Human Communication Roles in Development Communication

         Communication is necessary in the world. We are obliged to communicate in order to live life harmoniously. Can you just imagine what will happen if we don’t know the art of communication? Exactly! This world will start and end up in an unorganized way. No understanding and no development at all.

          Human communication plays an important role in development communication. Humans are the centered of development. We find ways on how to achieve the kind of development we wanted and needed. As a human being, we have the answers on how important human communication is in achieving our goals in life. As much as we know, we are lucky to be born with skill and knowledge on how to communicate. We just have to know how to develop these.

Development Communication can be simply discussed using only two terminologies, Development and Communication itself. On my own words, it is a tool on achieving desired goals which can result to the development of a certain place through the use of human communication in forms of science and technology and artistry.

Human Communication promotes development if actively practiced. The concept of people’s participation creates development. As they say, Development Communication is an art and science of human communication. Indeed, development was brought by the advancement of science and technology in our society. Technology made our lives easier. These thought may give us a hope of achieving development in a faster way with the use of different technologies such as the use of Social Media. Technology is already part of human communication. It creates a bridge on giving and getting information no matter where we locate ourselves. With the modernization we have now, human communication improved in a way we never expected.

Indeed, active human communication plays a big role in development communication.


Development Communication as an Art and Science….

Dr. Nora Quebral of the University of the Philippines at Los Baños defines Development Communication as “the art and science of human communication applied to a speedy transformation of a country and the mass of its people from poverty to a dynamic state of economic growth that makes possible greater social equality and the larger fulfillment of the human potentials”.

How is DevCom as an art and science of human communication?

Development Communication as an art of human communication means of being creative in communicating or giving messages to its audience simply with the use of various communication media and communication materials. On the other hand, communication materials can also be a source of communication information. In the practice of field programs such as conducting seminars, workshop, community organization or having an interview, we can gather information which we wanted to know. In a working environment it is very convenient to make use of outputs such as posters, leaflets or TV spots because it is easy to get the attention of the audience before he would decide to read it.

          Development Communication is a branch of communication science yet its basic differences lies with its orientation. It is essentially an orientation towards people for it implies a personal belief, a personal stand and a personal commitment. It is a message-centric and receiver-oriented because it does not limit itself to use of mass media.

Development Communication is relatively a young science because it uses scientific methods, where different theories and principles are being applied in giving solutions to the societies problem. And also for creating decisions and planned how to carry out the communication intervention in a society.  Development communication as a science helps to improve the public to gain understanding of science in determining where to get primary information. Through organization, processes, packages or distributing ideas in forms of communication materials such as leaflets, electronic mail, television or radio. It also helps to educate, teach the poor to improve his life by knowing how to provide for himself and his family the basic needs.



Ongkiko, I.V and Flor, A (1998). Introduction to Development Communication. Development Communication, Page 129. SEAMEO Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture and the University of the Philippines Open City. Philippines

Development Communication: towards Nation’s Progress

Development Communication was defined as the art and science of human communication linked to a society’s planned transformation from a state of poverty to one dynamic socio-economic growth that makes for greater equality and the larger unfolding of individual potentials by Dr. Nora C, Quebral, the mother of this discipline in 1971. Development Communication grew in response to societal problems. One of its underlying assumptions is that these (societal) problems may be traced to root causes and these root causes may in turn be remedied by information and communication. Development Communication is both an art and science of human communication because it uses scientific methods to make complicated things simple and as an art it uses different artistic, creative and eye catchy communication materials and media to communicate effectively. As a Development Communicator in the future, the author was able to draw out several realizations on how Development Communication was considered as an art and science of human communication.

YOU MUST BE CREATIVE. In persuading the community, you must implement the programs creatively. You, as the source of information must be able to transmit this information to your audience correctly and with their full attention to the topic, because if you don’t, you might find yourself alone.

Photo taken during the Community Organizing Class of BSDC 3A (batch 2014) at Brgy. San Roque, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras. Teaching these children the importance of proper hand-washing and personal hygiene.   Photo by: K.M. Vergara

Photo taken during the Community Organizing Class of BSDC 3A (batch 2014) at Brgy. San Roque, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras. Teaching these children the importance of proper hand-washing and personal hygiene.
Photo by: K.M. Vergara

YOU MUST BE RESOURCEFUL. This is making use of the available resources in the community. Give the fact that not all communities have the access to new technologies, you as a DevCom practitioner must be able to make out of something from the community, what’s with them and what they can do to it to make it useful, you must integrate different ideas to the community for as the old quote would say, teach them how to fish and they will live forever.

YOU MUST BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY. This is the main point of being a Development Communicator, communicating development to the people. You must be able to inform and educate people on the things of their concern and the things that they must learn whether they will be children, youth, those with profession, or even the adults.

Informal Education/ Spiritual Instructions to the children of Brgy. Mabini, Buenavista, Guimaras.
Photo by: R.P. Escala

YOU MUST BE ABLE TO SIMPLIFY THE COMPLICATED. This is one of the most needed attributes of a Development Communicator, and this is where the “science” takes place. Communicating new scientific innovations on farming for example is not easy, you have to learn it first, and then teach it to people on how use it in the simplest way possible in order for them to make use of it.

YOU MUST BE READY. Development Communication may lead you to somewhere far away from home. Let you step on a muddy road. Let you eat exotic food, therefore you must be ready emotionally, physically and mentally.

The discipline goes beyond profession, for development communication is a commitment and a life to live for the progress of the nation through information and communication. Development in the Third World Countries such as the Philippines is a dream and a goal that must be reached, for development starts from within, for Development Communication measures development through ‘man’.


