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Indigenous Systems of Communication for Sustainable Development: A study on the 'Dagu' of the Ethiopian Afar Ethnic Group
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The study generally aims at studying ‘Dagu’, a ritualistic and indigenous system of communication of the Afar ethnic group in Ethiopia, from the perspectives of sustainable development communication. It specifically endeavors to look into what opportunity ‘Dagu’ presents from sustainability and sustainable development perspective, its limitations, the perceptions of the development actors in the area about using it for sustainable development communication, and how it is currently being used in that line. To this end, the study employed a qualitative, semi-ethnographic methodological approach where 15 individual interviews, 5 focus group interviews and observation together with a review of relevant literature are used to collect data and position the study in relation to existing literature on using indigenous media for sustainable development. In this regard, the study brings into light theoretical frameworks such as Another Development (The Multiplicity Paradigm), which advocates for participatory communication and calls for the use of indigenous media for sustainable development mainly due to their implications in terms of popular participation and empowerment. It is found that ‘Dagu’ offers greater communicative potentials in terms of participation, credibility and self-management/empowerment as a channel for sustainable development communication taking into account the roles of participants in ‘Dagu’ rituals in both receiving and sending information. It is also traditionally used to impart regulative information on natural resources management such as accessibility and proper utilization of rangelands and water points. On the other hand, though development actors showed clear intention in using the indigenous medium for their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the way it is being used in the area is found to be rather top-down and manipulative. The fact that women do not directly engage in ‘Dagu’ rituals for religious and cultural reasons is also found to be limiting the effectiveness of the indigenous medium for SDGs, which dwell on gender empowerment and participation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 49 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 300
Keyword [en]
Sustainable Development, Participatory Communication, Top-down, SDGs, Indigenous Medium, Another Development
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-295887OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-295887DiVA: diva2:935394
Subject / course
Sustainable development
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2016-06-01, Hamberg, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 09:45 (English)
Available from: 2016-06-10 Created: 2016-06-10 Last updated: 2016-06-10Bibliographically approved

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Yimer, Moges Endris
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