13,756 Social Shakes, Part II, The Drum Beat 768, January 9- 2019

The Drum BeatSocial Shakes, Part II – The Drum Beat 768
January 9, 2019
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In this issue:

* INTRODUCTION TO PART II OF THIS SPECIAL ISSUE BY WARREN FEEK
* OVERALL SOCIAL CHANGE – the new terrain we walk
* IMPACT: THE RESEARCH AND EVALUATION DATA
* PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES and STRATEGY AND RESOURCE ALLOCATIONS…What does this all add up to?
* PLEASE LEND YOUR VOICE TO THE CI SURVEY

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Editor’s note: In Part I of a special 2-part Drum Beat, Warren Feek, The Communication Initiative (The CI)’s founder and Executive Director, shared his reflections on the recent occasion of our 21st birthday and asked for you to join in the conversation about what constitutes effective communication, media, social change, behaviour change, informed and engaged societies action. He continues here and encourages you to engage in debate through either the comments section at the end of each section and/or the dialogue already underway at this link.
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From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
LIKE The CI on FacebookFOLLOW The CI on TwitterVIEW this issue onlineREAD PAST ISSUES of The Drum Beat; and ask your colleagues and networks to SUBSCRIBE to The Drum Beat.
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OVERALL SOCIAL CHANGE – the new terrain we walk
  • “Vastly more people live in URBAN areas now than did 30 years previously – by a factor of 5 from 1950 to 2014. That urbanisation has facilitated a series of social changes…

    Many countries have also seen a broadening and deepening of REPRESENTATIVE POLITICAL GOVERNANCE. We do not wish to overstate this case….But, in general, there are many more political processes in countries now compared to 30 years ago that have elections, representative governance, and accountability to an electorate as a central plank of their system…

    We have very quickly moved to a DIGITAL WORLD….The qualities of the digital environment match some key requirements for overall Development. People can access knowledge in real time. Physical distance is no barrier to accessing services. The two-way and community nature of the digital processes helps to ensure there is strong input from the people experiencing an issue. Some of the stigma and prejudice concerns can be lessened. Confidentiality is easier to preserve. It is much easier for networks of people to form, convene and work together in support of each other. There is an increased number of avenues for holding decision-makers to account…

    The STATUS AND RIGHTS of WOMEN have come a long way in many countries and contexts (not all, of course). As outlined in the overview of the ICPD process related to family planning, this social movement was a key factor for that specific issue. But it has also been crucial across a range of other Development issues and concerns. Effective action requires good decision-making. Those decisions are enhanced when different perspectives can be openly raised, debated and considered as decisions are made. This is as important within households on the issues experienced by families as it is in public forums considering policy priorities and the allocation of scarce resources to address those priorities…

    Though data are hard to come by, all signs point to a very significant GROWTH IN THE NUMBER OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS and the more extensive scale of their coverage and work in non-OECD countries. This is, of course, a direct byproduct of the other social change processes outlined above: urbanisation, representative government, a move toward the digital, and gender equity struggles. These changes have helped to create fertile soil for the growth of locally developed and grown organisations…

    Many parts of the world – not all, admittedly – are now much more open about SEXUALITY issues and dynamics than was the case 25 years ago. That ‘space’ to discuss sex and sexuality issues is a core part of the reason for substantial progress on some of these issues…” (These are excerpts from the full text, which can be reviewed at this link.)

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IMPACT: THE RESEARCH AND EVALUATION DATA
  • “There are very significant, compelling research and evaluation data to support the analysis and strategic principles outlined above. Just a few examples:

    RESONANCE: Excerpts from “Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India”: “The authors provide an in-depth analysis of the relationship between media and government responsiveness. The interactions were found to be significant for both policy responses – a fall in food production yields more public action in situations where newspaper circulation is higher and crop damage from floods yields more disaster relief expenditures when newspaper circulation is higher…”

    PUBLIC SPACE: Excerpts from “Reducing Violence by Transforming Neighborhoods: A Natural Experiment in Medellín, Colombia”: “The intervention was associated with significant declines in neighborhood violence: The drop in homicide between 2003 and 2008 was 66% times higher in intervention neighborhoods than in control neighborhoods, while the corresponding drop in reports of violent events was 74% higher in intervention neighborhoods…”

    ENGAGEMENT: Excerpts from “The Effect of Sesame Street around the World: A Meta-Analysis from 15 Countries”: “Researchers found an overall effect size of 0.29. This translates into an 11.6 percentile gain (in terms of education). That is, an average child who does not watch Sesame Street is at the 50th percentile, whereas a child who watches is at the 62nd percentile…”

    NETWORKS: Excerpts from “Behaviour and Communication Change in Reducing HIV: Is Uganda Unique?”: “In Uganda, HIV prevalence declined from 21% to 9.8% from 1991-98, there was a reduction in non-regular sexual partners by 65%, and greater levels of communication about AIDS and people with AIDS through social networks, unlike the comparison countries. There is evidence of a basic population-level response initiated at community level to avoid risk, reduce risk behaviours, and care for people with AIDS…”

    CONVERSATION: Excerpts from “Perceptions of Influence: Understanding Attitudes to Polio Vaccination and Immunisation in Northern Nigeria”: “Across the sample, the proportion of households where only one (male or female) respondent reported missed children in past SIAs [supplementary immunisation activities] (24.6%) was considerably higher than those where both (male and female) so reported (8.7%)…” (Click here to continue reading and to comment.)

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PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES and STRATEGY AND RESOURCE ALLOCATIONS…What does this all add up to?
  • “When we ‘mash up’ the analysis of why progress has been made on certain Development issues with the social change processes that have in many cases led these change processes, what communication principles emerge? If we are to develop more effective communication programmes to address the major Development issues, what learning do we take from the places where demonstrable progress has been made?…”

    “[I]t would seem that we missed the real communication boat. The marketing and consumer model of communication was at best a minor player when compared with a set of communication principles drawn from social movements…”

    In my analysis, the strategic recommendations – for this field of work, for policymakers, and for funders – that flow from the analysis and data are outlined below in bullet point form and can be accessed in full at this link.

    • * Facilitate a process of engagement.
    • * Seek to resonate with local and national, social, and cultural contexts.
    • * Amplify the voices, analysis, and ideas of those most affected.
    • * Play a support and enhancement role for “natural” social movements that emerge.
    • * Help to build networks of people concerned about issues they share in common.
    • * Introduce accurate knowledge into the conversation.
    • * Create the space – physical, social, cultural, political, and family space – for effective action.
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PLEASE TAKE OUR SURVEY
ENQUIRY: Your priorities, opportunities and challenges!
What kinds of challenges and opportunities infuse your communication and media development, social and behavioural change work? This survey is a chance for you to let us know! We will report back on results and trends so you can gain insights from your peers in the network.
Click here to lend your voice.
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This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Warren Feek.
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The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDIBBC Media ActionBernard van Leer FoundationBreakthroughCiturna TVFundación ImaginarioFundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI)Heartlines,Johns Hopkins Center for Communication ProgramsMaternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP)MISAOpen Society FoundationsOxfam NovibPAHOThe Panos InstitutePuntos de EncuentroSAfAIDSSesame WorkshopSoul CitySTEPS InternationalUNAIDSUNICEFUniversidad de los AndesWorld Health Organization (WHO)W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

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The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
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Please send additional project, evaluation, strategic thinking, and materials information on communication for development at any time. Send to drumbeat@comminit.com

To reproduce any portion of The Drum Beat, click here for our policy.

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