Understanding Context in Learning‐centred Approaches to Climate Change Communication

  • Blane Harvey
  • Liz Carlile
  • Jonathan Ensor
  • Ben Garside
  • Zachary Patterson
Volume 43 Number 5
Published: September 12, 2012
Communication on climate change research has long been dominated by top‐down delivery of information aimed at informing on future climate scenarios and climate‐related events. However, emphasis in this field is slowly shifting to more process‐oriented approaches to communication, and the need to integrate learning is receiving increasing attention. This article argues that despite the challenges in shifting research communication on climate change into a more dialogical and learning‐oriented model of practice, the realities faced by communities impacted on the ground make this shift imperative. Drawing on recent research, we consider how the context in which initiatives seek to engage in research communication will and should influence what is possible and what is desirable through these new approaches. We reflect on how efforts to understand context in one particular case served to shape a communication strategy from its outset, and note the opportunities and challenges revealed through this process. We then conclude by highlighting how climate change has reinforced arguments in favour of a focus of inclusive learning processes in communication for development.
From Issue: Vol. 43 No. 5 (2012) | New Roles for Communication in Development?