IDM066-Communication and Innovation in Development

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Admission onto module by GIIDAE
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Sarah Cardey


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Explore current ideas about the role of communication in technological and behaviour change in the context of social and economic development. Analyse theories of communication, learning, and behaviour change, and examine how these can be employed to design methods for supporting innovation in livelihoods. Learn through lectures, workshops, individual projects, selected readings, and case studies from around the world.

The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of, and ability to analyse, how social and technological change in development contexts is influenced by communication processes.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • describe different theoretical approaches to the links between communication and development

  • use appropriate theories of communication, learning and behaviour change to design and assess methods for supporting innovation in livelihoods

  • identify different traditions in the theory and practice of using communication for social and behavioural change and app ly these to an analysis of specific cases in the fields of health and social development

  • summarise current debates on privatisation, decentralisation, contracting out and cost recovery for advisory services in the social and natural resources sectors

  • describe current trends in communication infrastructure and access and critically assess the potential implications for social and economic development.

Additional outcomes:

Participants will have enhanced their skills in accessing relevant information and resources on the Internet and the academic literature.

Outline content:

  • Theories of communication for development, including social and behaviour change

  • Competing conceptual frameworks for explaining and promoting communication for development

  • The role of information, knowledge, media and communication in social, technical and economic change

  • The changing landscape of communication infrastructure and access in developed and developing countries

  • Institutional arrangements for finance and delivery of advisory services: models of decentralisation and pluralism

  • Gender and equity issues in communication for development

Global context:

The module will focus on examples from around the world. Communication tools in the module are designed to be used in a global environment, in both the global South and North. There will be critical reflection on the socio-cultural and economic contexts that influence communication in development. Teaching materials come from a global range of academics and practitioners. Students will use learning materials from global research projects to design their assignments.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures, workshops, individual projects, selected readings, and case studies. Students will be expected to consult materials on the Internet and relevant academic journals: references to key websites and journal papers will be given. The module is supported by a "Blackboard" course in which all module participants will be enrolled and will be expected to participate. Discussion and feedback will take place through Blackboard and e-mail as well as during class sessions.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 14
Practicals classes and workshops 6
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 40
    Wider reading (directed) 10
    Advance preparation for classes 10
    Essay preparation 20
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Blog – 25%

Research essay – 75%

Formative assessment methods:

Students will be able to provide a proposal of their research essay topic to the module convenor for feedback before completing the assignment.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

  1. Required text books:

  2. Specialist equipment or materials:

  3. Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:

  4. Printing and binding:

  5. Computers and devices with a particular specification:

  6. Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 17 July 2020


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