13,863 The Drum Beat 772, April 24 2019, New Communication for Social Change Courses and Research at Loughborough University London


The Drum Beat 772
April 24, 2019
New Communication for Social Change Courses and Research at Loughborough University London





In this issue:


[Regrettably, there was a glitch in the original send of this Drum Beat. So, The CI team is taking the very unusual step of re-mailing it. Many thanks for your tolerance.]

Universities with a research and teaching focus on communication for development (C4D), media development, communication for social change (CfSC), and behaviour change are vitally important to prepare a strong base of next-generation thinkers and practitioners in the field, and for undertaking critically engaged and impact-oriented research. This Drum Beat provides an example of the offerings at one such institution: Loughborough University London. We are also interested in sharing information on other courses. Please get in touch with us at drumbeat@comminit.com

From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
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    Loughborough University London is a postgraduate and research-intensive campus located within the ‘Here East’ creative precinct in East London, United Kingdom (UK). To position itself as a hub for CfSC research, teaching, and collaboration, the Institute for Media and Creative Industries at Loughborough University London has recruited a critical mass of CfSC scholars, established an MA on Global Communication and Development, and undertaken a range of research initiatives. Under the stewardship of Institute Director Prof. Thomas Tufte, and with Prof. Jo Tacchi as the Associate Dean for Research, its research is collaborative and interdisciplinary, with a range of active partnerships with agencies and organisations, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) C4D, BBC Media Action, FeminaHIP (Tanzania), and the Creative Centre for Social Mobilization (Malawi).

    Launched in September 2018, this one-year Master’s programme critically engages with C4D and social change in a changing global context, with a particular focus on the Global South. The first cohort of students came from India, China, Central Asia, and the Caribbean. One of the five core modules is the ‘Collaborative Project’, in which students respond to a real-world brief from a partner organisation (e.g., Girl Effect, C4D Network, Eastside Community Heritage) to undertake project-based critical and interdisciplinary enquiry. The programme also offers core and optional modules exploring CfSC theory, practice, and research, culminating in a dissertation project.
  • * Lanzado en septiembre de 2018, este programa de maestría de un año de duración se involucra de manera crítica con la comunicación para el desarrollo (C4D) y la comunicación pare el cambio social (CCS) en un contexto global cambiante, con un enfoque particular en el llamado “Sur Global” (Global South) . La primera cohorte de estudiantes provino de India, China, Asia Central y el Caribe. Uno de los cinco módulos principales es el ‘Proyecto Colaborativo’, en el que los estudiantes deben trabajar sobre un caso del mundo real de una organización aliada del programa (por ejemplo, Girl Effect, C4D Network, Eastside Community Heritage) y emprender una investigación crítica e interdisciplinaria basada en un proyecto concreto. El programa también ofrece módulos centrales y opcionales que exploran la teoría, la práctica y la investigación de la Comunicación para el Cambio Social, culminando en un proyecto de disertación.

    Three PhD scholarships were awarded in April 2019 to the Institute for Media and Creative Industries via the technē AHRC Doctoral Consortium. Taken together, the projects explore aspects of artistic and political expression and social change in London, Sao Paulo, Bogota, and Tanzania. The Institute is also supporting PhD scholarship applications to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. Self-funded PhD applications can be submitted anytime, while most scholarship deadlines are in September to December for enrollment the following year.

    Institute faculty have knowledge of and expertise in the media and related industries and organisations, including the music, press, film, television, social media, arts, tourism, and international development industries. The multi-disciplinary and international academic community is engaged in various research projects that aim to benefit communities and organisations across the world.

Loughborough University London has a growing research focus. Some of their current areas of focus include: Latin America CfSC; evaluating C4D; social movements; digital technologies; health communication; media development; youth cultures; and ethnography and ethnographic methods. Further details are at this link. That research portfolio will build on the past research work of the faculty; just a few examples include:

