Communication for development is an emerging frontier, the goal of which is to use communication processes, techniques and media to facilitate social, economic and technological development. Communication for development promotes the use of communication processes, techniques and media to facilitate people in their own context-specific development, and create the capacity for social dialogue. The underpinning philosophy is that this type of communication is not simply about transferring information and sending messages, but rather about listening, responding to, and helping people give direction to their own change, and supporting enabling environments for this change to take place.

Communication has long been understood as something one uses to transfer a message, create behaviour change, or generate publicity. However, C4D emphasises the processes in communication; the engagement, facilitation, and participation components that determine how projects are facilitated, or whose voices are included. Globally there has been an acknowledgement of the importance of this area as large institutions such as DFID and UN agencies (and even the World Bank) have adopted policy and programs related to this area. However, applying this concept is not simple and requires adaption, the ability to listen, and contextually relevancy; which is very difficult  to apply in these large institutions.

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