Collective Review: Catalyzing Sustainable Social Change through Public Communication, Radio for Development, and Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation

Levi Zeleza Manda


This article reviews three recent books by four authors (two single, one joint) from Australia and Africa. The three books are related in that they all discuss the need to acknowledge the role of dialogic communication and popular participation as catalysts for sustainable social development in the developing world. Specifically, "Public Relations, Activism and Social Change" proposes that public relations (PR) needs to transform itself into public communication (PC), where people are made to make decisions based on dialogue and the correctness of the information rather than out of manipulative propaganda. "People's Radio" argues that radio can lead to tangible and long-lasting social change if it engages the primary beneficiaries in the planning, production presentation of the programs and management of (community) radio stations. "Evaluating Communication for Development" argues that through indicators defined by the local people themselves, evaluators can find evidence of social change brought about by communication for development activities. The book suggests that to be effective, monitoring and evaluation of communication for development ought to be participatory and use qualitative data collection tools such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, and most significant change (MSC) evaluations.



public relations; activism; social change; radio for development; communication for social change; most significant change

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2014 Levi Zeleza Manda

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.