August 23, 2017
The Drum BeatThe State of C4D in Academic Institutions - The Drum Beat 741
August 23, 2017
In this issue:
Academia is key to strengthening the field of communication for development (C4D) around the world, as universities play an important role in building skills in the field and in developing the human resources that will plan and implement C4D programmes, as well as influence policies. Academics also play a role in supporting research and advocating for C4D within their institutions and beyond.

In an effort to support the role of universities, The CI, with support from the Temple University School of Media and Communication, started to compile a list of university Masters courses in the field of C4D. The purpose is not only to highlight these courses for those wanting to build their skills in this field, but also for universities to share information about their courses, methods, and focus areas with other institutions so that they can learn from each other to improve or build their own course offerings, and generally share experiences, network, and collaborate. The CI was initially contracted by Temple to produce a list of 20 Masters courses; The CI is now working to expand this list. (See details below if you would like to add your Masters course.)

This Drum Beat provides a snapshot of what has been compiled so far, sharing with you a small selection of the university postings from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, and Oceania. The full listing can be found on our website here: The summaries include background information on each course, details on the course curriculum, an outline of teaching methods, and information about key staff members.

To provide context, this newsletter also shares some of the discussion threads from The CI's University and Higher Education Network, which was also set up as part of the Temple partnership.
From The Communication Initiative Network - where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
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  • From March-May 2017, an online discussion within The CI's University and Higher Education Network explored the state of C4D in universities. The discussion was initiated when a member from Zimbabwe posted her views regarding the lack of C4D modules in university courses.

    A summary of the discussion, courtesy of one of the participants, Dr. Royal D. Colle, may be found here:
    Lack of C4D Modules in University Courses: Summary of a CI Discussion
    Some highlights from the discussion:
    • * Not a lot of universities offer degree courses in C4D.
    • * There is a gap between the academics and the field reality.
    • * Well-trained and qualified C4D professionals are urgently needed to mainstream C4D in the development agenda.
    • * Adapted courses could be taken in online mode as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), although some concerns were raised.
    • * The idea of a C4D course adopted by a university and offered within a residency block found favour with nearly all the discussants from the developing countries.
    • * Courses are likely to face challenges if they are not backed by a university, not recognised by the government, not endorsed by an accreditation body, and/or are offered in an online mode where a majority of the population is not used to studying online courses.
    • * C4D needs not only courses and training, but also research and advocacy to earn its rightful place as a profession with a clear job market and professional trajectory.

  • The academics amongst the discussants offered to form a group focused on advancing C4D in academic institutions by analysing relevant issues and taking collective action to resolve those issues and challenges. By the end of May 2017, a group of 54 C4D academicians and practitioners volunteered to carry forward the discussion. As a result, a new group entitled Advancing C4D in Academic Institutions was formed on The CI Network.

  • To read more, see Colle's:
    Communication for Development in the University Curriculum
Join The CI's University and Higher Education Network
  • This network - a moderated group that anyone can join - provides the space for people teaching, studying or researching communication and media for development, social and behavioural change in academic institutions to share knowledge, research, ideas, and strategic thinking derived from their work and experiences, as well as to provide peer support on the issues and challenges experienced by group members related to their academic work. The network has 5,926 members (as of August 23 2017) from The CI network working in academic institutions, including staff from all the universities featured on the CI site.

    Simply register with The CI (free of charge) here - or, if you are already registered, log in and visit:
Full list of universities
  • 1. Ahmadu Bello University - Masters Degree in Development Communication

    Zaria, Nigeria
    Offered through the Department of Theatre and Performing Arts, the development communication course grew out of years of fieldwork, research, and teaching. Students are required to carry out community development training for community-based organisations around Zaria or within the University's catchment area. They are required to design and develop training modules that can be applied within communities.

  • 2. University of the Witwatersrand - Master of Public Health in the Field of Social and Behaviour Change Communication

    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Developed in partnership with the Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication (SCI) and funded in part by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the C-CHANGE project (ended in 2012), this programme features courses offered under the SBCC area of specialisation that seek to build skills needed to design programmes and interventions to address determinants of health and disease at multiple levels. SBCC students are required to conduct an original piece of research on a SBCC-relevant topic under supervision.

  • 3. Master of Science in Development Communication - University of the Philippines, Los Banos

    Laguna, Philippines
    This programme seeks to respond to evolving development paradigms and communication perspectives. It is designed to produce graduates whose competencies include the ability to: compare and contrast theories, schools of thought, principles, and strategies of communication in the context of development; analyse issues and challenges in development that may be addressed by education and training in development communication; conduct research and evaluation in development communication; and apply development communication concepts and skills in the design and management of systems, programmes, and projects in development.

  • 4. Lady Irwin College - M. Sc. Development Communication and Extension

    Dehli, India
    The Department of Development Communication and Extension strives to train a cadre of professionals to work as development practitioners and researchers. The Department curriculum seeks to provide strong theoretical foundations and experiential learning to meet the existing market demands for trained professionals in participatory development processes and communication. The key components of the curriculum are: C4D-Communication for Development; Extension and Programme Management; Sustainable Development; Gender and Development; Training for Life Skills; Participatory Communication; and Community Media.

