Macquarie University
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Communication for development in peacebuilding: participatory media for conflict transformation and reconciliation after civil violence

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posted on 2022-03-28, 23:10 authored by Valentina Baú
This research aims to ascertain the impact of communication for development interventions in contexts of peacebuilding. The study specifically focuses on the use of participatory media in initiating processes of conflict transformation and reconciliation in communities affected by violence. Two projects were analysed – a participatory video and a participatory theatre initiative implemented in Kenya in the aftermath of the 2007/2008 Post-Election Violence – to evaluate the role that communication for development can play in conflict-affected communities. Findings demonstrate that a participatory approach to communication and media content production has contributed in generating positive changes in the interaction between (former) enemy tribes. An impact evaluation of the projects’ activities was conducted to assess their effectiveness. The inquiry was based on interviews held with both project participants and media production audiences. The ‘theory of change’ method applied to the data analysis was useful in identifying and discussing the changes that the two initiatives brought about in the communities involved. The theories of change model developed in this study addresses change both at a personal and at a relational level, which is the aim both of conflict transformation approaches and of reconciliation theories, and at a social level. The findings demonstrate how these types of media outputs are effective in changing individuals’ perceptions of the violent events that occurred during the conflict, re-establishing relationships, and consequently opening up a path towards social change. This research contributes knowledge towards creating a better understanding of ways in which participatory media tools can be used in transforming conflicts and reconciling communities. At the same time, it lays the academic foundations for further studies that aim to create more targeted designs for communication for development interventions in peacebuilding programming.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1. Background theories and concepts -- Chapter 2. Literature review -- Chapter 3. The origin of Kenya's 2007/2008 post-election violence -- Chapter 4. Methodology -- Chapter 5. Interview analysis and findings from storytellers and actors -- Chapter 6. Narrative analysis and findings from audience interviews -- Chapter 7. Discussion -- Conclusions


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 223-244

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Usha Sundar Harris

Additional Supervisor 1

Andrew Skuse


Copyright Valentina Baú 2014. Copyright disclaimer:






1 online resource (xvi, 350 pages) colour illustrations, colour map

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