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Importance of Communication Models in Communication for Development

Communication models and approaches facilitate the work of practitioners...



Communication models are conceptual models used to explain and describe the human communication. Communication models, approaches and theories are the foundation around which development communication practitioners build ideas on how to effectively transmit the message they would like to convey to the target audience.

Communication models and approaches facilitate the work of practitioners because they provide ideas on how individuals react to different types of communication stimulus, the possible consequences that may result when participants in a communication process employ a communication style or shift to another communication style. In addition, communication models and approaches provide practitioners an idea on how to obtain engagement, collaboration and participation from the target audience in order to achieve communication goals.


Communication models, approaches and theories are valuable because they are employed as a framework in the design of a communication campaign. And based on the type of framework employed, predictions are made, predictions on how the target audience would respond or react to the message: the expected outcome.

Communication approaches employed in development provide people the needed awareness and knowledge to engage and motivate them to be active players in their own development. Empowering people to be able to communicate, to express their viewpoints on issues that concern them, and to learn to take advantage of the various channels of communication can facilitate in the dissemination of planned messages that are necessary to involve people and communities to address a common cause, essential to foster social changes that may, eventually, lead to sustainable development. 

Of course, not all expected outcomes are likely to happen. This is the reason why persistent monitoring of the communication campaign is essential. Monitoring is needed to identify the weak elements in the campaign that need to be tweaked or be completely revised to obtain the established communication objectives.

As a conclusion, it it vital for communication practitioners to have a good grasp of communication models in the planning, design and implementation of whatever type of communication campaign.

References:
. Ongkiko, I.V.C. and Flor, A. (2003). Introduction to Development Communication. SEAMEO Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture and the UPOU.
. Velasco, MT.H., Cadiz, M.C.H., Lumanta, M.F. (1999). Communication and Social Marketing. UP Open University.

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