Institute of Development Studies
New Roles for Communication in Development?
- Tessa Lewin, Blane Harvey and Susie Page - 2012
- ISBN 0265 5012
- 120 pages
- Printed price £14.95
IDS Bulletins - 43.5
What does validity mean in an environment where bloggers and journalists are often viewed as more credible, useful or accessible sources than researchers? How are the roles of researchers and research communicators changing? This landscape has been undergoing a significant shift in recent years. The emergence of new technologies has been accompanied by other shifts in the politics and business of development knowledge: the understanding of what constitutes ‘expert knowledge’, a growing emphasis on process over product in research, and new understandings of what drives social change and policy influence. With the rise of participatory and co-constructed communications have come suggestions that the rigour and ‘hard evidence’ needed to influence policy has been neglected. As some have turned back to grassroots forms of communication such as community radio, they face ambivalence from others struggling to see what is new or innovative about such ‘archaic’ approaches. This IDS Bulletin aims to explore these interesting changes by drawing on the experiences of practitioners, theorists and community intermediaries from a wide range of disciplines. Articles reflect the overlaps and disconnects within different fields (particularly on how new technologies, approaches and configurations of research communication are influencing the practice of development) and sit, at various points, in tension or consensus with one another. They reflect the unresolved nature of the politics and practice of research communication – and begin to map a complex picture of this arena.