Intercultural Communication for Development : An exploratory study of Intercultural Sensitivity of the United Nations Volunteer Programme using the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity as framework

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Intercultural Communication for Development : An exploratory study of Intercultural Sensitivity of the United Nations Volunteer Programme using the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity as framework

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Intercultural Communication for Development : An exploratory study of Intercultural Sensitivity of the United Nations Volunteer Programme using the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity as framework
Author(s) Taketani, Keisuke
Date 2008
English abstract
The purpose of the study is to (1)analyze the level of intercultural sensitivity of United Nations Volunteer (UNV) volunteers in terms of interpersonal communication in a multicultural working environment; (2) explore how UNV volunteers interact and communicate in a multicultural environment at community level by developing a cognitive structure to understand differences in culture and; (3) identify the level of intercultural sensitivity of the UNV volunteers. This study is intended to make a contribution to the research on Communication for Development from the perspective of Intercultural Communication, particularly by using the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) as a framework to analyze the Intercultural experiences of a number of UNV volunteers. The qualitative survey was conducted with selected UNV volunteers including national, international and former UNV volunteers from February 15, 2008 for 4 weeks. A total of 48 UNV volunteers from 26 countries, serving in 24 countries, participated in the survey. The methodology of content analysis was applied to analyze their intercultural sensitivity and communication skills. The results show that UNV volunteers experience a wide range of intercultural situations, including: language and relativity of experience, non-verbal behaviour, communication styles, monochronic and polychronic time, values and assumptions. Whereas some UNV volunteers seem to be at the ethnocentric stage, the majority of respondents are at the ethnorelative stages, which include the acceptance and adaptation stages of DMIS. In order to improve cultural sensitivity, intercultural trainings are provided to selected UNV volunteers at headquarters in Bonn. This study points to the need for the UNV programme to design and implement structured training in intercultural sensitivity for all UNV volunteers. These trainings should not be given only at Headquarters, but in every Country Office or Support Unit as part of a mainstreamed procedure for both national and international UNV volunteers. Building the capacity of intercultural communication and intercultural sensitivity of UNV volunteers will lead to optimal outcomes in their work through improved communication with colleagues, counterparts and local partners. Intercultural sensitivity is a critical aspect of communication for development. Intercultural sensitivity creates the two-way communication systems that allow communities to speak out, and by finding their voice, communities begin to realize ownership of the development agenda enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Publisher Malmö högskola/Konst, kultur, kommunikation, K3
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Communication for Development
Interculutal sensitivity
Culture
United Nations Volunteer
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/7099 (link to this page)

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