Ongkiko, Ila Virginia and Flor, Alexander G. (1998). Introduction to Development Communication. Los Baños: University of the Philippines Open University and Southeast Asia Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture.

Development Communication: An Art and A Science of Human Communication

Development Communication is a missionary work. It is a vocation. Being a unique profession, it is done with the art of creativity and the science that uses theories and principles. Development Communication is a profession which involves the blend of special knowledge and a practice of personal involvement to the people.

As an art, it uses the skill of a development communicator in writing and communicating in a way that is more understandable to everyone. It has been noted that most of all will learn more and imbibe it when it is presented in a creative and more innovative manner and style. What’s unique in development communication is having a strong social and cultural force with its care to the people that can help transform a society or even a nation. Striving to understand each event and giving a meaning to a life of the other.

As a science, development communication is scientific in outlook. It uses its theories and principles compassionately and making a stand dedicated concerning what is better to the people. It uses theories in analyzing and taking an act for improvement of a human life. Contributing to personal growth with its principles relating to moral values that shapes and expands other lives.

Development Communication is an art and a science of human communication, dominated by an ideal of service to the people in which theories and principles are applied with the creativity of interpreting her role with them. Encouraging and exerting an influence to the community in helping them to overcome their problems. Development Communication is consists of traits which come from the heart and which penetrate the real person when giving a magnetic influence on others. It is purposive, pragmatic and value laden. Development Communication practitioners speaks for development and along the process he became part of the development. This makes a Development Communication an exceptional one.

Development Communication: A Creative and Systematic Communication

Photo Credit to Shanna Mae Mationg

Development Communication came up in several definitions depending on the experts and practitioners on how they would view development with respect to economic, political, social and human aspects. Nora Quebral (1975) Mother of Development Communication in the Philippines defined it as the art and science of human communication applied to the speedy transformation of a country and the mass of its people from poverty to a dynamic state of economic growth and makes possible greater social equality and the larger fulfilment of the human potential.

This specific concept of Dev Com gave emphasis on taking humans into accounts through art and science approach of communication. Hence, how is Development Communication as an art and science in human communication?

Dev Com is considered an art because it uses communication media and materials in order to capture the audience’ interest on the message disseminated to them. Thus, creativity must be given consideration in order to attract reader’s attention. In addition, art also implies as the creative way on gathering data, influencing and motivating people’s behavior.

Development Communication is a social science wherein scientific method is observed for the application to development problems. Hence, problem identification, data gathering and hypothesis formulation is derived. It is also use for systematic planning and decision making to carry out the communication intervention effectively.

Development communication is audience-oriented. It gives emphasis on the receivers of the information. Dev Com is a human communication because it utilizes several levels of communication. It is more on Interpersonal Communication and mass media rather than technology. Human communication is successfully achieved if the audience has been able to react on the information disseminated, realized the importance of development and most importantly, raising solutions to such developmental problems.
These features made Dev Com a distinct one.

DEV COM as an art and science of human communication?

How Development Communication as an art and science of human communication?

Is it because Development communication deals more on about people.

Development communication itself requires people’s creative mind, imagination, ideas and thoughts in communicating. Development communication uses literal art forms such as in designs and plans.

According to Nora C. Quebral (1971), practicing the art of human communication not only entails the aesthetic designing and presentation of messages… it is also being creative in the practice of field such as in conducting interviews or in doing other challenging tasks in development communication.

As an art, Dev Com can also be mean as the ideas that people shares and contributed on how they will create various meaning to others lives. It is in the form of designing a communication on how to carry out or disseminate the messages effectively to the people. This kind of art is important in considering in communication because from this it may affect the behavior of the audience with regard on how the messages were brought to them.  It matters how audience attract and get their attention for them to decide and to know if he/she is willing to read  or to listen to the messages  that carried out for them. It is also important for the audience to understand what the message was.

Dev Com as a science, like what mentioned above that dev com as an art, of course it goes along with SCIENCE, because in dev com having creativity is not enough. Dev com is a step by step process in communication. Quebral stated that dev com is a social science. It uses scientific method to enrich its own field through research where theories and principles can be applied to development problems. In dev com theories and principles are important to solve development problems.

… An Art and Science

Quebral (2006) gave explanation to Development Communication as an art and science of human communication applied to the speedy transformation of a country and the mass of its people from poverty to a dynamic state of economic growth that makes possible greater social equality and the larger fulfillment of the human potential.

Nora C. Quebral, tagged as the "Mother of Development Communication"

Nora C. Quebral, tagged as the “Mother of Development Communication”

photo credits:

How is DevCom as an art and science of human communication?

It was stressed by Quebral that Development Communication should be accepted first before it can be used. Development communicators must always engage professionals, policymakers and administrators as they can be “just as resistant to change and as traditional in their ways of thought”.

As an art, DevCom is indeed given more emphasis as it can be exercised using different forms of media particularly, Social Networking in order to uphold the various plans and programs of the different developmental sectors in the nation to develop and organize the developmental thoughts and interests of the people may they be in a small or in a larger community.

Nowadays, with the advent of modern technology, Development Communication is bombarded by numerous opportunities to be more realized and become a more significant part of human communication. Quebral exemplifies how development communication can be very useful in development projects such as the promotion of the grain processing technology in the Philippines. Using different media, DevCom practitioners could be able to promote the up to date information in modern farming thus, will help contribute significantly to the farming industry.

Development Communication is audience-oriented. It covers not only the farmers of this country but also, it enables to uplift the lives of people in different conditions of the state. As an art and science, DevCom is now anchored with the innovation of modern technology. While technology innovates, DevCom is also moving forward.


Development Communication in the Agricultural Context (1971, with a new foreword)’, Asian Journal of Communication, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 100-107