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Social Change and Youth Advocacy – The Communication for Development Approach
un articulo por Antonio Palazuelos Prieto

I had the pleasure to take part in a workshop on Social Change and Youth Advocacy – The Communication for Development approach In the framework of the United Network of Young Peace- builders Study Session on Youth Advocacy for Peace, in partnership with FCV, CEIPES, SILBA and Patrir and funded by the Council of Europe at their Budapest Youth Centre.

click on photo to enlarge

As participants we had the opportunity to organise a one session workshop in our expertise areas. The workshop linked Communication for Development with the main topic of the Study Session. Using non- formal education techniques, the twelve participants discovered this approach, thus how to use communication to tackle social challenges which their roots are linked to social behaviors. They were representing youth organizations from Armenia, Belgium, Bosnia, Georgia, Kosovo, Italy, Romania, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey and UK.

Communication for Development aims to empower vulnerable communities, including young groups, to make their voices heard in decision making processes and being involved in democratic citizenship, as recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in 1997 (Article 7, Resolution 51/172).

According to UNICEF and UNDP methodologies of Communication for Development, a balanced combination of communication tools, channels, media and techniques at micro, meso and macro levels is needed to achieve this empowerment.

Thus participants identified different challenging situations in their countries of origin in order to create a Communication for Development Strategy and apply Communication for Behavior Change (micro level), Communication for Social Change and Mobilisation (meso level) and Communication for Advocacy (macro level).

Some of these challenges identified were interreligious dialogue, urban trash, youth violence, public governance and youth unemployment. In groups they analysed the behaviors that cause that issues and defined some strategies to deal with them.

After sharing the main findings and conclusions of the group discussions, participants will work in the strategies for next weeks, in order to implement Communication for Development in their communities to promote behaviour and social change, as well as social mobilization and advocacy.

The follow up activities will be accompanied by the facilitator of the workshop to support the participant’s process of implementation of Communication for Development and became agents of change in their communities.

Participants highlighted the usefulness of this approach and expressed their interest to work with it and implementing the strategies in their communities. Nevertheless, they manifested their will in continuing gaining expertise in this field and the need to receive further support in order to monitor and evaluate their strategies.


Pregunta(s) relacionada(s) al artículo :

Is there a renewed movement of solidarity by the new generation?,

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Comentario más reciente:

from Javier Collado Ruano, Director of Edition at Global Education Magazine, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity.

Solidarity is a trans-dimensional phenomenon that goes beyond the ontological essence of human nature. In fact, when we analyze the connections between the microcosm and the macrocosm, we perceive that human beings are not involved in chaos and arbitrariness, but belongs to the large network of interdependencies, complementarities and reciprocities that constitute life. The emergence of life on Earth, around 3,8 billion years ago, was a complex process of exceptional natural phenomena, inherent in all living systems. A process which is expressed through unlimited creativity: mutation, gene exchange, and symbiosis. From a cosmo-biological perspective, we can understand a new conceptual dimension of life, where all living beings share same basis of genetic code: the twenty amino-acids and four phosphatic bases. In fact, the diversity of living beings is caused by the combination of this cosmo-bio-genetic basis.

This trans-dimensional perspective has a deep ecological and spiritual sense for our worldview because the human evolutionary adventure is the latest stage of life on Earth. The modern human being is a vertebrate animal, mammal, belonging to the primates, which emerged 200,000 years ago. In recent centuries he has imposed its anthropocentric, industrial and capitalist vision to the detriment of Pachamama (and Indigenous goddess known as earth mother). We consume around 120% of the natural resources that Earth Mother regenerats annually. Our consumer behavior is immersed in a fatalistic dynamic with a destiny to climate change (deforestation, loss of biodiversity, ozone, etc.), and our own self-destruction as a species.

There is an urgent need to get beyond the cognitive fallacy that the mental structures of social Darwinism and capitalist postulates of the 19th century have historically constituted, because they only understand natural and social systems as warmongers and competitive processes whereby species diverge from each other. . ... continuación.

Este artículo ha sido publicado on line el October 29, 2012.