Participatory communication

Participatory communication aims to faciliate the expression of people's needs and priorities through effective communication processes. It has a long history in development communication and continues to grow and evolve with participatory development practice.

This list was compiled for the Exchange Lunchtime Discussions on Particpatory Communication. It offers key resources relating to issues around participatory communication. Source welcomes details of additional resources and accounts of how they are useful - please send these to sourceassistant@hi-uk.org.

Selected resources

Books, reports, etc

A new weave of power, people & politics : the action guide for advocacy and citizen participation

VENEKLASEN, Lisa
MILLER, Valerie
March 2007

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This comprehensive action guide provides an approach for building people’s participation and collective power that goes beyond influencing policy and politics to transforming public decision-making. It offers easily adaptable 'modules' for NGOs trainers, activists, grass-roots organisations, who wish to develop ideas around advocacy. One of the strengths is that it focuses on peoples participation and explores ideas relating to power and politics in citizen-centred advocacy. It emphasises power and constituency-building discussed through the lens of gender/race/class and is based upon the concrete experiences of social change worldwide
It also offers facilitators tips, sample exercises and easily adaptable handouts, along with core information to support anyone through the learning process. Based on long-term experience of a range of practitioners, the guide provides well-tested methods for promoting citizen participation and practical ways of realising a rights-based approach.
The contents, chapters 1, 3, 5, 10 and 13 can be accessed electronically

Advancing health communication : the PCS experience in the field

PIOTROW, Phyllis Tilson
et al
March 2003

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"This guide for health communication programs is based on the worldwide experience of the Population Communication Services (PCS4) project from 1995-2002... "This report is designed to help organizations carry out effective communication programs by addressing step-by-step some of the major problems likely to arise and by focusing on problem-solving in the rapidly changing field of health communication"

Advocacy in action : a toolkit to support NGOs and CBOs responding to HIV/AIDS

INTERNATIONAL HIV/AIDS ALLIANCE
2002

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A comprehensive toolkit designed for people and organisations that support NGOs/CBOs responding to HIV/AIDS in developing countries. Introduces the concept of advocacy ('influencing people and organisations in power to create an environment which protects the rights, health and welfare of everyone'); provides a step-by-step guide to planning and implementing advocacy work; and provides information and skills-building activities. Includes 'A facilitator's guide to participatory workshops' and '100 ways to energise groups : games to use in workshops, meetings and the community'. All materials are on the CD-ROM, which is included in the pack, and on the International HIV/AIDS Alliance website

Communication and power : resource materials for reflect practitioners

ARCHER, David
NEWMAN, Kate
2003

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This international resource pack is for practitioners, and pulls together practical ideas and experiences from people who have used the Reflect approach around the world. It includes sections on the 'written word', 'numbers', 'spoken word', and 'images'. Explains how techniques such as drama or citizen's juries could be deployed to explore and convey issues relevant to development

Developing materials on HIV/AIDS/STIs for low-literate audiences

FAMILY HEALTH INTERNATIONAL (FHI)
PROGRAM FOR APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY AND HEALTH (PATH)
December 2002

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This manual provides a comprehensive methodology for developing materials for a low-literate audience in the context of a behaviour change communication program. It demonstrates the process of learning about target populations using qualitative research methodologies, developing effective messages with thir input, and crafting visual messages to support the overall HIV and AIDS program. Involving the target population and stakeholders in the development process is key to ensuring high-quality effective print materials. Finally, the guide outlines the process for rigorous pretesting to ensure that the information and issues are understood by the population groups that programs are trying to reach and influence. It can be adapted and used to develop audio-visual materials or materials for other target groups

eforums on HIV and TB : a toolkit for launching, moderating and managing a high quality eforum

KISTLER, Elizabeth
et al
2009

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This toolkit aims to provide organisations working in health and development with tools to launch, moderate and manage high-quality eForums that provide a safe space for civil society focused information sharing, networking and dialogue. It has the potential to be applied to a range of health and development issues. It is intended for international, regional and national civil society organisations recognising the power of information and the significance of a transparent, broad-based communication mechanism that enhances civil society responses to HIV and TB

Giving voice to the voiceless : a communicating for advocacy publication

September 2007

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Using a rights-based approach, this project sought to develop the capacity of poor and marginalised groups in South and South-East Asia both to influence practice and policy, and for information exchange and skills transfer by health and development agencies. The project focused on four main themes: training, advocacy, communication and networking, and the lessons learned from it are set out in the report

