Diffusion of innovations : reforestation in Haiti

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Diffusion of innovations : reforestation in Haiti

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Diffusion of innovations : reforestation in Haiti
Author(s) Bellanca, Raffaella
Date 2007
English abstract
Development discourse emerged from the implicit assumption that the technological achievements and societal organizations of western civilization represent successes of humankind in inhabiting the planet, and should therefore be promoted among other cultures. The ecological threats of this time suggest the contrary, forcing us to reconsider the positiveness of over exploitations of natural resources and to recognize the paradox of the economical growth model. A new urgent meaning for development is that of rediscussing what characterizes an ideal society and enabling the transformation toward sustainability and justice. Among the many challenges that the planet is facing deforestation well represents the reach of the problems since it affects humans at several levels: from the smallest scale of family economy with the products they can directly offer; to the national size through the effect they have on the environmental conditions of countries; and to the global level for the influence over the planet’s climate. In this era of tremendous transformations, demanding the reduction of consumptions for developed countries and appropriate planning of future consumption for developing ones, communication plays a central role. Exchange of information without preferential directions and between different levels (global-local, local-local) is at the base of this process. This study analyses the communication dynamics of a reforestation campaign in Haiti operated by the NGO AMURT. Assuming that the idea of planting trees rather then cutting them can be seen as an innovation, I adopted as a theoretical framework the findings of “Diffusion of Innovation” research. In particular I used the field work to critically assess some of the diffusion model’s findings, especially concerning the characterization of early adopters which I perceived as pro-innovation biased. An analysis of the NGO communication strategy according to diffusion of innovation parameters revealed several positive points, such as the use of homophile change agents, the adaptation of messages to the audience and the characterization of the meaning of the innovation from a receiver’s perspective. Nevertheless, the most important reasons for the success of the program rather seemed to sit in the NGO approach: the relationship of trust, the stability of its presence in the area and the intimate contact and cooperation with the local social structures.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Konst, kultur, kommunikation, K3
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Reforestation
Sustainable development
Diffusion of Innovations
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/4097 (link to this page)

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