COMMUNICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT (C4D) IN THE UNIVERSITY CURRICULUM: NEED AND PROSPECTS
Communication has become a major issue in addressing various aspects of national development, including agriculture, health, gender issues, and entrepreneurship. Emergence of a new generation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has prompted widespread international attention on what is often called “communication for development” (C4D). Today the focus is on strategically using ICT tools to address the Sustainable Development Goals drafted by the United Nations and targeted on the year 2030.
C4D courses appeared in the academic programmes of many universities about sixty years ago. However, recently the question has arisen as to the future of C4D courses and programmes in universities. A discussion about C4D took place in the middle of 2017 via the Communication Initiative on-line network. There were over 60 contributions to that discussion from a wide range of countries and perspectives, including many from academic institutions. This paper reports and summarises the discussion.There have been major advances in Asia and the Pacific region in getting universities to offer courses related to C4D and by creating online resources including distance learning and training modules that link ICT essentials to development. It is evident that the C4D approach is somewhat broader in scope than the emphasis on ICTs for development.The final section of this paper provides additional ideas for introducing or strengthening C4D in the university curriculum including developing C4D resources for university programmes, incorporation of learning strategies, and involvement of community learning centres and telecentres as real-life laboratories for students.