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Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)

Managing Knowledge and Communication for Development

Course Code:
P523
Unit value:

This module will be available for MSc programmes offered by the Centre for Development, Environment and Poverty. It looks at how the development community has used knowledge, information and communication management concepts and tools, exploring their possibilities for supporting positive social change and poverty reduction, as well as their limitations and critiques.   

The approach is to examine the subject from the perspective of how knowledge communication and communication technologies enhance or constrain people’s capabilities, rights and entitlements to participate in their own development and make choices about their lives. How can knowledge, information and communication approaches support social change to be achieved in a sustainable manner and contribute to poverty reduction and environmental management, and international development?

By distinguishing between different theoretical understandings of knowledge and their implications for programmes and practice, students will learn to apply critical thinking to understand and analyse the field of knowledge and development.

In this way, it helps to build the groundwork for thinking through the design of knowledge, information or communication-based programmes to help practitioners create interventions that take into account interests of different stakeholders, resource constraints and power structures, and therefore have a stronger chance of fulfilling their potential and achieving their development aims.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

  1. To interpret the different conceptual framings of knowledge, information and communication, the debates around these and the terminologies they underpin.
  2. To distinguish how theoretical concepts have been applied in development practice, resulting in different approaches to knowledge-based development.
  3. To appraise knowledge-based interventions programmes and practice based on a critical understanding of the concepts, paradigms and theories behind them.
  4. To evaluate the media, communication technologies and tools of knowledge communication for arenas of different poverty reduction
  5. To identify how this understanding can be applied to understand context, strengthen development work, inform and enhance behaviour and programmes, and influence poverty reduction policies and practice.

Scope and syllabus

Part I: Essential concepts of knowledge in relation to power structures and society

Unit 1: Introduction to knowledge, information and communication and development
Unit 2: Creation, identification and codification of knowledge
Unit 3: Concepts and theories: critical analysis of knowledge, power and society   

Part II: Communicating knowledge for development: organisations and policies

Unit 4: Development communication
Unit 5: Influencing policy for poverty reduction and development

Part III: Knowledge technologies for development

Unit 6: Storage, sharing and platforms for access
Unit 7: Communicating knowledge for health
Unit 8: Communicating knowledge in education
Unit 9: Communicating knowledge for natural resource management and agriculture
Unit 10: Communicating knowledge for e-government and e-governance