Communication for Development (C4D)
Communication for Development (C4D) is one of the most empowering ways of improving health, nutrition, child protection, and other key social outcomes for children and their families. In UNICEF, C4D is defined as a systematic, planned and evidence-based strategic process to promote positive and measurable individual behavior and social change that is an integral part of development programmes, policy advocacy and humanitarian work. C4D ensures dialogue and consultation with, and participation of children with disabilities, their families and communities. In other words, C4D privileges local contexts and relies on a mix of communication tools, channels and approaches. These include advocacy (which also influences policy changes), social mobilization (influencing social norms), as well as behavior change communication (influencing individuals) and social change communication (at community level).
The core principles of C4D are based on the human rights based approach to programming, particularly on the rights to information, communication and participation as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Articles 12, 13 and 17).
- Facilitating enabling environments that create spaces for plurality of voices, promote narratives of communities, encourage listening, dialogue and debate and the active and meaningful participation of children with disabilities and their caregivers.
- Reflecting the principles of inclusion, self-determination, participation and respect by ensuring that marginalized and vulnerable groups are prioritized and given visibility and voice;
- Linking community perspectives and voices with sub-national and national policy dialogue;
- Starting early and addressing the whole child — including the cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual aspects in addition to survival and physical development;
- Ensuring that children with and without disabilities are considered as agents of change and as a primary audience, starting from the early childhood years;
- Building the self-esteem and confidence of care providers and children.