SIFORDI = C4D (Communication for Development)

DevComm in my own words



At the end of this module, you should be able to:

  1. explain the concept of development communication in your own words;
  2. discuss the uniqueness and similarity of dev com with other allied fields; and
  3. relate how development communication started as a field of study.


The simplest, most concise and most elegant definition of development communication that I have ever read was that of Nora C. Quebral’s in the Development Communication Primer (Quebral and Gomez, 1976). In it, Quebral states: “Development communication is communication for planned social change.” Are you able to expound on this? In twenty plus years of teaching at the UPLB College of Development Communication, I have seen former students buckle under pressure as they attempt in vain to give a satisfactory definition of development communication using their own terms. Most of these instances occurred while being interviewed for a job. In one instance, a student was being interviewed as a finalist in a beauty contest aired over national television. Will you be able to fare better? Imagine yourself being asked to define your field using your own words in a job interview?

Development communication is indeed a complex discipline to define in a few words. When people ask me what I’m taking up for my master’s and I answer “development communication”, I often receive a follow-up question wanting to know what it really is. I try to define it myself as “communication for a better world.” Which makes the discussion more complicated because I get more questions to answer. “Communication for social change” is what people easily understand. Discussions do not usually root from it so I just keep it as elegant as that as well. #



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