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AFRO-NETS> The Drum Beat - 49 - Perspectives

The Drum Beat - 49 - Perspectives

from THE COMMUNICATION INITIATIVE partnership - The Rockefeller Foun-
dation, UNICEF, USAID, The CHANGE Project, WHO, BBC World Service, 
CIDA, Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, The 
European Union, Soul City, The Panos Institute, UNAIDS. 

Information, ideas, linkages and dialogue on communication, develop-
ment and change.

Director: Warren Feek

New VACANCIES - see below 


The new Communication Chat Fora now involve 300 people. In this 'Drum 
Beat' we highlight excerpts from some of the contributions. For full 
contributions see: 



1. "Video... [is] a powerful media, but our ability to produce and 
show video (particularly with communities with no electricity or ac-
cessible roads) is limited. I am interested to learn of others' ef-
forts and strengthen the capacity of local programs to 
document and share information...[and to use].. communication activi-
ties to stimulate community analysis and action." [Catheryn Koss] 


2. "Principal definitions like Health Communication, Health Educa-
tion, IEC..[have] many confusions...appreciate any help" [Rosario 
Leon]..."My advice: do not worry...about the definitions...the spe-
cialists in the United States, they will respond with explanations of 
the approaches that they have invented in their universities...In 
Latin America we have a great wealth that they ignore because of the 
barrier of the language: 50 years of participative and communitarian 
communication" [Alfonso Gumucio] plus contributions from Eduardo 
Contreras-Budge, Royal Colle, David Curtis and Savina Ammassari and 
Nirupama Sarma in the Consultants forum. 


3. Three insights: 

"...[we] use communication to build and maintain alliances, raise 
supplemental funds, manage crises, recruit staff and volunteers, cre-
ate and maintain supportive media and policy climates, disseminate 
results and findings, and move issues and solutions into mainstream 
thinking and practice."

"communication is ... a critical, but insufficient and often over-
promised tactic...we are awash in communication tactics (participa-
tory models, advertising, advocacy, inter-educate, etc.) which are 
guided by weak strategies"

"Communication media and messages are important, but they are not 
ends in themselves...communication should begin by listening to rural 
people, taking into account their perceptions, needs, knowledge, ex-
periences, cultures and traditions." 


What are the key strategic communication challenges for organisa-
tions seeking to address priority development issues? Which are the 
best investments? 

To join/contribute e-mail <> and type subscribe 
strategy as the message 

Maternal Health and Mortality are priority development issues that 
pose major strategic problems. Check out Mona Moore's review and sug-
gestions: "SAFER MOTHERHOOD 2000: Toward a Framework for Behavior 
Change to Reduce Maternal Deaths":

Complete the critique form and/or comment through the Strategy Forum 
to further develop effective responses on these issues. 



4. "...preparing a compendium on entertainment-education programs 
around the world. Are you aware of any entertainment-education pro-
jects? Drop me a note..." [Vibert Cambridge]


5. " ... question the use of the word 'entertainment' which seems an 
inadequate term to describe a diverse and well-established area of 
cultural practice...The use of 'entertainment' based media in devel-
opment...has a history stretching back at least 30 years... The term 
culture and development is therefore becoming well known and widely 
used. So using a new term, like entertainment, at a time when we are 
just getting one set of terminology recognised, is not very helpful!" 
[Helen Gould] plus other contributions including Nick Putz on Mace-
donia and Associa?ao de Apoio ? Crian?a em Risco on Brazil. 

Local Entertainers

6. "Almost all entertainment on Indian Reservations is imported from 
the mainstream society...dances, high school basketball games or sum-
mertime spiritual ceremonies serve as social events but there is no 
locally-produced entertainment that would be appropriate for the 
graceful incorporation of a development message and very few local 
entertainers to do the job. So, we train students and health workers 
as local entertainers and broadcasters. For example, we facilitated a 
group of Navajo health workers writing and acting in their own short 
fitness and nutrition drama for local cable TV. [Paul Santomenna]. 


7. Strategic choice: Develop your own entertainment or work with the 
people and organisations already providing popular entertainment? 

