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Participatory Communication: A Practical Guide

Participatory Communication: A Practical Guide

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What do we mean when we say participatory communication? What are the practical implications of working with participatory communication strategies in development and social change processes? What experiences exists in practice that documents that participatory communication adds value to a development project or programme?The aim of this user guide on participatory communication is to provide answers to some of these questions. Many communication practitioners and development workers face obstacles and challenges in their practical work. A participatory communication strategy offers a very specific perspective on how to articulate social processes, decision-making processes and any change process for that matter. Participatory approaches are nothing new. However, what is new is the proliferation of institutions, especially governmental but also non-governmental, that seek participatory approaches in their development initiative.This guide seeks to provide perspectives, tools and experiences regarding how to go about it with participatory communication strategies. It is conceived as a guide that hopefully can be of relevance and utility for development workers in the field. It is targeted at both at government and their officials, World Bank staff and at civil society.
What do we mean when we say participatory communication? What are the practical implications of working with participatory communication strategies in development and social change processes? What experiences exists in practice that documents that participatory communication adds value to a development project or programme?The aim of this user guide on participatory communication is to provide answers to some of these questions. Many communication practitioners and development workers face obstacles and challenges in their practical work. A participatory communication strategy offers a very specific perspective on how to articulate social processes, decision-making processes and any change process for that matter. Participatory approaches are nothing new. However, what is new is the proliferation of institutions, especially governmental but also non-governmental, that seek participatory approaches in their development initiative.This guide seeks to provide perspectives, tools and experiences regarding how to go about it with participatory communication strategies. It is conceived as a guide that hopefully can be of relevance and utility for development workers in the field. It is targeted at both at government and their officials, World Bank staff and at civil society.

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Publish date: Jul 2, 2009
Added to Scribd: Aug 17, 2009
Copyright:AttributionISBN:9780821380086

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02/04/2016

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9780821380086

Window 1:

OPEN KNOWLEDGE

What we know and they know

Window 3:

THEIR HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE

What they know and we do not know

Window 2:

OUR HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE

What we know and they do not know

Window 4:

THE BLIND SPOT

What neither we nor they know

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World Bank Working Paper

Window #1 represents the first step of the initiative, starting with dialogue based
on the common knowledge shared by all parties involved. “We” broadly refers to
outside experts and project staff, while “They” refers to internal and local stakeholders.
Window #2 represents knowledge of They, the local players, which is not known by
the outside experts; window #3 is the opposite, knowledge of We, the outside experts,
is shared with local stakeholders, covering areas not known to them. The final window
represents the end of the exercise and concerns issue/s unknown to both groups. At
this point knowledge, experiences, and skills of key stakeholders must come together
to find the most appropriate options and solutions leading to the desired change. If key
stakeholders jointly define the nature and extent of the intended change, the chances
for success and sustainability of the initiative increase significantly.

Keywords: Communication program cycle, Johari window

Phase One: Participatory Communication Assessment (PCA)

In this phase, issues of relevance are researched and analyzed through two-way
communication methods and techniques. For these tasks to be successful, it is
necessary to establish an open or common space where key stakeholders can interact
freely with each other. Establishing an open space facilitates the local stakeholder
involvement in the decision-making process, thereby enhancing the chances of success
and sustainability of the development initiative.
The name Participatory Communication Assessment (PCA) is derived from the
Participatory Rural Communication Appraisal (PRCA) methodology created in the late
1990s. The PCRA was developed in Southern Africa by a joint FAO (Food and
Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations)/SADC (Southern Africa
Development Community) project based in Harare, Zimbabwe, as a way to enhance
project design and operations (Anyaegbunam et al., 2004). As PCA, the name is
partially modified and the concept is similar yet broader for two reasons: 1) to account
for its wide range of applications reaching beyond the original rural focus and 2) to
indicate the more analytical nature of this approach from the initial concept of
appraisal to a more in-depth assessment of the situation, which usually includes
options to address change and to seek solutions. PCA can be visualized as a funnel
(figure 3.1), starting wide and narrowing down to define the key issues necessary to
have a successful and sustainable change.
Some of the basic concepts and applications of PCA are also closely related other
widely known participatory research methods, such as Participatory Rural Appraisal
(PRA) and Participatory Action Research (PAR). Some of the principles of PCA are also
applied in the communication-based assessment (CBA), an investigation method used
by the Development Communication Division of the World Bank (Mefalopulos, 2008).

Participatory Communication: A Practical Guide

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