Development Communication is “the art and science of human communication linked to a society’s planned transformation from a state of poverty to one of dynamic socio-economic growth that makes for greater equity and the larger unfolding of individual potential.”1
Communication is vital when considering the socio-economic growth of the world, especially when first world countries are involved in development in the third world. Knowledge sharing is important – those with expertise can share their knowledge and those who live and work in the area can share their practical experience. Information to be used for a development plan must be carefully researched and the affected stakeholders must be a part of the planning stages. Failure to plan and recognize specific needs can result in catastrophic failures for projects or major issues in times of natural disasters or other crises.
In International Development Communication there are three Objectives (Providing Information, Building Coalitions, and Changing Behaviours), three Spheres of Influence (Information, Community, and Family). A seven step approach when communicating an ID project: define the goals, identify the stakeholders, develop the messages and media to be used, test and review, launch, defend and respond, and assess and evaluate.2
The importance of communicating when developing projects cannot be overstated. When an outside engineer placed a well in a village during the rainy season he didn't know that for several months of the year that location was not adequate because of the dry season.3 Communication with local engineers and the community would have ensured that the well location was placed where it would be most useful during the dry season when well usage is necessary.
Technology is critical in international development projects because of the many ways that improvements can be made to processes and services that help people and their communities. Medicines are vital during outbreaks or to manage diseases and illness around the world. Improved medicines, better transportation methods, and making the medicines easier to distribute ensure that there is greater and faster access to life saving drugs and procedures. Technological improvements across all manner of sciences and other industries can improve the agriculture of a region as well, ensuring that food is accessible to local needs.
1.Quebral, Nora C. Development Communication in a Borderless World. Retrieved from http://ojs.ub.gu.se/ojs/index.php/gt/article/view/2615/2334
2. Effective development requires effective communication. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/adam-smith-international-partner-zone/effective-development-requires-effective-communication
3. Reynolds, Nora Pillard. Why Do Development Projects Fail? Retrieved from http://waterforwaslala.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/why-do-development-projects-fail-stories-about-the-importance-of-working-with/