Handbook on access to HIV/AIDS-related treatment : a collection of information, tools and resources for NGOs, CBOs and PLWHA groups

GREEN, Carolyn
et al
2003

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This handbook provides NGOs, CBOs and groups of people living with HIV/AIDS with a practical resource for responding to issues of access to treatement for HIV/AIDS in developing countries. It is designed to build practical skills using participatory activities, to provide a training resource for NGO support programmes and individuals, and to facilitate ongoing learning. It is suitable for people with varying levels of experience. It contains practical exercises and examples on different aspects of treatment

How to improve the use of medicines by consumers

CHETLEY, Andrew
et al
2007

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This manual focuses on selecting, testing, implementing and evaluating interventions to improve the use of medicines at community level. Two broad strategic areas are identified: communication strategies and strategies to create enabling environments. "What has become clear over the years is that there is no single model or approach that is the solution to all health communication challenges. Different techniques are appropriate in different contexts to deal with different priorities and problems. This manual will help you to build skills and experience to make that selection more effectively"

Involving the community : a guide to participatory development communication

BESSETTE, Guy
2004

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This manual argues that communication facilitates the development process. It conceptualises communication as interaction between and among the people whose development is being considered. In this way, communication becomes the development process itself, and the stakeholders - community members or their supporters who share an interest in the outcome - are development communicators as well. Using examples from environmental and natural resource management to illustrate participatory development communication, the manual is adaptable to other development areas, including health. It describes the root concepts of participatory development communication, a ten-step methodology for its application, and suggests communication tools appropriate to the approach. In an annex appended to the book, the author presents a summary of the changing perception of the relationship between the twin processes of communication and development. This adds a theoretical background to the material that gives it more depth for development researchers and practitioners for whom the book is intended, and will also be useful for development communication students

National partnership platforms on HIV and TB : a toolkit to strengthen civil society information, dialogue and advocacy

RAMAKANT, Bobby
et al
2009

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This toolkit aims to share the learning on national partnership programmes (NPP) so far, The examples, case studies, challenges and processes described are therefore a ‘work-in-progress’ rather than perfectly presented material. The toolkit also provides examples of successful initiatives using the NPP approach. A NPP is based on the principle that information is power, providing tools for information sharing, networking and dialogue. NPPs facilitate the process of consensus building, developing an informed common advocacy agenda and implementing effective country level advocacy on HIV and TB

Participatory development communication : a West African agenda

BESSETTE, Guy
RAJASUNDERAM, C V
Eds
1996

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Outlines the activities and priorities of the participatory communication CIME (Communicaiton, information, media, Education) research programme of IDRC in West Africa. Includes a useful historical overview of development communication and related areas of development, and a review of current participatory communication methods, such as 'community media', that put the 'grass-roots expression of its needs' at the heart of development. Also considers the relationship between grass-roots communication and non-formal education and in particular the need for supporting and developing the skills of young women and girls as effecetive communicators at the grass-roots level

Participatory rural communication appraisal : starting with the people

ANYAEGBUNAM, Chike
MEFALOPULOS, Paolo
MOETSABI, Titus
2004

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Designed primarily as a field guide for development workers and extension staff, this handbook provides a simple, easy-to-follow procedure for planning cost-effective and appropriate communication programmes. Steps include: situation analysis, baseline surveys and a range of participatory tools and techniques to profile exisiting communication channels and methods, and develop appropriate communication programmes. It can be used as a reference for conducting participatory rural communication appraisal (PRCA) in the field as well as a training guide for capacity building in PRCA

The first mile of connectivity : advancing telecommunications for rural development through a participatory communication approach

RICHARDSON, Don
PAISLEY, Lynnita
Eds
1998

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Begins with the need to work at the 'first mile' of connectivity - essentially the prevailing conditions for rural communities - when discussing the value of new information communication technologies. Emphasises people and the communication process, and the various factors of community dynamics and context that frame any communicaiton initiatives, not the technology . Chapters cover a range of examples of participatory communication methods, such as Participatory Rural Communicaiton Appriasal, and the training of 'community animators'. Looks at examples of rural telephony and radio, telecentres, video and the Internet, and also discusses some issues connected to telecommunications infrastructure and regulation, such as rural networking co-operatives and parterships with the private sector

Transforming power

ActionAid
2001

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This is the report of a forum that was initially conceived as a space to share experiences around participatory methodologies, adapting them to the new strategic direction of ActionAid. However, it rapidly evolved into a space for the analysis of power relationships, with the recognition that all participatory methods, tools and techniques can easily become manipulative, extractive, distorted or impotent

