Dr Valentina Bau


PhD International Communication: Communication for Development in Peacebuilding (Macquarie University, Australia)

MSc Communication for Development (University of Reading, UK)

MA Public Relations (Bournemouth University, UK)

BA (Hons) Media & Communication Studies (University of Perugia, Italy)

School of the Arts & Media


+ 61 2 9385 8974
+61 2 9385 6812
311D, Level 3 Robert Webster
Kensington Campus
Fields: Social Change, Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment, Anthropology of Development, Communication and Media Studies, International and Development Communication, Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
Tags: The Media, International Organisations, International Aid and Development, Cultural Understanding, Communication, Communication Across Languages and Culture, Expanding Knowledge

I conduct research on the application of Communication for Development in Peacebuilding with a focus on realities affected by violent conflict. I explore and evaluate new communication for development approaches that employ different media and communication channels to contribute to social change and sustainable peace in the aftermath of (or during) violence. I also look at the application of communication for development for citizen engagement and youth participation in governance and peacebuilding. My more recent work has begun to explore the use of Communication for Development in the context of crisis response interventions, with the aim of developing new frameworks that can link the implementation of applied research with the production of theoretical knowledge, whose translation can inform practice. I collaborate with UNICEF and other international NGOs on different projects related to Communication for Development and media for peace.

My PhD has looked the ways in which participatory media can be used as storytelling tools to share experiences of war among hostile communities in the aftermath of a civil war, and how sharing stories through the media can facilitate healing and reconciliation. As part of my doctorate project, I worked on the evaluation of two participatory media activities implemented in Kenya in the aftermath of the 2007/2008 Post-Election Violence. I assessed the impact of these projects in relation to ethnic reconciliation between and among communities in specific areas of the Rift Valley, where I spent three months interviewing both victims and perpetrators of the 2007/2008 conflict who have been in contact with these media productions.

More generally, I am also interested in looking at the different ways communication can be used in development contexts (particularly in post-conflict settings), as well as in understanding the impact that an introduction to the use of the media has on communities living in extreme poverty.

Prior to the start of my academic career, I have worked as an international development professional for various non-governmental organisations, government departments and the United Nations, both in Head Offices and in Country Offices in African settings.

I am available to supervise PhD projects in the following areas:
- Communication for Development
- Communication for Social Change
- Communication and Media for Peace
- Community and Alternative Media
- The Media in the Global South
- Health Communication.

To find out more about my research and publications, visit my research profile page.


    Book Chapters

    • Baú V, 2019, 'Re-designing the Media in Humanitarian Interventions. Communicating with communities at times of crisis', in Shaw I; Selvarajah S (ed.), Media, Human Rights and Conflicts: Reporting human rights in times of conflict, London, Palgrave Macmillan
    • Calandro E;Baú V, 2019, 'Digital Media and Information Rights', in Hobbs R; Mihailidis P (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy, Wiley-Blackwell, Boston
    • Baú V, 2018, 'Building a Combined Framework of Analysis to Understand Displaced Adolescents’ Communication through Art', in SAGE Research Methods Cases, SAGE Publications, http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526484208
    • Baú V, 2014, 'Communities and Media in the Aftermath of Conflict: participatory productions for reconciliation and peace', in Cultivating Peace: contexts, practices and multidimensional models, Cambridge University Press, pp. 266 - 282, http://assets.cambridge.org/97811070/53618/toc/9781107053618_toc.pdf
    • Baú V, 2014, 'Video Technology and Participatory Approaches to Peace – From technological determinism to self-empowerment and social change. An experience from Kenya', in Technological Determinism and Social Change: communication in a tech-mad world, Lexington Books, pp. 243 - 258

    Journal articles

    Conference Proceedings (Editor of)


    Conference Presentations

    • Baú V, 2018, 'Radio, conflict and land grabbing in Sierra Leone: Communicating rights and preventing violence through drama', http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750635218789434
    • Baú V, 2016, 'Communicating for Peace through Art - Using art and communication for development to work with internally-displaced adolescents in Mindanao', presented at IPRA (International Peace Research Association) Conference, University of Freetown, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 27 November - 01 December 2016
    • Baú V, 2016, 'Breaking the Conflict Cycle Working with Young African Diasporas in Sydney? Redressing assumptions and reassessing the use of participatory photography', presented at Diasporas in Action, University of Melbourne, Australia, 26 - 27 September 2016
    • Baú V, 2016, 'Citizen engagement in peacebuilding: A communication for development approach to rebuilding peace from the bottom-up', Vol. 16, pp. 348 - 360, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1464993416663052
    • Baú V, 2015, 'Gender and Peacebuilding. A communication for development approach to promote an equal and inclusive process', presented at ACFID (Australia Council for International Development) University Network Conference, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 04 - 05 June 2015
    • Baú V, 2014, 'Creating Dialogue through Images: participatory photography for peace', presented at IPRA (International Peace Research Association) Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, 10 - 14 August 2014
    • Baú V, 2014, 'Communication for Development in Peacebuilding. Identifying research directions for an emerging paradigm', presented at Ørecomm Conference, Malmo, Sweden, 17 - 20 September 2014
    • Baú V, 2013, 'Video Technologies and Participatory Approaches for Sustainable Peace. Tackling conflict through social change communication', presented at ICA (International Communication Association) Conference, London, UK, 17 - 21 June 2013
    • Baú V, 2013, 'A new Role for Communication for Social Change in Conflict Transformation. Using participatory video to restore peace', presented at IAMCR (International Association for Media and Communication Research), Dublin, Ireland, 25 - 29 June 2013
    • Harris, U. ;Baú V, 2013, 'Participatory Media Workshop', presented at ACFID (Australia Council for International Development) University Network Conference, Sydney, Australia, 21 - 22 November 2013
    • Baú V, 2012, 'Communities and Media in the Aftermath of Conflict - Participatory productions for reconciliation and peace', presented at Cultivating Peace Conference, Armidale, Australia, 17 - 19 May 2012
    • Baú V, 2010, 'Mourning and Healing through the Media: participatory productions in post-conflict settings', presented at Panic and Mourning - Graduate Conference in Culture Studies, Lisbon, Portugal, 28 - 29 October 2010
    • Baú V, 2009, 'Shaping the Content – A critical evaluation of the role of media relations and its function in liberal democratic societies', presented at Southern Africa Communication Association (SACOMM) Conference, 16 - 18 September 2009


Teaching and Supervision

I convene one Level 2 elective course at UNSW School of the Arts and Media:

- MDIA2011 Media Design for Change (for both Media and Development Studies students).

In the past, I have convened two Level 3 core courses on the B.Media degrees:
- MDIA3005 Social Innovation & Engagement;
- MDIA 3003 Media Portfolio;

and one core course in the Master of Public Relations & Advertising:

- MDIA5028 Critical Reflections on PR and Advertising (Master of Public Relations & Advertising)

Honours and prizes

2018: undertaken a five-month Visiting Senior Research Fellowship at UNICEF Innocenti Office of Research in Florence, Italy

2012: selected for fully funded participation in the ‘Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation’ Winter School at Queensland University of Technology in Australia

2011: recipient of the Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship for PhD programme in Australia

2010: selected for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) Fellowship for international cooperation and development in Angola

2006: selected for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs & CRUI Foundation Apprenticeship Programme for international cooperation and development in Mozambique

2002: recipient of the European Union Erasmus Fund Award for international student exchange programme in the United Kingdom

Engagement and Professional contributions

Member of the International Association for Media & Communication Research (IAMCR).

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