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Participatory Communication in the Visual Design Process Employed by the EcoWaste Coalition in Producing Their Communication Materials

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Development is about, and for the people. In the context of our society today, those who need development is almost always the marginalized or the underserved – those who are in the lower class of the society. On the other hand, those who promote and make development possible is oftentimes the government, private sectors, and NGOs – which basically consist people from society’s middle or upper class. Given this, a knowledge gap can be assumed to exist between the giver and the receiver of programs that aim for development. And one way to address this concern is through involving the stakeholders in the process.

PARTICIPATION
Participation is an important step in assessing the values and needs of the different stakeholders. According to Bessette (2004), participation is the essential prerequisite for attaining development. In designing for a development initiative, or any research, the involvement of the target audience can be a great help to its success.
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, participation is the state of being related to a larger whole. With the stakeholders sharing the needed information to a particular research organization, they are already being engaged in a bigger picture because they are playing a part that benefits a bigger number of people. Beierle 1999, & Thomas, 1995 (as cited by Irvin, R. & Stansbury, J., 2007) say that audience involvement can produce better decisions and it can benefit the rest of society.
Through the process of participation, people are given the chance to have a say on what they really need. And these people are the ones who are usually excluded from decision-making yet are affected by those decisions (Rushton, 2007).
Participation is also a collaborative pr...


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