In this issue (April 2009)


  • Florencia Enghel


It is April 2009 as this new issue of Glocal Times is published online, and plenty has happened in the global scene since October 2008.

In December 2008, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) released its annual list of the "Top Ten" humanitarian crises affecting the world. MSF began producing the "Top Ten" list in 1998, when a devastating famine in southern Sudan went largely unreported in U.S. media. Drawing on MSF’s emergency medical work, it seeks to generate greater awareness of the magnitude and severity of crises that may or may not be reflected in media accounts.

The 2008 list includes massive forced civilian displacements, violence, and unmet medical needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, and Pakistan, along with neglected medical emergencies in Myanmar and Zimbabwe. MSF’s report underscores major difficulties in bringing assistance to people affected by conflict, the lack of global attention to the growing prevalence of HIV-tuberculosis co-infection and the critical need for increased global efforts to prevent and treat childhood malnutrition, which is the underlying cause of death for up to five million children per year—are also included in the list. For a detailed account, see

This issue of Glocal Times touches the relationship between conflict and communication for development and social change in two of its articles.

In "Communication, development and... counterterrorism", Gordon Adam raises the question of how participative communication approaches can inform the prevention of radicalization leading to violent extremism in Pakistan.

In "Knowledge is the beginning", Paul Smaczny gives us an insight into Daniel Baremboim and the late Edward Said’s project, The West-Eastern Divan orchestra, a forum for dialogue and reflection on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

But conflict is not the only theme occupying us.

In “Bridging the gap between Community Based Organizations and donors: the Ikhala model”, Ulrika Wedin introduces us to the Ikhala Trust, a community grant-maker for existing community based organizations in the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa aimed at addressing the difficulties that such organizations face in the search for funding.

In “Beyond the pencil test: transformations in hair and headstyles, or communicating social change”, Andre Powe puts forward a provocative analysis of hair as sign, symbol, text, and a highly specialized language of representation.

In “Old dogs learn new tricks”, Wendy Quarry and Ricardo Ramírez reflect on collaborating and teaching at a distance, and discuss what it takes to incorporate new technologies with a view to allowing productive interaction with students in real time.

In “Talk right, make right”, Johanna Stenersen raises questions regarding discourses and practices of health, body and citizenship in civil society organizations in Nicaragua, Central America, that work to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights.

In “Media, democracy and globalization”, Zeenath Hasan reports the Wahlgren Symposium, held in Lund University, Sweden, in November 2008, which brought together five PhD candidates and five eminent scholars to discuss different approaches to their research themes.

Last but not least, Silvia Balit remembers the late Colin Fraser and shares highlights of his immense contribution to the field of communication for development.

The next issue of Glocal Times will be published in October 2009. In the meantime, your comments and suggestions are welcome at