a partner with SS+K, the integrated communication agency that managed Obama's youth communication efforts. Kopp talks about how youth communication helped make history.
  • With Haiti's Recovery, Opportunities Abound to Use Communication for Social Change
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

    It hardly seems appropriate to start this letter with “Happy New Year” given the tragedy in Haiti that is occupying many of our waking hours and most of our thoughts. Yet I do not want to miss the opportunity to wish our readers, friends, collaborators, network members, donors and others who give to us of their time, talent and intelligence all good wishes as we begin a new decade.
  • Working Toward Evidence-Based Process: Evaluation That Matters
    by Ailish Byrne

    Reflecting on her experience evaluating communication for social change processes, Ailish Byrne, the Consortium's senior associate of research and evaluation, highlights recent relevant and thought-provoking writing on development practice and its evaluation. She then outlines the practical implications for organisations wanting to evaluate their work in ways that engage diverse stakeholders in processes that are meaningful, worthwhile and practical.
  • Year-End Reflections Prompt Increased Hope for the Future
    Message from Denise Gray-Felder

    As 2009 beckons, Consortium President Denise Gray-Felder reflects on democracy, inclusion and the future.