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Development communication is defined as knowledge sharing and using communication to promote development through formulation of strategy and policies. Development communication also means a systematic collaboration and exchange of information leading to the mutual benefits of all the parties. Communication (knowledge sharing and transfer of ideas), of any kind, plays an important role in development of nations now days. Development communication consists of various media, interfaces and activities that aim at transferring the knowledge and experience from developed nations (organisations / companies) to underdeveloped nations (organisations / companies) for the purpose of progress. Effective communication for development plays an important role in the advancement and progress of the individuals, society and a nation as a whole. It aims at eradicating the social evils and introducing a standard set of principles and policies ultimately leading to the social, economical and technological development of an underdeveloped nation / economy. The paper below highlights different facets of development communication and presents an argument as to how these help in the growth and advancement of the underdeveloped nations (or entities or products). Inagaki (2007) is of the view that ‘development strategies can be made more measurable by the help of development communication’.
Mercado (1992) has defined development communication as ‘a process of providing disadvantaged people the opportunities torealise and improve their knowledge, attitude, and skill toutilise, sustain, and improve their productivity of available resources within their environment in order to improve thequality of their life and the society where they belong’. Further as per the Rockefeller Foundation (2000), it is defined as ‘a process of dialogue, information sharing, mutual understanding and agreement, and collective action’.
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It is quite evident from the recent wave of development and modernization that media and communication play an important role in the development of any nation. Most of the developed countries have become an information society, gathering and spreading information via use of different information channels and making the underdeveloped countries use that for their strategy formulation and development.
As knowledge and information, in today’s fast moving world, are essential for people to grow, move ahead, learn and advance and to successfully respond and adapt to the changes (whether technological, economical or social). But to be effective this knowledge needs to be communicated to users in an efficient and effective manner.
Development communication revolves around imparting of such knowledge and information for the purpose of development; it is about communication that can be used for advancement, change and improvisation and depends upon the use of different types of messages and media to change and improvise the social, economical and technological infrastructure of underdeveloped countries and is designed to transform (towards betterment) the quality of life in such nations.