At the heart of change: The role of communication in sustainable development

By Panos Institute - 2007

Development efforts are not fulfilling the promises made in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to reduce poverty and improve poor people’s lives. Why not? One fundamental reason is that policymakers and development experts do not recognize the essential role that information and communication play in development.

Sustainable development demands that people participate in the debates and decisions that affect their lives. They need to be able to receive information, but also to make their voices heard. The poor are often excluded from these processes by geography and lack of resources or skills; and many groups – including women – are also kept silent by social structures and cultural traditions. Inclusive political processes, through which citizens can shape political agendas and hold their governments to account, are an essential foundation of successful development.

Panos London (2007). PDF.


By Panos Institute| 2007


Communication rights enable all people everywhere to express themselves individually and collectively by all means of communication. They are vital to full participation in society and are, therefore, universal human rights belonging to every man, woman, and child.


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