Communication for Development and Social Change: Three Development Paradigms, Two Communication Models, and Many Applications and Approaches

  • Jan ServaesEmail author
  • Patchanee Malikhao
Reference work entry


All those involved in the analysis and application of Communication for Development and Social Change would probably agree that in essence communication for development and social change is the sharing of knowledge aimed at reaching a consensus for action that takes into account the interests, needs, and capacities of all concerned. It is thus a social process. Communication media are important tools in achieving this process, but their use is not an aim in itself – interpersonal communication and traditional forms of communication too must play a fundamental role.

The basic consensus on development communication has been interpreted and applied in different ways throughout the past century. Both at theory and research levels, as well as at the levels of policy- and planning-making and implementation, divergent perspectives are on offer.

In this chapter it summarizes the past of Communication for Development and Social Change; identify the roadmap for the future of Communication for Development and Social Change; and look at some of the key purposes, functions, and approaches needed to steer communication for development and social change.


Development paradigms Modernization Dependency Multiplicity Social change Diffusion of innovations Participatory communication Information rights 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media and CommunicationCity University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong
  2. 2.Katholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Fecund CommunicationChiang MaiThailand

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