9 October 2017: Digital Society Network Annual Lecture – ‘New media, old inequalities: Approaching youth, creative politics and digital media across social class, gender and geography’ (University of Sheffield, UK)
Events Information Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) United Kingdom
C4D Network Editor
August 30, 2017

Over the past seventeen years, Dr Shakuntala Banaji’s research around young people, politics and creativity has interrogated the role and affordances of new and emerging digital media in processes of social change. From refugee children connecting with their peers across Europe through ICQ chat in 2002, through youth activists in Europe and India deploying social media in politically progressive or retrograde ways, to young female gamers in the MENA region selectively hiding and revealing their gender via avatars and play talk during MMOGs, one common thread has been the ways in which digital media creates spaces for new politics and new agencies whilst also hiding or entrenching structural inequalities. But to what extent are we simply doing the digital wrong? Could its technical affordances be used to overcome systematic hierarchies, at least online? Do its social affordances simply enhance the agency of particular social classes in the global south? And are there ways in which the narrative of the digital in liberation politics has become yet another enemy of those seeking deeper social structural transformation? Shakuntala’s lecture will attempt to answer these questions in the context of findings from several major comparative research projects in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa over the past decade.

Respondents: Professor Dorothea Kleine, Theme Lead, Digital, Data and Innovation, Sheffield Institute for International Development, and Department of Geography, University of Sheffield and Dr Michalis Kontopodis, School of Education, University of Sheffield.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception and a launch of the book Global Youth in Digital Trajectories (2017) edited by Michalis Kontopodis, Christos Varvantakis and Christoph Wulf.

Tweet using the hashtag: #shefdigsoc2017



Read more
25 October 2017: LSE lecture – ‘Does Protest Really Work?’ (London, UK)
Events United Kingdom
C4D Network Editor
August 30, 2017

How do ordinary citizens become dissidents? As journalist and human rights advocate, Steve Crawshaw has witnessed extraordinary change, everywhere from Prague to Yangon. He explores what Vaclav Havel called the “power of the powerless”, and the role of creative mischief in achieving surprising change.

Steve Crawshawis Senior Advocacy Adviser on Global Thematic Issues, Amnesty International and author of Street Spirit: The Power of Protest and Mischief.


Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEprotest

Read more
10 – 11 November 2017: Connecting Communities International Conference (London, UK)
Events Participatory Communications United Kingdom
C4D Network Editor
August 29, 2017

This two-day international multidisciplinary conference looks at how participatory and creative research methods create a space for exploring, sharing and documenting processes of belonging and place-making that is crucial to understanding migration, citizenship and belonging. It is our intention to bring together academics from a range of social science, humanities and arts disciplines including sociology, social policy and applied theatre, alongside policymakers, artists and practitioners (including in migration, families, arts and performance) to exchange knowledge on related fields of research and the use of participatory arts methodologies to explore broader sociological and policy issues.

Read more
23 September 2017: The Community Media Conference 2017 – Voices in a Changing World (Bristol, UK)
Events Media Development United Kingdom
C4D Network Editor
August 29, 2017

The theme of this year’s Conference is ‘Voices in a Changing World’ and we will be exploring how community media stays relevant and responsive to global events that impact at a local level, and how diverse voices and viewpoints strengthen communities for positive social benefit.

There will also be information on funding, community media business models, how to foster community development, and a look at small-scale digital audio broadcasting SSDAB.

The Community Media Conference brings together broadcasters, producers, community developers, publishers, media enthusiasts, creatives and academics for a day of learning, exchange, and celebration with inspiring speakers, workshops and networking opportunities.

Read more
Digital Democracy: The Tools Transforming Political Engagement (Nesta paper 2017)
Brazil Ethiopia Finland France Governance Iceland Information Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) Italy Spain Taiwan United Kingdom
C4D Network Editor
March 19, 2017

This paper shares lessons from Nesta’s research into some of the pioneering innovations in digital democracy which are taking place across Europe and beyond.

