"Ever heard of C4D? It is a UNICEF baby. This was the first impression I had when heard about C4D. C4D is translated as 'Communication for Development', an approach used to communicate in development activities.
This week I have learnt that development is for all of us. I was privileged to be one of the participants for a week-long C4D Learning Lab organised by UNICEF at Annie’s Lodge in Zomba. C4D has been a talk of the week, ably facilitated by two consultants, Shari and Cynthia. C4D is a rights based approach towards development activities. What does this mean? It means that all interventions that an organisation does puts the community at the centre of everything. The people in the community are the rights holders, while us implementers are the duty bearers. It has been a good learning experience.
The Learning Lab was indeed a laboratory, looking at the set-up, all the creative materials, inspirational video clips, rich discussions, simulation exercises, you name it, was all fabulous. The Learning Lab reached the prime stage when the facilitators introduced the ACADA process. I said I am not an M&E person…It looked difficult...but easy to understand. Yes, I can confess I now know the ACADA process. It is possible, was my final say. I can do it, from now on this will be my approach towards work, and indeed this can be applied even to my daily life activities.
It has been an eye opener learning the 3Hs, the 5 whys, the 360 degrees, triangulation, and the Umunthu approach – which has been taken for granted. I will go out to the community a changed person who will treat the community in professional manner. I have learnt not to judge before applying the 360 degrees. I have never been in a community dialogue session before, but the Learning Lab put me in that dialogue and the experience was good and uplifting. This is my most significant change story. It has been a process for me to be where I am now, equipped with C4D knowledge. The knowledge gained will surely be put into practice; the knowledge will be shared with colleagues in the office. More especially the knowledge gained will be practiced in the community, yes, as I work with those rights holders. It is possible to bring change, and with C4D, change can happen with our communities."