New research report: "An approach towards communications and change: How communications can build social capital for the ultra poor"
February 02, 2005

BRACís Advocacy and Human Rights Unit (BAHRU) has developed a social communications programme that goes beyond traditional approaches of marketing communications. The goal of the programme is long -term Ė to improve the situation of the ultra poor through increased awareness and mobilisation of the community. The programme originally approached this ambitious goal by holding three community meetings following a series of audio, video and popular theatre activities in order to build awareness of issues facing the ultra poor and instigate community discussion. Within the first few months of BAHRU conducting these community meetings, the communities themselves began to establish permanent community groups committed to the ultra poor and other community issues. This demonstrated an enormous amount of social energy created by the meetings and BAHRU responded by adapting its programme to incorporate these groups. Named jogajog (communication) forums, BAHRU now provides the groups with the support and structure needed for increased sustainability. This paper examines this process of community initiative instigated by BAHRUís social communications programme and attempts to explain its success through current theories of communications for social hange, community mobilisation and social capital.

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