The Communication for Development (C4D) Network


  • Jackie Davies



'So how do you do it?', I am sometimes asked. 'How do you create a successful social network?' And I am not sure what to say, because I wonder myself. Although there is no magic, no formula, I can share here a few principles and lessons we have learnt in the process of starting up and developing the Communication for Development Network since 2007.

When I say ‘we’, I mean initially myself, a C4D consultant and graduate of Malmö University’s Master’s in Communication for Development’ who acts as Manager and ‘Jack of all Trades’, and Nicola, a former Oxfam communication officer who is C4D’s Editor. Gradually, as the Network developed, this core team came to be supported by a number of volunteers who lead international and regional groups. The ‘we’ has also expanded to include occasional part time staff, and as of this year an Advisory Board. That is the core team, but ‘we’ also refers to the Network as a whole, i.e. all the people who have joined it since it began – and that is upwards of 1400 people worldwide at this point.

I initiated the Network with some fellow C4D consultants in 2007 as an informal lunch group based in London. A number of us where just starting out as freelancers and feeling somewhat isolated; others were still in ‘proper jobs’ at organisations such as Panos, the BBC World Service Trust (now BBC Media Action), and Internews, to name a few; and some belonged to academia.

Author Biography

Jackie Davies

Jackie Davies is the founder of the Communication for Development Network. A graduate of Malmö’s ComDev Master’s programme, she specialized in public service programming and community radio after studying at the University of Cape Town. She has worked at the BBC World Service and the Institute for Democracy in South Africa. Starting in 2000, she focused on ICTs, developing online radio platforms and partnerships at across Africa and the Balkans. Since 2005 she has been an independent consultant specialising in communication for development, training and evaluation.