Key findings

  • Digital democracy is a broad concept and not easy to define. The paper provides a granular approach to help encompass its various activities and methods (our ‘typology of digital democracy’).
  • Many initiatives exist simply as an app, or web page, driven by what the technology can do, rather than by what the need is.
  • Lessons from global case studies describe how digital tools are being used to engage communities in more meaningful political participation, and how they are improving the quality and legitimacy of decision-making.
  • Digital democracy is still young. Projects must embed better methods for evaluation of their goals if the field is to grow.


Read more
World Radio Day London event 2017: ‘Radio and Global Transitions’ (overview and panel discussion recording)
BLOG Ebola Media Development Participatory Communications Radio United Kingdom
C4D Network Editor
February 26, 2017

On 10 February we joined forces with SOAS Radio and the Centre of African Studies to co-host the ‘World Radio Day London 2017: Radio and Global Transitions’ event – an exciting event with stalls and interactive exhibitions representing community radio and communication & development organisations, speakers and a panel discussion. Attendees came from across the UK and those not able to make the event could join us ‘virtually’ through SOAS Radio’s live broadcast and interviews.

The event began with the trade fair, featuring stalls from Radio Active, Children’s Radio Foundation, Development Media International, SciDev.Net, Radio Souriat (Syrian Women’s Radio for Peace), InsightShare, London International Development Centre, Refugee Radio, and the Radio Garden .

Workshops led by Roundhouse Radio and Whistledown Productions also ran throughout the afternoon. David Prest led a session on the different forms of radio documentary, and Max Graef and Niccy Logan examined the more practical side of the production process and discussed their own experiences of working both in London and abroad.

The evening panel discussion included talks from Carlos Chirinos from New York University/SOAS, Dr. Caroline Mitchell from University of Sunderland/Transnational Radio Encounters, Stephen Silverwood from Refugee Radio, and James Deane from BBC Media Action. They spoke on the topic: How is radio representing global transitions? Discussions ranged from learning from the use of local music artists for behaviour change during the Ebola Crisis, to the Radio Garden project, the use and aims of participatory radio, and the changing role of radio over the past three decades.

Further listening and reading

Click here to read the keynote speech from James Deane, BBC Media Action in full.

World Radio Day 2017 Podcast Series: In the build up to the World Radio Day Event 2017 the SOAS Radio Team interviewed community radio, representatives of communication for development organisations, radio industry professionals and academics on this year’ theme of ‘Radio and Global Transitions’ in a series of podcasts available via: https://soasradio.org/speech/podcasts/world-radio-day

Listen in full via SOAS Radio to the World Radio Day 2017 London panel discussion ‘Radio and Global Transitions’ https://soasradio.org/…/world-radio-day-2017-panel-radio-an…

Photos of the event can be viewed via the SOAS Radio Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/soasradio/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1419229048129214.

Read more
Initial findings from our Network mapping of the C4D Landscape: C4D Network Focus Session (January 2017)
BLOG Network News United Kingdom
C4D Network Editor
February 5, 2017

Our first C4D Network Focus Session of 2017 focused on the extensive mapping project undertaken by Network members as part of our 2016 Network Meet-Up Challenge.

C4D Network member Tatiana Joiro gave a presentation on the feedback we’ve gathered from over 50 countries and outlined some preliminary findings and insights into the landscape of C4D in countries across the globe based on our members’ experiences/views.

The presentation highlighted lots of us issues that many in the C4D Network face – such as definitions and terms within C4D taxonomy, to issues with donor or government influence on projects – regardless of where we are in the world. It also highlighted how behaviour change seems to be the number one C4D approach.

Full findings and country insights will be included in our forthcoming Yearbook, due out later this year.

Read more
Report: Newton Tech4Dev Network Launch – ‘Crisis Work & Digital Opportunities’, 25-26 November 2016
BLOG Network News Philippines United Kingdom
Katie Bartholomew
January 13, 2017

A Workshop Programme – including the full names of all those mentioned in this piece – can be found here: Newton Network 2016 Launch Programme

The November 2016 workshop to launch the Newton Tech4Dev Network took ‘Crisis Work & Digital Opportunities’ as its theme: a topic which sparked a stimulating mix of ideas on innovations and their challenges from around the world.

