Development communication comprises a whole range of strategies and approaches, from behaviour change communication, to social marketing, to Communication for Social Change. Applying sound communication strategies, CMFD is committed using participatory approaches in developing high quality content. A basic foundation for this is creating messages within our productions – serial radio dramas, magazine programmes, and publications – that are relevant, believable, and appropriate to the target audience, and which present a social message for change. Good messaging requires a number of steps to be taken.
The Communication for Social Change Consortium defines CFSC as " is a process of public and private dialogue through which people themselves define who they are, what they need and how to get what they need in order to improve their own lives. It utilizes dialogue that leads to collective problem identification, decision making and community-based implementation of solutions to development issues." CFSC moves away from communication as a one-way process and engages people in diaolgue to facilitate a process of change.
CFSC and participation
Research and experience in the field of communication and media for development (and other sectors) suggests that participation of the people and communities that a project or programme is being designed for is considered key to the success and impact that the initiative will have. Communication and media programmes focusing on participation often attempt to address lack of access to media and lack of opportunities to communicate and advocate needs and priorities, by developing strategies that work with community members to help provide opportunities for these stories, voices, and opinions to be heard.
Participation is not just about consultation, but rather facilitating a process that amplifies the voices that are not heard at every possible step. Participation facilitates the exercise of people's decision-making power and promotes higher levels of self-reliance. Real participation means that the people who the communication or media is being designed for - women, children, migrants, people living with HIV, etc, are at the centre of deciding planning, and implementing the communication programme. This means that children make radio programmes for children; youth develop youth oriented HIV dramas, migrant workers access media to make documentaries about their lives, etc