Development Communication

Development communication (DevCom) as a field of study and practice in the Philippines has already gained local and international recognition. It has already been redefined twice since it was first described in a scholarly paper in the early 1970s by its pioneer in the Philippines, Dr. Nora C. Quebral. DevCom is now defined as “the science of human communication linked to the transitioning of communities from poverty in all its forms to a dynamic, overall growth that fosters equity and the unfolding of individual potential.” Its scholars and practitioners in the Philippines and around the world contribute to the process of catalyzing, facilitating, and sustaining social change among marginalized communities through various communication projects, activities, and media platforms.

Our History

Since its inception, DevCom has consistently been regarded as one of the most promising fields of communication. However, its educators and practitioners rarely gathered in the past to talk about DevCom instruction, research, and extension; discuss challenges and opportunities in the field; and explore collaborative projects.

In 2009, 14 DevCom educators gathered in a one-day roundtable discussion during the Making Waves Congress of DevCom students from several higher education institutions (HEI) in the Philippines. The congress was held at University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) on December 11-14, 2009. The educators shared experiences and updates on the DevCom program in their respective universities and colleges. In addition, they proposed that an organization of DevCom professionals be established to strengthen the field and advance its ideals. In December 2010, some of the original members of the group, together with new members, met again during the annual Making Waves Congress and drafted the preamble and constitution of the newly formed organization.

With the potential of the network for education, training, policymaking, and research, the first organization of DevCom educators and practitioners in the Philippines was formally launched on December 8, 2011 at the College of Development Communication, UPLB. Initially, it was named the Consortium of Development Communication Educators and Practitioners of the Philippines (CDCEPP) Inc., and included nine HEIs offering DevCom degree programs. In November 2012, the consortium held its second national conference at the Isabela State University, which was then celebrating the 30th year of its DevCom program. The succeeding conferences were held at UPLB, Los Baños, Laguna (2013); Visayas State University, Baybay, Leyte (2014); Central Mindanao University, Maramag, Bukidnon (2015); Benguet State University, La Trinidad, Benguet (2016); and West Visayas State University, Iloilo City (2017).

CDCEPP was renamed Association of Development Communication Educators and Practitioners (ADCEP) Philippines Inc. in December 2015. With its increasing membership from all over the country, ADCEP now serves as a strong network of individuals and institutions involved in communication for social change, especially in marginalized communities. It is also a venue for the following: sharing of experiences and good practices in DevCom education and practice; collaboration on initiatives in DevCom instruction, research, extension, and public service; and capacity building of DevCom educators, practitioners, and students. Through its annual conference, ADCEP also provides opportunity for its members to discuss the trends, challenges, and prospects of DevCom in the local, national, and international contexts; analyze the evolving theories, concepts, principles, and practices of DevCom; and help capacitate and nurture one another as DevCom scholars and practitioners.

As of 2018, at least 27 higher education institutions (HEI) in the Philippines have degree programs in DevCom or offer DevCom as a major area of specialization of their communication programs. The country’s Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has also required students enrolled in BA/AB Communication to take up an introductory course in DevCom.

Who We Are

Since the ADCEP was officially launched in 2011, educators and practitioners have gathered annually to share and discuss about the narratives, trends, challenges and future of the field in the local, national, and global contexts. ADCEP holds its annual conference (scientific meeting) of DevCom educators, practitioners and advocates as an avenue for discourse and dialogue on development agenda, issues, and policies.