Philippe Stoll’s (of International Committee of the Red Cross) keynote address set out the close relationship of crises and digital opportunities: the fact that there is faster 3G connection in Somalia than in the UK, he pointed out, shows how technology can thrive in a struggling state. Within this trend, he identified three key concepts that would return throughout the day. Digital disruption, disintermediation, and transparency – all of which are culminating in a “participatory revolution”.

Thomas Tufte (University of Leicester) reflected on how this disruption manifests as a “game-changer” for the communications for development field itself as the pervasiveness of media in everyday lives transforms the targeted, situated audience into a networked, mobile audience.

CDAC Network (Communication with Disaster-Affected Communities) focused on peoples’ technological needs as they move through a crisis, presenting the benefits of combining “analogue and digital” and translation on the level of dialect. Finn Rasmusen showed evidence of this in the work which International Media Support is supporting with Radio Rozana – produced by Syrian journalists and broadcast to civilians and refugees both online and via satellite.

An afternoon on the topic of ‘Humanitarian Labor’ ranged across the implications of this sector for local aid workers – who can “get the same use-and-discard treatment as the software they’re using”, suggested Ong (Uni. of Leicester) and Combindo (De Salle Uni.); for international aid workers – navigating “moral labor”, proposed Fechte (Uni. of Sussex); and for philanthrocapitalists’ exercising power remotely: “funders can undermine the control of aid workers in ways you don’t expect”, highlighted Bunce, Scott and Wright.

The first day closed with a panel on ‘Digital Sweatshops’. Much digital work that appears autonomous was exposed as algorithmically driven (Wood, Oxford Internet Institute), which other panelists scrutinized for its implications in the “World class…?” Philippines context (Soriano, De Salle Uni. & Cabanes, Uni. of Leicester) and in the context of gender and sexuality (David, Uni. of Colorado).

Day 2 turned towards interventions, responses and participation. An opening panel considered sectoral interventions from three strikingly different angles: private aid, whereby tour operators charter boat-fulls of European tourists to conduct needs assessments after typhoon Haiyan (McKay, Keele Uni.); digital payment systems, whose “huge unrealized potential” – for economic efficiency and transparency – is being tapped in crises, such as iris scanning for refugee identification in Jordan (Bower, Bower & Partners); and faith-based organisations, particularly Iglesia ni Cristo in the Philippines, who were shown to use crises to strengthen their evangelistic mission of “religious worlding” (Cornelo, Ateneo de Manila Uni., & Teehankee, De La Salle Uni.).

Professors of Volcanology and Environmental History provided fascinating new perspectives on community adaptations to natural disasters. Branney (Uni. of Leicester) showed how volcanic eruptions are entirely predictable, while Bankoff (Uni. of Hull) explored how disaster sub-cultures emerge among residents living with repetitive disasters in their daily lives. These scientific and anthropological approaches were balanced with Lallana and Soriano’s (De La Salle Uni.) policy perspective, on responsively redesigning disaster governance and management in the Philippines.

The C4D Network (Davies & Bartholomew) launched the final session of the day, showing the range of individuals and institutions across their global network who are participating in this sector, and emphasizing the importance and means of collaboration between them. Touri (Uni. of Leicester) responded with an exploration of agency and empowerment in in food networks, before Matule and Moyer (Uni. of Leicester) proposed a response to marginal voices’ lack of participation– their “routine exclusion” from – environmental decision-making.

Testament to the liveliness of conversations across the two days, the Newton Network Launch concluded with productive discussions about funding. These pragmatic discussions, as well as connections made over the two days, suggest that many of the ideas generated over the workshop can be translated into promising further action and conversations.

Photographs of the event can be found here, courtesy of Patricia Routh Photography

Report write up: Katie Bartholomew, C4D Network


Read more
Overview of C4D Festival 2016: Sights & Sounds of Change
Behaviour Change Communication BLOG Network Events Network Meet-ups Social Change Communication United Kingdom
Katie Bartholomew
January 9, 2017

The festival was a day bursting with ideas, images, music, questions and discussion from around the world. The conversation ranged from two young radio broadcasters who skyped in from Zambia, to seasoned specialists on story-telling and film editing, to academics, to upcoming London-based producers who are making films for girls’ empowerment.

