Final: Communications & Social Change in Developing Countries
Question one: Discuss the relationship between “Development as Freedom” and Communication and Social Change. In your answer show how communication is central to economic, political, and social development.
In his book “Development as Freedom” (1999), Amartya San writes:
Freedom is central to the process of development for two distinct reasons.
I) The evaluative reason: assessment of progress has to be done primarily in terms of whether the freedoms that people have are enhanced;
II) The effectiveness reason: achievement of development as thoroughly dependent on the free agency of the people. (p. 4)
At the heart of development is then the concept of communication and social change. Communication for social change is defined as “a process through which people define who they are, what they want, and how they can get what they want…social change is defined as change in people’s lives as they themselves define such change.” Today, the developing Republic of Kenya employs these two concepts contributing to a democratic republic, a 6% growth rate in its economy, and universal primary education. Kenya is now regarded as East Africa’s “most successful economic-forward moving government” because it is willing to accept change through communication of its people and outside organizations.
Kenya emerged politically successful this past February 2008 after accepting Former UN Secretary General Dr Kofi Annan’s attempts to reconcile the dispute between President Kibaki of the Party of National Unity and opposition leader Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement. Annan’s group, which was backed by the United Nations, European Union, African Union, and the United States, was able to negotiate a power - sharing government between Odinga and Kibaki making Kibaki president and Odinga prime minister. After signing the deal Kibaki claimed, “As a nation there are more issues...