Virtual change : indicators for assessing the impact of ICTs in development

FEEK, Warren
2009

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New ways of working and approaches to technology have led communication for development specialists to re-examine the social embeddedness of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and how we assess their impact. The earliest discourse on ICTs for development focused on the issue of access and capacity building (and latterly content) However, in some areas the ICT revolution served only to widen existing economic and social gaps prompting communication for development specialists and others to argue that that if the opportunities offered by ICTs are to be realised, poor people must be active determinants of the process, not just passive onlookers or consumers. Access and use of ICTs are relevant therefore to the degree that they enable people to participate in and influence society

Working with street children : a training package on substance use, sexual and reproductive health including HIV/AIDS and STDs [Introduction]

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO). Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence
2000

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This training package responds to the needs of field workers in a variety of settings and aims at better equipping street educators with essential knowledge and skills. It has ten modules around understanding and responding to the needs of street children. The full set can be downloaded at http://www.unodc.org/youthnet/en/youthnet_action_vulnerable_populations.html#othertools (scroll to bottom of page)

Journal articles

A framework linking community empowerment and health equity : it is a matter of CHOICE

RIFKIN, Susan B
September 2003

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"This paper presents a framework to explore the relationship between health equity and community empowerment. It traces the progression of the concept of participation to the present term of empowerment and the links among empowerment, equity and health outcomes. It argues that the relationship can best be described by using the acronym CHOICE (Capacity-building, Human rights, Organisational sustainability, Institutional accountability, Contribution, and Enabling environment)...In conclusion, it suggests that these factors might form the basis of a tool to assess the relationship between equity and empowerment and its impact on health outcomes"

Participatory video as a documentation tool

LUNCH, Chris
March 2006

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This article explains how an organisation called Insight uses participatory video to give local people the opportunity to document their experiences and knowledge, and describes their experience with one organisation in Turkmenistan. The approach involves local people learning how to use video equipment, through games and exercises facilitated by outsiders; identifying and analysing important issues in the community using a range of participatory tools, and planning how to show this on video; local groups direct and film video messages; the footage is screened to the wider community daily; community-led learning, sharing and exchange is stimulated; and films are subsequently used for communication among different people and organisations.

The role of partnerships in health equity

TUTU, Desmond
November 2008

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This commentary sees working in partnership as key to tackling the disparity in access to health care throughout the world. It cites the Medical Knowledge Institute's programmes for addressing HIV in Africa as an example of successful partnerships.

Worker-led participatory research and evaluation : lessons from the real world : reflections of the SREPP participants

ECKMAN, A
MCQUISTON, T
LIPPON, T
2000

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In 1997, four US union health and safety training programmes entered into a three-year, multi-union learning action-research collaborative, the Self-sufficiency Research and Evaluation Pilot Project (SREPP). This initiative sought to build the research and evaluation capacities of the participating unions' training by offering a new model of participatory learning and action in the area of worker health and safety. Existing examples of participatory action research in this field have tended to concentrate on single worksites and start with a stakeholder labour management model. By contrast, this project has sought to foster participatory learning across programmes from a union perspective. It uses and expands on the peer-training model to institutionalise a new base of worker produced knowledge. During the last of SREPP’s four training workshops participants reflected on their experiences in the project through a series of participatory activities. In this article the background to the project is followed by the words of SREPP participants describing what it takes to learn about and do participatory evaluation in the context of union-based, worker-led health and safety training programmes. This includes a look at what was learned and how, as well as supports and barriers to participatory evaluation and the model that they have developed

Websites

Development gateway

DEVELOPMENT GATEWAY FOUNDATION

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The Development Gateway portal provides a space for communities to share experiences on development efforts. The portal supports the Development Gateway Foundation's knowledge-sharing efforts through services such as an online directory for information on development projects (AiDA), an electronic procurement market (dgMarket), information on major development topics (Topic Pages), and links to a growing network of country-level initiatives (Country Gateways). By offering users virtual interactive communities centered on development issues, the portal's Topic Pages encourage knowledge-sharing and help improve collaboration among development practitioners. Expert guides and global topic advisors work with their communities to highlight the most relevant and useful resources available on the Internet. The topic pages enable you to share knowledge and locate resources on a variety of development topics; build a community of experience around development topics through individual member contributions; receive free email alerts and newsletters; and make connections with thousands of registered users

