C4D Network joins local NGOs and UNICEF staff in Lebanon for ‘Back to School’ training sessions
Network News
C4D Network Editor
July 30, 2017

The C4D Network has been busy training in Lebanon with fantastic NGOS and UNICEF staff – focusing on interpersonal communication for ‘Back to School’ initiatives; for six years many hundreds of thousands of Syrian children and others have been without schooling – but now there is a huge effort to address this. We have been joined by some of the most amazing and generous C4D trainers – who are also psychologists, artists, communication specialists and entrepreneurs; we salute you!

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Reading University Students Work with the C4D Network to Map International Sector
Network News
C4D Network Editor
May 14, 2017

Six students from the Graduate Institute for International Development and Applied Economics (GIIDAE) at the University of Reading have contributed to the Communications for Development Network (C4D) project of mapping the landscape of the C4D sector in different countries around the world.

The C4D sector is a growing field within international development that is becoming increasingly defined and recognised in its own right.  However, little is understood about how exactly it is practiced around the world. The C4D Network decided to conduct a research project based on the perceptions and experiences of its members into C4D practices, funding, stakeholders, and key examples in different countries.

The mapping project sought to provide a crowd-sourced comprehensive understanding of C4D in each country, as well as an overview of the global trends as understood and experienced by Network members and practitioners. Through this work, the Network hoped to enable practitioners to analyse their own situations within a wider context and to learn from the best practices of others.

The research was conducted within the Network’s annual Meet-Up Challenge, which has run for a number of years and consists of face to face meet-ups between Network members and experts in countries all over the world. For this year’s challenge, which ran between September 2016 and January 2017, rich discussions were held in 16 different countries and regions from Australia to Zimbabwe. The Network recorded and transcribed the discussions, reports of which can be found in the country chapter groups on this page.  In addition, a questionnaire was also sent to members to help  gather data from in 50 countries around the world.

MSc Communication for Development students, Cecilia Agrinya, Himani Chandel, Angelo Matinada, Tatiana Joiro, Azeez Toheeb, and Patricia Vega, all contributed to the research and are currently receiving professional mentoring from C4D Network founder, Jackie Davies, as part of their taught programme. Jackie said: “The students all contributed sterling work to write up the individual country reports. They synthesised the answers we received on each country and analysed the findings within the global context of our work.

“Tatiana also contributed greatly to the meta-analysis of our research and presented the findings at our monthly London focus session, which was received with excitement and enthusiasm by members who attended in January.”

The mapping results stimulated interesting conversations between C4D practitioners globally. One key discussion surrounded issues with the language used within the sector.  Jackie explains: “There was recognition by many of our members that the standard C4D language and concepts are being pushed by international organisations and institutions, however, in practice different terminology is often used despite the basic principles and practices remaining the same.

“Indeed, one of the most common concerns raised by our members was that many practitioners don’t realise that what they’re doing is C4D. The C4D Network is working on establishing a case study bank for this reason, to encourage a case by case approach to understanding how C4D can be used successfully and to enable a meta-analysis of best practice.”

It also identified that issues surrounding terminology mean that the level of stakeholder engagement is not widely known, as stakeholders do not necessarily use the C4D label. There is not a lot of understanding on the ground about what a C4D professional does. Often, Communications for Development is confused with Public Relations or External Communications, which makes it difficult to map practices, research results and define the concept for donors. Most of our members in non-European or North American countries stated that C4D practitioners are extremely scarce where they work.”

Jackie continued: “Another point highlighted by members is the effect that political context has on the implementation of C4D. This was raised especially during discussions about the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), where it was noted that the government agenda is imposed on development projects with little room for negotiation by donors and practitioners. This means that development in general is led by political considerations, rather than need.

“The Behaviour Change Communications (BCC) approach featured by far the most prominently in our responses, with an average mention of 1.3 times per country. And the most common tools included Social Media, a recent development and largely inflated by its prevalence in the MENA region. Radio, Television and Edutainment also featured highly.”

These findings, and many more, are included in the final report, which is now available on the Network website.

Jackie added: “This project is the first of its kind, and the Network is keen to build on its successes. The hard work of the Reading students has formed a strong base for mapping projects of a similar nature in the future, and we look forward to continuing our work with them after their studies to help define, consolidate and expand the C4D sector.”