The 12 organisations who presented were champions for a great variety of media in development. Across this variety, several shared experiences and common reflections emerged from the speakers. Most notably: The value of conversation that is inclusive and reflective. The role new technologies and how these developing platforms influence the conversation itself. The difficulty of measuring impact, and how innovation can heighten this challenge.

In parallel with afternoon activities, InsightShare led an immersive workshop on Participatory Video methodology. Participants took the camera in-hand as the group explored questions of “What does your ideal future look like? When have I experienced a perfect world?”. Over two hours, they learnt how video techniques can bring about community-led change.

The Programme – including links to the presentations given  – was as follows:

First cluster

C4D Network welcome – Jackie Davies & Katie Bartholomew [ C4D Network Challenge Presentation ]

Malaria Consortium – Marian Blondeel & Daudi Ochieng [ Malaria Consortium Presentation ]

Children’s Radio Foundation – Charlotte Bannister-Parker & Katie Abbotts Young broadcasters’ Audio | Video ]

Medical Aid Films – Josie Gallo [ MAF Presentation | 2016 Showreel ]

InsightShare – Gareth Benest [ InsightShare Presentation | Ghana video ] 

Second cluster

Andrew Lees Trust – Yvonne Orengo [ Oral testimony video ]

Global Girl Media – Victoria Bridges, Aisha Clarke & Monique Henry Washington [ Video of presentationBrexit Unveiled Film | Stealing Intimacy Film ]

Feba Radio – Johnny F & Stephanie M [ Presentation ]

Imperious Films – Simon Davison [ Nigeria Immunisation Film | Pakistan Education Film ]

Restless Development – Sho Konno [ Restless Bog Post ]

The evening featured a discussion on ‘Who’s holding the camera? The journey of sight and sound in representations of development’. Keynote speaker Antonello Proto (producer, director and script-writer on more than 70 audiovisual programs) guided the audience through footage from archive clips of anthropological, posed documentaries, to contemporary examples of participatory, use-led film. Responding to him was panelist Dr. David Dunkley Gyimah (Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster, and Publisher of the international award-winning viewmagazine.tv), who gave a dynamic insight into the next generation of media makers and their contribution to a developing field of journalism and C4D. Panelist Nicola Harford (Director of iMedia Associates) concluded the evening by considering the innovative uses of video-gaming in HIV/AIDS programming and challenges of evaluation in creative contexts.

Antonello Proto’s Film Reel

Nicola Harford’s ‘Pamoja Mtaani’ Presentation

We look forward to seeing you for all the exciting events and meet-ups that we have coming up for 2017! 






Read more
‘Global Mechanism: Communication, Media, Social and Behaviour Change?’ Discussions from a C4D consultation meeting, November 2016
Behaviour Change Communication BLOG Media Development Social Change Communication United Kingdom
Katie Bartholomew
November 20, 2016

Could a global advocacy mechanism add value to the C4D field? Similar movements have been seen in other areas of development – from the Global Partnership on Violence Against Children to ‘WASH For All’ – so how might this work in our sector?

This was among the key issues discussed at a C4D consultation meeting in London on 10th November 2016. Hosted by BBC Media Action, a group of C4D professionals based in the UK came together to share their opinions and ideas on four primary questions:

“Would a global mechanism bring added value to communication and media (for) development, social and behavioural change?” Almost all participants agreed that it would, and pointed out that the central question is therefore one of definition – under which name should the field incorporate these strands?

“What overall goals and themes would you propose as the focus of such a mechanism? What strategic approach should such a mechanism take to work towards those goals?” The ideas proposed included: developing an evidence base (to then establish gaps within it); aligning organisational agendas to minimise duplication; establishing a recognised focal point for the mechanism; developing an accreditation for staff and academic training; creating university modules on the topic; simplifying the processes and spending in the field; and enabling exchange between academics and practitioners.

This was one of a sequence of such meetings, following similar consultations in Amsterdam and Addis Ababa, and preceding those in Geneva, Bogota, New York and Washington DC.

If you would like to share your thoughts on this issue, please contact us at info@c4d.org where we will gather all feedback and forward on to the meeting organisers.

Read more