Food and Agriculture Organization : SD Dimensions : Knowledge

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FAO's Sustainable Development Department helps to strengthen the capabilities of national and regional research, extension, education and communication systems so that rural people have the knowledge and skills they need to improve their productivity, incomes and livelihoods, and manage the natural resources on which they depend in sustainable ways. The Knowledge unit comprises sections on communication for development, education, extension, and research and technology. Resources available include an online version of a CD-ROM of their communications work, and links to related websites and discussion fora

IDS Participation website

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A group at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex University, UK, whose mission is to deepen the quality of participation, to criticise it and to gain better understanding, both conceptual and practical, of its meanings, applications and contributions to development. The website includes overviews, articles, reports and a searchable database of resources around participation

Reflect

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Reflect is an innovative approach to adult learning and social change which fuses the theories of Paulo Freire with the methodology of participatory rural appraisal. The website includes news and information about current and past Reflect initiatives, as well as links to the 'Mother manual' and related resources

The Communication Initiative

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The Communication Initiative (CI) is a partnership of development organisations seeking to support advances in the effectiveness and scale of communication interventions for positive international development. The CI strategy includes provision of real-time information on communication and development experiences and thinking, facilitating horizontal linkages between people engaged in communication action, peer commentary on programmes and strategies and taking opportunities to promote strategic thinking on communication and development issues and problems. Themed sites within this website relate to: avian flu; HIV & AIDS; democracy & governance; early childhood development; health communication; ICT policies and studies; ICT for development; natural resource management; polio; and community radio and edutainment in Africa

Welcome to the world cafe

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This website describes the World Café - a conversational process based on a set of integrated design principles that reveal a deeper living network pattern through which people co-evolve their collective future. The World Café, is also a global community of people dedicated to awakening and engaging collective intelligence through conversations about questions that matter, to nourish and renew life and the website contains resources for setting up a world cafe event, and reflections and stories illustrating the wide range of fields and sectors in which such events have been used around the world

Organisations

Asociación de Comunicadores Sociales (ACS Calandria)

Peru

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Cahuide 752
Lima 11

Calandria works to generate dialogue between different sectors of society using diverse people- and culture-sensitive communication methodologies. Works to improve women's leadership and civic journalism, to strenghen the local government sector, to promote social vigilance of mass media, and to build the communication skills of other institutions. The Resource Centre is open to public and is able to respond to requests for materials or information. Also produce AIDS Action newsletter (Spanish) http://www.accionensida.org.pe

Bernard van Leer Foundation|Effectiveness Initiative

Netherlands

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Eisenhowerlaan 156
2517 KP
The Hague

The Effectiveness Initiative: In January 1999 the Bernard van Leer Foundation and partner organisations in the Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development initiated a three year investigation known as the Effectiveness Initiative (EI). The overall goals within this effort are to investigate what makes an effective programme work, and to initiate an international dialogue on effectiveness that deepens our understanding of how to create and/or support effective programming for young children and families.
The EI effort is grounded in the in depth study of ten specific programmes. It is also designed to be a cross-site, cross-agency collaboration and exchange that stimulates on going dialogue about effective programming. Furthermore, it is designed to test the application of qualitative research methods, well tested in other development arenas, to the field of international ECD. The goals of this effort are two-fold: to gain deeper insights into what makes ECD programmes effective, and to activate international dialogue on effectiveness that takes us, as ECD professionals, beyond our present scant measures and indicators of programme success

Centre for the Arts in Development Communications (cdcArts)|School of Community and Performing Arts|King Alfred's College

UK

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Winchester
SO22 4NR

cdcArts promotes the self-development of marginalised groups through cultural engagement and the arts. This includes facilitation of grassroots projects, undertaking of training consultancies, running of vocationally oriented academic programmes, writing of print and electronic materials on Theatre for Development, and fostering of networks for South-South and North-South dialogue and information exchange. The guiding principles are democracy, participation and sustainability. In keeping with this, cdcArts incorporates aspects of trainer training and the sharing and exchange of transferable cultural and artistic skills, and participatory performance practices. At graduate level, the MA (PGDip) Theatre for Development and graduate research programmes run within the School of Community and Performing Arts at King Alfred's College in the UK. Their website is a useful source of background information on participatory performance practices

Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA)

India

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42 Tuglakabad Institutional Area
New Delhi

PRIA's vision of a desirable world is based on values of equality, gender justice and freedom. PRIA works towards democratic governance in society. It identifies the poor and the marginalised, focusing upon changing women's roles and status as agents and leaders of change. The PRIA resource centre is open to the public