GIIDAE Director and Programme Director for the MSc Communication for Development, Sarah Cardey, says: “This work builds on the relationship that we have with the C4D network, and brings important real world experience into the classroom. I am proud of our students for taking the initiative to work with the C4D Network, building on the professional training that we provide in the curriculum. Students will graduate with excellent professional experience.”

(This article first appeared in Reading University’s GIIDAE enewsletter | April 2017 and is reproduced with permission from Reading University)

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Launch of our Network Yearbook and 2016/17 Network Mapping Study (March 2017)
BLOG Network News News
C4D Network Editor
April 3, 2017

Our March Focus session saw the launch of two exciting new C4D Network resources – the C4D Network Yearbook and our 2016/17 Network Mapping Study.

Our C4D Yearbook presents an overview of the Network – from country chapters to our current partnership projects – and highlights all our upcoming projects, themes and events for 2017. If you would like to play a larger role in the Network the Yearbook also offers suggestions for how to get involved. This is our first Network Yearbook and it was put together in recognition of our growth from small beginnings as a consultants’ lunch group ten years ago, to the present global network of over 3,000 C4D members, with emerging country chapters and strong collaborative energy and great potential. The full Yearbook can be viewed here.

Our 2016/17 C4D Network Mapping Study is an overview of our ‘C4D Where You Are’ mapping conducted by Network members around the world. The findings of this Study are the result of various Network Country Chapter Meet-Ups between September 2016 and January 2017, and responses to a country-specific online survey from nearly 50 countries. Discussions and responses have been gathered in English, French, Spanish and Arabic; and where possible – and with the assistance of a dedicated team of Network volunteers and contractors – these have been translated, transcribed and synthesised. And this is the result – a Study that presents a country snapshot of ‘Communications for Development’ around the world, from the perspective of Network members who are working in C4D or teaching it, studying it, supporting it and on occasion commissioning it. We have valued doing this research, and thank all the Network members who have contributed to it. We hope to carry out similar research annually to collectively see where we are and how we are improving what we do for greater development and human rights impact. The full Study can be viewed here


A wide range of people have tirelessly advised and worked on the evolution of the Network and we would like to say a big thank you to all members of the C4D Network for supporting its development over the past ten years. Onwards and upwards!

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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.

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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


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2017 C4D Network UK Focus Sessions (London/global via Skype)
Network News
C4D Network Editor
January 8, 2017

We’re pleased to announce that our C4D Network UK Focus Sessions continue in 2017! Held during our regular monthly lunchtime meet-ups (last Wednesday of every month), our content-rich one-hour sessions are where we collectively look at a C4D aspect through the lens of a development theme (or vice versa). Each Session will be topped and tailed by networking time – but the core hour will be focused on the topic – with input from Network members working in this particular area.

Focus Sessions in 2016 covered health communications, social norms, and media development with thought-provoking presentations and robust discussion from those who attended in person and those who joined us globally via Skype.

Our first session takes place on Wednesday 25 January in our usual meeting place:

Venue: Our room is care of our friends at the London International Development Centre (LIDC), 36 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD (map here).

There will be a kettle for tea and coffee and there will be homemade cheese and tomato rolls for those who have not quite got themselves organised lunch ‘brown bag’ wise.

Full details of January’s session and upcoming sessions will be announced via our weekly Network updates as well as through our Twitter and Facebook feeds.



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Round-up of C4D Network UK Focus Session: Social Norms and their role in C4D theory (November 2016)
BLOG Network Meet-ups Network News Social Change Communication
Katie Bartholomew
December 8, 2016

Our latest UK C4D Focus Session discussed the topic of Social Norms (Wednesday 28th November 2016). Members brought their experience of working with social norms from around the world, as well as reflecting on social norms closer to home. From violence against children, to smoking, to female genital cutting.  The smoking ban in the UK, for example, was discussed as a demonstration of legislation prompting a shift in a social norm – towards smoking being increasingly negatively sanctioned by peoples’ disapproval, while being positively sanctioned among those adolescents  who want to rebel or belong to a ‘cool’/transgressive group. The pressures of social media were explored in this context.

Key questions arising from the group were: how can social norms be measured? Is there a figure – a tipping point, or a percentage of a population practicing a behaviour –  for when a social norm has been abandoned? Can we establish a hierarchy of social norms, to distinguish those which are hardest to shift from those which are easier?

The presentation on an introduction to Social Norms is available through You Tube via this link.

