Manoj Kumar Das


For a long time Communication has been widely acknowledged as a significant component in scholarly treatment of development discourse. There however seems to be a persistent disconnect between such academic theorisations and the real field level situation as communication continues to remain in the periphery in programme planning and interventions of donor agencies as well as implementing NGOs in India. Drawing from the experiences in two prominent but diverse national level development organisations, this paper argues that communication in practice is still poorly understood and practiced in the sector. Rather than erroneously equating communication with information and apparent image building exercises of NGOs, the paper argues that it needs to be seriously seen as the key to a community’s empowerment by enabling their people’s participation in development initiatives that concerns them and their destiny. The paper calls for communication to be brought to the centre stage of institutional intervention policies and programmes and suggests possible means to do so. In particular, it argues for the need to carve out a central role of communication for development professionals in the country’s third sector.


Communication, Participation, Communication for Development (C4D), Non-government Organisation (NGO), Development Sector, Third Sector, Social Movement Organisation (SMO)

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Development in Practice, 19, 453-465. doi:10.1080/09614520902866470.

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