Communication for Social Change CFSC

  • Our Vision: Our vision is a world in which the people living in poverty successfully control the communication processes essential for reducing poverty.
  • Our purpose is to change thinking, practice and the study of communication so that people living in poverty can manage the social change they need to improve their lives.
  • Our goal is that by the year 2015, communication for social change principles are understood and incorporated into most major development initiatives. (Vision).

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Addresses: Communication for Social Change Consortium, 14 South Orange Avenue, Suite 2F, South Orange, NJ 07079, USA;
Communication for Social Change Consortium – Europe, 49 Queen Victoria Street, Suite 69, London, EC4N 4SA, UK;

About 2/2 /Philosophy, Mission: … Our Philosophy: Communication for Social Change (CFSC) is a process of public and private dialogue through which people themselves:

  • define who they are,
  • what they need,
  • and how they will work together to get what they want and need in order to improve their lives and their communities.

We believe that success can only be achieved through the meaningful engagement of key stakeholders so local voices are heard and acted on.

Our Mission:

Our mission is to help people living in poor communities communicate effectively so that they can be the best advocates for the change needed to improve their lives, communities and countries.

Our Strategy:

The Consortium was created for a simple reason: business as usual among communicators working in development is no longer good enough.

Worldwide people of all backgrounds have grasped the importance of hearing their own stories in their own voices – and making their own decisions about what affects their lives. They are bolstered by rapidly changing communication technology that has helped bring about wider acceptance of many-to-many communication. Challenged by widespread globalization of information sources, deregulation and privatization of media outlets, marginalized communities worldwide ask:

“when will we be able to control, own and manage the communication processes and tools critical to our community’s social development?”

Even when excluded people have access to the technology and channels to make their stories heard, the primacy of their stories, debates and decisions – told in “the first voice” can still be minimized by the more powerful voices of traditional communication gatekeepers.

We’ve formed the Consortium so that individuals, institutions, academics and donors can, together, forge strategies that give greater power to those first-voices. United in the belief that communication processes – not just technology or scientific advances – are essential to development of traditionally marginalized communities, the Consortium advocates for community-based problem solving sparked by public and private dialogue that leads to collective action. This is followed by strategy design, implementation, community monitoring and assessment based on collective input from the affected people.

Our beliefs have coalesced both from experience and from intense consultations with organizations and experts throughout Africa, Asia and Latin American, as well as in the North. Such consultations have led to a growing realization that not only is the potential of communication for improving people’s living standards greater than ever before, the strategies, methodologies and models of communication interventions as they are traditionally applied need to change radically to adapt to increasingly complex communication and social environments. The strategies and concepts which underpin communication for social change practice stem not only from a concern for economic and social justice, but also from serious analysis of what works and does not work in improving peoples lives in a twenty-first century context.

The Consortium has a multi-pronged strategy:

  • 1. To find and present evidence, thereby demonstrating how participatory processes and community-based communication approaches can work best on development efforts – ranging from the minute to the large-scale.
  • 2. To build local capacity and abilities, especially among poor communities, to manage their own communication, to apply CFSC methods, and to replicate such applications when new situations come up.
  • 3. To influence the field of communication by stimulating innovation and dialogue, leading to heightened use of communication for social change.
  • 4. To increase the capacity of universities and training centers to offer specialized programs to satisfy the demand expressed by development agencies for qualified communicators for social change.
  • 5. To support communities as they seek access, ownership and control of communication processes and content within their own cultures and societies.
  • 6. To affect public policy that creates obstacles to such access and ownership by those living in marginalized communities.

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