When and how does voice matter? And how do we know?

2016-11-16T11:02:26Z (GMT) by Jo Tacchi
This chapter seeks to complicate our understanding of voice in development. It proposes that while it is important to consider not just voice, and the processes of valuing voice, it is also important to understand what voice and agency mean in the complexities of everyday life for populations who are marginalized or disadvantaged. The chapter draws on research in an Indian slum cluster to illustrate how an ethnographic approach can help us to appreciate these complexities and problematize notions of voice. It explores examples of the ways in which people seek to remain unheard and invisible in official and formal terms, and suggests ways that we can rethink what voice might mean in development. While communication for development and social change cannot simplify complexity, it does provide a way of facilitating participation in the design of development. It can highlight the contestations and different perspectives involved, and can draw attention to the relationships of developers and people in development contexts.