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Communication for Social Change

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  • Communication for Social Change

    Our Mission

    The CFSC Consortium is dedicated to the belief that innovative communication processes are critical to development of poor and historically marginalized communities.

    The Consortium seeks to increase the capacity of communication specialists, development workers, aid agencies, nonprofit organizations and communities to use communication for social change concepts in order to improve the lives of those who have been long excluded.

    Based on important experiences that are surfacing through participatory research, the Consortium is redefining how communication is practiced and taught to development organizations and practitioners working in excluded communities.

    What is the Definition of Communication for Social Change?

    CFSC is a 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.

    Reaching concensus on this definition was done through a process of deliberation and consultation with some of the world's leading thinkers and practitioners of communication for development.

    What are the Roots of CFSC?

    Communication has been an essential tool for development since early in the 20th century. The Rockefeller Foundation, as an early funder of communication projects, helped boost the academic success of the work of pioneers such as Wilbur Schramm at the University of Illinois and Paul Lazersfeld at Columbia University.

    In 1997, the Rockefeller Foundation's then communication director and later vice president, Denise Gray-Felder, began an exploration to, in part, answer nagging questions: why is the communication work of many Foundation grantees scatter-shot, unsustainable and heavily message driven?

    Following a series of discussions with diverse groups of communicators over a 3-year period, the Foundation's communication staff introduced the concept of communication for social change to the foundation and donor communities.

    From these discussions the Foundation was instrumental in forming a network of communication practitioners who debated and revised the working definition of communication for social change. This network is currently made up of scholars, researchers and practitioners living and working in dozens of countries.

  • #2
    Re: Communication for Social Change

    "The Consortium seeks to increase the capacity of communication specialists, development workers, aid agencies, nonprofit organizations and communities to use communication for social change concepts in order to improve the lives of those who have been long excluded."
    Reading through several threads on this forum today causes me to contemplate pandemic flu. Therefore, the title here, "Communication for Social Change", immediately directs my own thoughts to the need for communications that impresses upon citizenry the importance of attending to gathering their SIP resources.


    Good grief, reading that scholarly article has completely messed up my ability to express myself. Let's try again.

    The title makes me think that someone oughta be telling the people that:
    -some really bad things seem to be piling up and headed this way
    and quite likely are coming soon;
    -they're going to have to hunker down and stay isolated until it all
    passes by, and that might be anywhere from 3 months
    to ____ months;
    - the Just-in-Time economy (aka JIT) means that stores may/will quickly run
    out of supplies;
    -there aren't any big government warehouses that are going to open up
    and take care of them when it happens, so they better start collecting
    what they'll need to Shelter-in-Place, aka SIP;
    -if they're poor or live in a difficult area for coping with SIP, they can
    start knocking loudly on the doors of their local municipal buildings
    and county offices, state legislators, churches and other places where
    they know to go for help, and start demanding to know what The Plan
    is (which might help those dear leaders develop The Plan).

    I've been poor and I suspect I?ve been sort of marginalized at times, so let me suggest that the easiest way to get through to folks like me is just to tell them in simple language what's going on and what they need to do. Forget newspapers (wonderful but expensive to subscribe to) and go straight to the local, most popular radio stations and to TV public service announcements during sports games and talk shows. They'll get the message. It just needs to be where they?re looking.

    So, is it really a problem of the powers that be (aka PTB) having faulty communication skills, or is it a problem of them not wanting to have to deal with a surge of responses from the masses?

    My concern is that our governments are not putting the full message out. The US State Dept. in Hong Kong last month on its web site advised Americans to prepare for 3 mo. of SIP, and it was only a matter of days before it pulled that off the web. Somebody apparently deviated from the government line and no doubt got their fingers slapped.

    IMHO, the "communication for social change", relative to preparing for what looks like a possible pandemic, needs to be greatly increased in the media. How else am I ever going to be able to get through to my kids and my friends that there really, really is something that they need to be doing to prepare for this wolf near the door, and that they need to do it now? I?ve tried but I just don?t have the impact that the media has, and that the PTB have if they use the media ?to use communication for social change concepts in order to improve the lives of those who have been long excluded.? If my loved ones hear it from ?them?, they?re more likely to actually do something than if I?m the only voice they hear.

    I hope I haven?t strayed too far from the intentions of this thread. It?s just that I'm feeling just a tad anxious and frustrated today. Reading the thread ?Discussion: Waves, CR, and attack rate? a few minutes ago has added to my worries about a pandemic. I wonder when more people will want to start preparing. Not that many seem to want to at this point.

    Time to take a break and finish baking my Christmas cookies. It's my mental health activity for the day Mmmm, and some of them have chocolate too.