SAM Seminar: Media and Communication for Development and Social Change: Different approaches from theory to practice

When:4 Mar 2015, 5pm - 6:30pm
Venue:Robert Webster Building, Room 327
Who:Valentina Baú, UNSW Australia
SAM Seminar - Bau

Communication for Development (C4D) is a strategic process aimed at promoting positive individual behaviour and social change, which is an integral part of international development programmes. It is a process that typically relies on the strategic (and creative) use of the media for the purpose of economic, personal, social, cultural, or political change. It privileges local contexts and employs a mix of communication tools, channels and approaches.

This talk will introduce the main concepts around communication for development, briefly explaining how this discipline started and its evolution to contemporary practice for participatory development. It will also address the different approaches that are used in development communication interventions, using examples from the field as an illustration. Videos and images will be key components of this presentation, which aims to show the power of the media in bringing about change both at the national and community level. Different forms of media productions will be discussed, alongside their effectiveness in tackling crucial development issues such as poverty, health, gender violence, climate change and conflict.


Valentina Baú is a lecturer and researcher in the School of the Arts and Media at UNSW. She has nurtured her interest for the media from a public relations and campaigning perspective first, to a development-focused use of communication channels in more recent years. With a background in international development, Valentina’s work – both as a practitioner and as a researcher – has focused on the use of Communication for Development.

She has completed a PhD at Macquarie University on the role of participatory media in conflict transformation and reconciliation after civil violence. Through her doctoral project she spent time in Kenya with communities affected by the 2007/2008 ethnic conflict, who took part in video and theatre productions addressing issues of the violence. Her present research explores different approaches and evaluation methodologies on the application of Communication for Development in peace building.

In the past, Valentina has collaborated with different international NGOs, the United Nations and the Italian Development Cooperation, while living in different African countries. Her work has been published on a number of academic journals as well as established online platforms.

Research profile page


SAM Seminar Series 2015
Convenor, Collin Chua – c.chua@unsw.edu.au

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