This is a multidisciplinary field with the goal to understand how information and communication technologies can be employed to empower the poor and marginalized communities
Drawing from the myriad of disciplines that inform development communication (and generate points of contestation), searching for converged-upon understandings as to what “communication’ and “development” are offers a glimpse to varied understandings and motivations that drive work in this field. Where “communication” may be content in entertainment education, it is a paradigm shift through participatory collective action.
Unfortunately, many approaches to disseminating information in poor and marginalized communities are mired with poor cultural understanding at best and deliberate omissions or half-truths at worst. Social responsibility must be an integral part of communication and information technologies in order to yield a positive effect in disadvantaged communities. Much of the currently broadcasted information (not just in marginalized communities) is biased by private organizations with specific (and not always altruistic) interests.
It is not surprising though that the dominating approach to "help" the third world finds these non-altruistic, non-ethical motivations if we think that the efforts came generated from a neoliberal market-oriented society (see the conditions imposed by the IMF initiatives, pushing third countries to a even more disadvantageous position in a global market they can not compete). Participatory initiatives seems much appropriate. However, even if the “official” efforts move to this bottom-up approach, we can’t ignore the cultural influence that the first world continuously transmit. Now what development means for a great part of the globe population is what we, the western people consider as a developed country, but what kind of world will we have if all people in all countries can afford 2 cars per family and can generate the amount of garbage that an average person generates here in the US?
Participatory approach requires better understanding of customized information within information technology between local poor and marginalized communities. Communications within small groups could serve better in the grass-root reality.Group interaction from small to society level should be promoted to disseminate information. Supports from government to educate and develop skills or social responsibility could help sustain the long-term human development and prevent future problems.
Several types of interventions have begun to appear, including some targeted at individuals and others targeted at particular movements. Health and environmental issues are two common areas in which intervention is staged. But they are also particularly tricky areas for respecting local knowledge production such as folk medicine and spirituality. Western paradigms are sometimes inapplicable or harmful to local culture.
Moreover, considering the actors, capital-intensive institutions and research methodologies that produce knowledge about different communities they have identified as “developing” or “under-developed” is important. While both articles note that grass-roots, bottom-up, participatory approaches are needed, it must also be noted that the Waisbord is substantially longer and was commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation (RF). How does having an enormously wealthy corporation as a benefactor and potential distributor of research inform the nature and impact of such research? What are the genealogies of this work? Both articles are from the early 2000s, what thinking, making and doing have they influenced in the intervening decade?
More important , we have to realize that the communities need to be the main actors of development communication. Instead of solely disseminating information from mass media to passive local residents unidirectionally as traditional modernization approach holds, communication should be considered as a process of creating and stimulating mutual understanding by sharing information, from the view of participatory theorists. Being sensitive to local cultural and specific context could help build the sense of involvement and ownership , which eventually make the communities be actively engaged in development projects. However, participatory communication also has drawbacks such as lack of practical guidelines, slow process to achieve prompt resolutions, and incompatibility with undemocratic societies; thus, attempting to integrate different approaches may achieve better results in helping poor and marginalized communities.
One of the most successful techniques for interventions was that using an entertainment to transfer the information. People are enjoying programs prepared for them and taking an advantage of it. It is also a good way, because it needs a proper infrastructure to make it real. Such the intervention pushes technology and development to the communities in need.