Communication planning for development: an operational framework

Hancock, Alan (1980). Communication planning for development: an operational framework. PhD thesis The Open University.



This thesis is concerned with communication planning for national development: specifically with the problem of utilising a developing country's communication resources to support an integrated programme of social, political and economic mobilisation. The research which it describes sets out to construct, and test, an operational planning framework, to include among its parameters decision-making processes and political factors as well as planning strategies for communication.

Following a literature search, a number of guiding principles in support of communication planning are hypothesized. These principles are then evaluated, modified and categorised, through comparison with selected communication projects and surveys, at levels ranging from the local to the national and regional. Subsequently, on the basis of this analysis, an experimental planning framework is devised, which is constructed around two basic axes: the first defining planning participants (including both planners and decision-makers), and the second defining the sequence of planning. A particular emphasis in elaborating this framework is on the relationship between communication and development planning, and on interactions between the various sectors concerned with national development.

An account is then given of a field test of the experimental framework in a developing country (Afghanistan); during which independent evaluations of both the framework and of its application were carried out. Following an analysis of these evaluations, the framework is modified and a revised version proposed. Finally, an attempt is made to relate the planning framework to current concerns with popular access to communication resources, and participation in communication planning and management, as a guide to future application and evaluation.

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