To join/contribute e-mail <> and type subscribe 
entertainment as the message 



10. Wanted: "Literature on measuring literacy and numeracy levels - 
especially any decriptions of measurement projects that have taken 
place in recent years in Africa...and...organisations in Malawi which 
may be capable of carrying out large scale field research projects?" 
[Dave Ostry] 

Rural Telecentres

11. " A key focus of my work is the evaluation of rural community 
telecentres/multipurpose centres, using applied research methodology 
of both a qualitative and quantiative nature...keen to hear from any-
one working in a similar or related field. [Christel Jacob]


12. "...the most prominent feature [of the Soul City Evaluation] is 
that we have taken "triangulation" to new levels. The evaluation as a 
whole is unfolding through a number of discrete, but closely inter-
woven sub-studies - literally and deliberately put together like a 
jigsaw puzzle. Furthermore, we are consistently using both quantita-
tive and qualitative methodologies and methods within discrete stud-
ies, both as stand-alone, and completely interlinked. [Esca Scheep-

Social Change 

13. "...grateful if anyone can share with me experiences in develop-
ing indicators to measure the performance of advocacy and IEC activi-
ties...[and]...would like to learn more about the research methodol-
ogy both qualitative and quantitative ones in studying impacts of 
mass communication on social changes." [Bui Phuong Dinh]

To join/contribute e-mail <> and type subscribe 
evaluation as the message 


Private Sector

16. I wonder whether we sometimes are unwilling to learn more from 
the commercial world...people in the development communications busi-
ness, including those in research, tend to turn their noses up at 
what the advertisers do...the development research community could 
learn a lot from commercial research but seems reluctant to do so." 
[Graham Mytton]

17. Responses: "agree wholeheartedly... dev comm has learned a lot: 
social marketing (for all its failings) is nothing more than the ap-
plication of well-known marketing principles to a social product. But 
there's a lot more that can be learned..." [Paul Mundy] "I have been 
adapting commercial techniques and strategies of communication for 
and in rural areas for the past 5 years and I think that is the way 
to go. [Titus Moetsabi] 


18. I have found that I have used the same words as the organisation 
that I will be working for, in my faxes and emails beforehand, but 
the same words have different meanings in different parts of the 
world. What can a foreign consultant do before arriving, to reduce 
the likelihood of such misunderstandings? [Andrew Hobbs]

To join/contribute e-mail <> and type subscribe 
consultants as the message



19. "few organisations...are investing in communication - to their 
rue. You grow only when you learn. And how do you learn if you don't 
network? That's what my organisation has been trying to do...- learn-
ing through networking." [Omololu Falobi 


20. Are the traditional news and information strategies of issuing a 
press release, holding a news conference, staging a photo opportu-
nity, etc, becoming outdated? 

To join/contribute e-mail <> and type subscribe 
news into the body of the message 


Statistics Packages

21. " [Ben Norris]; "...check out Analog: ...[for] sites 
with a small budget...Web Trends does most everything we need." [Todd 

Paying Online

22. "...difficult for a non-profit to afford the price of a secure 
certificate and additional banking costs. 2 recommendations: (a) use [as] they will provide a free link 
and post it but they take a percentage for each publication pur-
chased...(b) non-profits pool their resources and purchase one cer-
tificate together..." [Cecilia Snyder]

23. Requests: 

* Know anything about IPIN? [Jo Tachhi]

* COLD FUSION - would love to network with anyone who has experience 
with it. [David Mariner]

* Software for Events Calendars...anyone know of a good product? 
[Warren Feek]

To join/contribute e-mail <> and type subscribe 
entertainment as the message. 


For details and expanded list:

24. Recent: 

* Participatory Communication and Adult Learning - FAO
* Deputy Director - PATH Kenya
* Social Communication Adviser for Latin America - PAHO 
* Community Arts Programme Manager - Macedonia - Children's Aid Di-
* Social Marketing Expert - GFA-Medica 
* Web Site Writer - UNICEF New York

This Drum Beat edited by Warren Feek

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