  • 5. Malmö University - Communication for Development Master's programme

    Malmö, Sweden
    This programme gives students the skills to work with media and communication in international developmental cooperation as well as in other areas. This is a half-time study programme, combining courses on culture, communication and development, and integrating them with practical fieldwork. It explores the use of communication - both as a tool and as a way of expressing processes of social change - within the contexts of globalisation. The form of study is a combination of live seminars and communication on the web.

  • 6. University of Reading - MSc Communication for Development

    Reading, United Kingdom
    This one-year Masters programme is designed to cover communication theory and issues at all levels, from local to global, and from interpersonal to mass and social media. It explores a range of development applications, from agricultural advisory services and health communication to advocacy and social change communication.

Recognising a Renewing Communication Initiative Associate: University of Guelph
  • The CI Associates are organisations and individuals who recognise the added value of The Communication Initiative toward their work priorities and have chosen to provide financial support to this initiative. We would like to thank the University of Guelph, who has recently renewed the commitment to support their own work through the work of The CI.
    To become an Associate, click here or contact Victoria Martin
  • 7. Universidad del Norte - Masters of Communication

    Barranquilla, Colombia
    The themes of research in which projects are developed are: Communication, Participation and Social Construction of Health; Communication, Information Technology and Digital Citizenship; Gender Studies, Diversity and Citizenship; and Media Studies, Journalism and Public Opinion. The intention is that students completing the Masters in Communication will be able to work as researchers, advisors, and consultants in the field of Communication and be educated to promote equity, democracy, and social change. They will be capable of planning, developing, evaluating, and producing knowledge about communication projects and strategies in different contexts.

  • 8. University of the West Indies - MA Communication for Social and Behaviour Change

    Mona, Jamaica
    A part-time programme running for 2 calendar years, this programme aims to provide students with a solid foundation in theory, research methods, and practice. Participants are prepared to conceptualise, design, manage, and evaluate evidence-based strategic programmes for social and behaviour change. A range of challenges and opportunities are addressed, including the environment, climate change and disaster preparedness, responses to the crisis of HIV and AIDS, as well as other social and developmental issues. Preparation in strategic communication and intervention design includes individual, community, national, Caribbean regional, and global strategies and covers a range of communication strategies.

  • 9. Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla - Master of Communication and Social Change

    Puebla, México
    People who study this Masters Degree are expected to learn and be able to: apply theoretical knowledge to encourage the process of dialogue and participation of the various stakeholders involved in programmes dealing with citizenship and social change; develop basic and applied research to new challenges in the field of communication for development and social change; generate proposals with a communication perspective for the design, implementation, and evaluation of public development policies; and negotiate for resources and aid to catalyse communication for development and social change projects.

  • 10. Temple University - Master of Science in Globalization and Development Communication

    Philadelphia, United States
    Delivered over the course of 12 months, this programme is meant to be accessible not only to young students newly graduated from college but also to individuals who may have already launched a career in the development sector and who cannot perhaps afford to take more than a year off from work to get additional training. Core courses provide an overview of theory and research in development communication, along with training in communication campaigns, project management, new technologies, and research methods. In addition, students choose 3 courses comprising a specialisation in their area of interest.

  • 11. University of Guelph - Master of Science in Capacity Development and Extension

    Guelph, Canada
    This programme focuses on processes of learning, advocacy, leadership, communication, and capacity development for rural/remote and small communities in Canada and around the world. The "students without borders" engage with society through service learning projects during their course work, as well as through applied research and a range of professional development activities.

  • 12. University of Queensland - Master Programme on Communication for Social Change

    Brisbane, Australia
    Administered by the UQ School of Communication and Arts, with its Centre for Communication for Social Change Field (CfCSC) convening the specific CSC field, this programme is designed to foster the understanding and skills of graduates and professionals to strategise and utilise effective communication in many fields of practice, such as health promotion, community development, business, public relations, policy and politics, intercultural relations and globalisation. Due to the participatory nature of teaching, the programme is not offered in distance learning mode.



ENQUIRY: Your priorities, opportunities and challenges!

What kinds of challenges and opportunities infuse your communication and media development, social and behavioural change work? This survey is a chance for you to let us know! In 2017, we will report back on results and trends so you can gain insights from your peers in the network.
Click here to lend your voice.

Full list of universities
  • If you would like your course to be added to the list, please reach out to us at
This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries and Anja Venth.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Citurna TV, Fundación Imaginario,Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI),
Heartlines, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), MISA, Open Society Foundations, Oxfam Novib, PAHO,The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, STEPS International, UNAIDS, UNICEF,Universidad de los Andes, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City

Executive Director: Warren Feek
The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
Please send additional project, evaluation, strategic thinking, and materials information on communication for development at any time. Send to

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