Title

Using Participatory Communication to Achieve Social Change: A Case Study

Date of Award

3-4-2010

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Applied Communication

Degree Name

Master of Professional Studies

Department

Organiz & Prof Communication

Advisor

Steven Reiquam

Keywords

communication; international development; NGOs; participatory communication; social change; United Nations

Abstract

The concept of participatory communication in international development has been widely accepted among the development community for many years. Yet there is still disagreement over its definition and whether it effectively creates sustainable social change. The elements contributing to its effectiveness and the factors preventing success have not been thoroughly researched. This case study of the African non-governmental organization (NGO), Tostan, which means breakthrough in the West African language Wolof, presents a case that practicing participatory communication for development with the goal of empowerment leads to sustainable social change, provided that various internal and external factors are all contributing to this goal and that barriers known to prohibit this process can be overcome.

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