Social Change and Youth Advocacy – The Communication for Development Approach
an article by 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-
Session on Youth Advocacy for Peace, in
partnership with FCV, CEIPES, SILBA and Patrir and
funded by the Council of Europe at their Budapest
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
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
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
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.
Question(s) related to this article:
Is there a renewed movement of solidarity by the new generation?,
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LATEST READER COMMENT:
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. . ...more.