Further reading, shared by the group:

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C4D Network Meet-Up Challenge 2016 – last few weeks to get involved!
Network News
C4D Network Editor
December 4, 2016

2016 is our third year running the Network Challenge and with each passing year we have had more and more members meeting up in more and more countries. Last year we had nearly 20 meet-ups across six continents, with members meeting everywhere from their own offices to hotel lobbies!

2016 Network Challenge Activity – Crowd Sourcing Knowledge about C4D Globally

Our joint activity during the Network Meet-Up Challenge this year is ‘C4D Mapping’ – i.e. ‘mapping’ the landscape of communication for development in as many countries as possible – which organisations, governments and communities are working on what C4D areas and where.

Once completed the 2016 meet-ups will feature on our upcoming C4D Network Membership map which will highlight each Network country chapter with that country’s associates and members. It also will be the basis for an annual analysis of what we, as people working and engaging in C4D, consider the main development issues and approaches currently important in different countries.

The mapping is basically a group discussion – and to help guide the mapping we’ve put together a short list of questions. These explore the level of support and engagement by different stakeholders in C4D in each country, as well as looking at what core development themes are the primary focus for C4D practice, and what C4D approaches and methods are most frequently used.
Get involved and keep up to date with all the latest new via our Network Challenge Dashboard!


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‘Sounds of Health’ – listen and download our latest C4D Network podcast
Audio-visual Ebola Health Network News News Nutrition
C4D Network Editor
October 18, 2016

Our ‘Sounds of Health’ podcast brings together a range of fantastic contributions from C4D Network members – stories and songs which demonstrate C4D’s key role in the health sector across the world. We travel from the Solomon Islands, with a song on Dengue awareness, to Somaliland, to hear how a midwife receives vital training through medical films. On the way, we meet Mr Plan Plan fighting Ebola, hear about breastfeeding campaigns in Pakistan, and much more. Presented and edited by Rashawn Thompson for the C4D Network.

Click here to listen and download for free!

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Round-up of Ørecomm and C4D Network special event, ‘Development and Global Change’ (19 March, Kenya)
BLOG Network Meet-ups Network News
C4D Network Editor
April 30, 2016

Overview by C4D Network member Christine Ndung’u

The first C4D Network meet up of the East Africa Regional Hub took place on the 19th of March 2016 at Wasini Hotel- Nairobi, Kenya. The meet up was organized by both the Ørecomm Team and the C4D Network East Africa Regional Hub Coordinator. There were 23 participants in total. The participants included the academia from USIU-Africa, Daystar University, Moi University,  Independent consultants; Notch Higher PR, NGOs: AfriAfya, World Vision, AMWIK and lastly Association of Local Governments in Kenya (ACKOG).

All participants were excited to be part of this diverse and thought provoking cross- continental C4D exchange. All had their expectations for the C4D meet up and were eager to share, engage and learn from each other.

The theme for this meet up was: Communication for Development and Glocal Change. The topics for discussion included:

Project Manager Marie Brobeck of Roskilde University, Denmark discussed ØRECOMM a bi-national centre that originated at Malmö University (MAH) and Roskilde University (RUC) for research in the field of Communication for Development.  

ØRECOMM focuses on the relations between media, communication and social change processes at both global and local levels. The term glocal change refers to interconnectedness of change processes at different levels. Glocal development is not only a concern of the so-called developing countries. Marie spoke about ‘Glocal’ change as transformation happening on a global scale, but feeling local in nature, owing to the connectedness brought by contemporary media and communications.

Associate Professor Ylva Ekström (Uppsala University, Sweden) spoke about Communication for Development (C4D) as a research field. She discussed that research is very key in development as it identifies both challenges and opportunities and forms the basis for decision making. However, research done is rarely released to the public and if released, it’s too complex for an ordinary person to understand.

orecomm2Dr. Abraham Mulwo of Moi University, Kenya discussed Critical Perspectives on New Media and Processes of Social Change in the Global South. Indeed new media plays a key role information dissemination and can be used to especially reach out to the younger generation.

Suggestions/ Recommendations and Way Forward:

Participants suggested that C4D Network in East Africa to have MOUs with the media and other organization in order to ensure that all information, especiall
y, scientific research is well packaged and dispersed to the public. This would strengthen the C4D Network because of the positive publicity the network would receive and appreciation of the professionals who are members of the network.

Lastly, a participant suggested that C4D Network members should develop a proposal on Risk Communication and see how we can partner with government on the same. This would enable the C4D Network Hub in Nairobi to be more involved in societal issues and become more vibrant and relevant.  Members agreed to meet and discuss further. 



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