Communication for Development and Social Change and the Challenge of Climate Change

Patrick D. Murphy, Tracy Mwaka Tinga


The field of communication for development and social change (CDSC) has a crucial role to play in how citizens of the developing world adapt to the effects of climate change. To help inform this role, this article posits three interrelated points of consideration. First, CDSC should have an understanding of how environmental discourses imbue ecological agency. Second, CDSC must be informed by past research about what citizens in the global South know about climate change and how awareness impacts action. Finally, scholars should be guided by the lessons from past climate change–focused CDSC initiatives. As an example, a multistakeholder climate change action campaign in Kenya is examined. Weaving together these considerations, the article concludes by suggesting ways that CDSC scholars and practitioners might imagine how the adaptive challenges of climate change can animate future CDSC initiatives focused on ecological rights and responsibilities.



climate change, ecological citizenship, development communication, global South, global warming, Kenya, social change, social justice

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