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Chapter 10 Roma Project: A case-study of development communication sponsored by the Open Society Institute. Overview of Social Change Models. Today the goal is to achieve sustainable development that includes environmental and gender concerns along with critical cultural concerns

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Chapter 10Roma Project: A case-study of development communication sponsored by the Open Society Institute

overview of social change models
Overview of Social Change Models
  • Today the goal is to achieve sustainable development that includes environmental and gender concerns along with critical cultural concerns
  • Sustainable development communication uses mostly non-linear models based on intrapersonal, interpersonal, and group communication (that often includes organizational communication) together with consideration of local culture specifics
  • Communities are encouraged to exercise their right to discuss and include their own view on development of the objectives, imperatives, and methods
modernization model
Modernization Model
  • Top-down communication is based on secular mass media with the official oppression of local religion or culture
  • Development projects are initiated and mostly executed by international organizations and national governments
  • The modernization model and ideas are rooted in the colonization period
  • This mainstream development paradigm, prominent from the 1940s through the 1970s, is oriented around progress measurement via material, economic, and technological indicators
critical alternative model
Critical/Alternative Model
  • Economic indicators clearly showed that this top-down, linear, Western model neither reduced Third World poverty nor promoted sustainable development
  • Interdisciplinary scholars from various fields of sociology, political economy, and communication, introduced critical theories on development such as the decentralization models, Marxist theories, cultural imperialism, and subaltern theories
  • It was the work of Paolo Freire that caused a direct shift in the understanding of development communication
empowerment model
Empowerment Model
  • In communication studies, more researchers viewed culture and communications as one, as modes of representation or meaning
  • Power started to be viewed dialectically
  • Protest and social movement became part of the idea of network societies
  • The role of new development communicators is to cautiously build trust while acquiring local knowledge and spurring the involvement of local people
  • Freire’s empowerment paradigm is based on a different educational approach
  • Since power is both created and exercised, institutions are needed that facilitate the paradigm of empowerment. Such an institution is The Open Society Institute
open society institute osi
Open Society Institute (OSI)
  • Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), are governed by regional boards of directors and staffs and provide grants in 27 African countries
  • The OSIWA and OSISA foundations seek to “locate visions of open societies in their respective regions which serve to combat negative perceptions about Africa”
  • OSI offers a great variety of grants, fellowships, and scholarship for development purposes such as: grants for “enhancing coalitions of women’s rights and HIV/AIDS organizations in select African countries”
theoretical background of the open society
Theoretical Background of the Open Society
  • The idea of the open society is partly rooted in the works of the philosopher Berson, who wondered how the government’s role could be enhanced within the capitalist system
  • Through the past 17 years, the Soros foundations have grown considerably and gained international attention
  • Working with marginalized communities is among the main goals of OSI
  • They are active in five sectors of social life such as freedom and democracy, human rights, education, public health and access to care, or transparency and access to information
development communication in the roma initiative s on line presentation
Development Communication in the Roma Initiative’s On-line Presentation
  • Development communication discourse perpetuates the interest of agency, and is thus power-loaded
  • The Roma Initiative counted on three major types of activities: 1) Part of the strategy of investing directly in Roma, OSI offered support for Romani rights NGOs to combat discrimination and build alliances, particularly around the international Romani-led movement to desegregate schools; 2) OSI’s fellowships and its programs for women, children, and youth, in the fields of public health, media, justice, and education; 3) Pursuing fast and flexible grant making with a focus on the younger generation of activists and students; and 4) Ensuring direct participation of Roma in project implementation, design, and evaluation
roma inclusion projects development communication models
Roma Inclusion Projects & Development Communication Models
  • All five sectors of social life that OSI defined in its Mission Statement were represented through the various projects of the Roma Initiative
  • Participation is a basic element in the Empowerment model. Advocacy for community issues formed part of the Roma Initiative
  • The Roma Participation Program (RPP) aimed the civic and political participation of Roma people while promoting equality of Romani ethnicities
  • OSI projects and practices address women’s issues from the root of gender discrimination. Gender and power relations have elements of critical and the empowerment development paradigm
the future of the roma initiative
The Future of the Roma Initiative
  • After several years of grassroots efforts, the OSI’s Roma projects resulted in a new Pan-European program, the Decade of Roma Inclusion (DRI) to run from 2005 to 2015
  • The DRI is an action framework, supported by OSI and the World Bank
  • Designed to monitor the improvement of the socio-economic status of the Roma people across the region, the program is endorsed by the prime ministers of eight countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia-Montenegro, and Slovakia), and supported by the European Commission, the Council of Europe Development Bank, and the United Nations Development Program
chapter 10 conclusions
Chapter 10 Conclusions
  • The research presented in chapter 10 was based on three different paradigms and introduced the major principles of the OSI
  • Development projects can be performed across nations, even those that involves power relations among ethnicity/race, gender and class
  • Development occurs with the participation of organizations and individuals
  • This case study of the OSI on Roma development indicated that different development communication paradigms, including the empowerment model, should be present in sustainable development projects