  • 5.Youth-led Communication for Social Change: Empowerment, Citizen Media, and Cultures of Governance in Northern Ghana
    by Lise Grauenkær and Thomas Tufte
    This article critically examines Youth Empowerment for Life (YEfL)’s 2-year project Youth Speak Up (YSU) in Ghana, embedding the analysis within contemporary debates about communication, empowerment, and social change, with particular focus upon dynamics between citizen media development, youth-centred citizen journalism, and processes of community mobilisation and development. The article presents and discusses the key findings anchored in a series of “change stories” identified during June 2017 fieldwork. In brief: “the project has opened up to dynamic, youth-led social change processes, evidenced by the creative, proactive enactment of citizen engagement.” [Apr 2018]
  • 6.From Scene to Screen: The Challenges and Opportunities of Commercial Digital Platforms for HIV Community Outreach
    by Sharif Mowlabocus, Craig Haslop, and Rohit K. Dasgupta
    Drawing on ethnographic research and focus group interviews conducted with digital outreach workers, the article includes data from Reaching Out Online (ROO), a collaborative research project that explored the need for, and development of, a digital health outreach service for gay, bisexual men, and men who have sex with men (MSM) in London and Brighton, UK. However, the researchers believe that their broad findings are relevant across geographical borders. [Oct 2016]
  • 7.Audience Responses to Migration Stories: Research Component of Voices of African Migrants
    by Jessica Noske-Turner, Mirjam Twigt, and Zakaria Sajir
    This report was commissioned to examine the nature and quality of media stories produced by journalists supported by the Voices of African Migrants website pilot programme in 3 of 4 migration “hubs” in Africa, also exploring how local audiences interpreted and responded to those stories. The research methodology had an ethnographic component. One finding: An emphasis on “voice” in this context can inadvertently lead to an under-interrogation of systemic and structural issues. Best practices for the media are offered. [Jul 2018]
  • 8.Assessing the Impact of Artistic and Cultural Activities on the Health and Well-being of Forcibly Displaced People Using Participatory Action Research
    by Clelia Clini, Linda J M Thomson, and Helen J Chatterjee
    This study developed a participatory action research (PAR) method for assessing the impact of arts interventions developed by the Helen Bamber Foundation (HBF) for forcibly displaced people. PAR was found to be particularly appropriate for refugees/asylum seekers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues in that their involvement as co-researchers countered client isolation and built social capital. [Feb 2019]
  • 9.Symbolic Narratives and the Role of Meaning: Encountering Technology in South African Primary Education
    by Izak van Zyl and Amalia Sabiescu
    This article examines how South African primary schoolteachers’ engagements with technology are framed, conditioned, and embedded in multi-levelled “technology encounters”. Van Zyl and Sabiescu argue that such encounters give rise to meaningful representations of technology that influence, in direct ways, further engagements with technology in the classroom and ultimately shape both teaching and learning. The independent study was conducted with some of the participating schools in the former Khanya Project using ethnographic inquiry. [Dec 2016]
  • 10.Digital Ethnography: Principles and Practice
    by Sarah Pink, Heather Horst, John Postill, Larissa Hjorth, Tania Lewis, and Jo Tacchi
    “The examples throughout the book show how taking a digital approach enables us to acknowledge and seek out ways of knowing (about) other people’s worlds that might otherwise be invisible and that might be unanticipated by more formally constituted, and thus less exploratory and collaborative, research approaches.”[Oct 2015]
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As well as:


  • 11.Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation – May 3 2019
    The Institute for Media and Creative Industries in partnership with Chevening is holding an event on World Press Freedom Day 2019 exploring the complexities of protecting media freedom in an era of “fake news”. In addition to professors from Loughborough University London, there will be speakers from BBC Media Action, Committee for the Protection of Journalists, and Reporters without Borders.
  • 12.Brazil Seminar: Civil Society Development and Participatory Communication in the New Political Context. Dialogues around the Legacy of Paulo Freire – June 5-6 2019
    The Institute is holding a 2-day seminar in association with the Brazil Research and Seminar initiative to explore the Brazilian legacy and current practice of participatory communication in the context of a shrinking space for civil society. A book and collaborative research project are planned.
  • 13.CfSC “Conceptual Hackathon” – June 2019
    Loughborough University London will hold an event to engage scholars, practitioners, and partner organisations in processes to “hack” current and future research problems and questions. This process will feed into forthcoming CfSC Festival themes, a series of collaborative research projects, and larger research proposals. The first “Conceptual Hackathon” in 2017, involving a network of global scholars, led to a book (under contract with Palgrave Macmillan) entitled “Communication for Social Change: Concepts to Think With”.
  • 14.Media, New Technologies and Development in Latin America: Political, Social and Economic Perspectives – July 4-5 2019
    An International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) pre-conference seminar will be held in London (City University and Loughborough University London) on media and social change in Latin America. Among the topics to be explored: the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for sustainable development; the use of participatory approaches in community, indigenous, and social movements; and the relationship between participation, empowerment, and gender – particularly in relation to media and how communication tools can be used for activism and political engagement.
  • * Se celebrará un seminario previo a la conferencia de la Asociación Internacional para la Investigación en Medios y Comunicación (IAMCR) en Londres (City University y Loughborough University London) sobre los medios y el cambio social en América Latina. Entre los temas que se explorarán: el papel de las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación (TICs) para el desarrollo sostenible; el uso de enfoques participativos en movimientos indígenas y sociales y a nivel comunitario; y la relación entre participación, empoderamiento y género, especialmente en relación con los medios de comunicación y cómo se pueden utilizar las herramientas de comunicación para el activismo y la participación ciudadana y política.

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.
This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
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 Imaginario,Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI)HeartlinesJohns 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

The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.


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