Building the awareness

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General introduction  -   Eugad Manual - Section 1: Informing and Setting the Vision -

see Manuals General Index

Through our surveys and consultations, we found that:

  • most people are ill informed about the factors causing poverty and the international programmes aimed at reducing it;
  • this happens because the world of media does not report on world poverty in a satisfactory manner; they tend to have a "catastrophic" tone and approach. They generally do not venture into causes, processes, challenges, solutions, lesson learned from stories of success and failure;
  • journalists generally claim that they do not tackle these issues because their mangers believe that transmissions on these topics do not sell.

(NB: each counterpart in the mass media relationship blames the other: journalists say "people are not interested in these issues"; and people say "journalists are not responsible, nor competent enough, to tackle such issues in a meaningful way).

However, what is important is the question of appropriate "information", what really matters is the "awareness" among people. It is the moral consciousness of feeling responsibility for one's neighbours. It is the awareness that peace is the result of justice. And that justice can only be achieved through a collective, participatory and inclusive effort.  Most persons who participated in Eugad Consultations told us that the real challenge is not in "informing" the public but in "educating" the people. The real issue is to share a sense of responsibility for removing the causes of poverty - removing ignorance and removing conflict.

Awareness is the result of understanding and requires a healthy ethical and moral climate. The awareness that poverty can be challenged and removed is the main indicator of the social development of a community. The effort to share this awareness with one’s own community is the main indicator of the human development of individuals.

How to increase awareness? Can we make people aware:

  • that constructive and fair partnerships amongst nations is possible? (and therefore there are no excuses for poverty)?
  • that we have many opportunities to develop in a sustainable manner - that we can take care of the older generations, while investing in future ones?
  • that we can create a global partnership for development while taking responsibility for our neighborhood?

Can we pose these questions to journalists and educators?  Can we pose these questions to those who set policy agendas? In our inteviews, we did this. And in the Eugad videos, we narrated the story of how we did this.  ⇒


See also in the Manual the sections

⇒ The difference between "communication" and "information"

The relational content of communication


Rajendra K. Pachauri, says that the media has an essential role to spread knowledge on what will happen if we pursue the “current path”, and the “current-path” is not sustainable. The current path is leading to serious problems, like climate change, and this is not going to affect only the next generation, but also this generation. There is also a role for the educational system, where children are taught about these things right from their childhood. If a child understands that the burning of fossil fuels is going to affect the climate of the earth, then the child will be brought up with values that he can practice, and also teach the parents.

In democratic societies the only way you bring about change if people want change. Take the case of Egypt; we’ve had a change in government because people realized that they are not going to continue with the current system. Why can’t we do the same when it comes to development and growth? If we realize that growth and development are going to be harmful for us, then we have to change things. Why don’t we do that? I think the only reason is because people are not informed; people do not have the education to understand what we are doing?



A.K. Shiva Kumar, "IS POPULATION THE REAL PROBLEM?" ( He asks while teaching at the INdian School of Bussiness) So the course that I teach, I stimulate thinking and I keep asking students, why is this happening? If ask students, what is the biggest problem, they will tell you "population". And I’m amazed that people think that population is India’s biggest problem because there is such good news on the population side. That is absolutely wrong. Look at China, it has a population of 1.2 billion people and in terms of these basics in life, whether it is health, education, nutrition, water, sanitation, housing, they are much superior to us and they achieved it when their level of income was as low as India’s is. It is m It is not about growth rate, it is not with population size. It has to do with the fact that India has not recognized that its strength are its people and that unless you look after people you will continue to experience the problems that we are. Take care of people and population will take care of itself.



As Non State Actors, Co-Founders of Global Romanian Student and Young Professional Society -Radu Tatucu, Stefan Cibian and Madalina Pruna participated in the Eugad consultations.  They think raising awareness is the key to any change. Over 95% people have probably never heard about the MDGs. Better and more coordinated efforts are needed in publicizing these goals and especially informing people about practical, viable actions they could do on a daily basis to help achieve these goals. Common people can contribute to building the “global partnership for development” by access to information and motivation. The former requires transparency and a consolidated democracy open towards the world. The latter requires plenty of creativity and a sense of personal mission. See more in their interviews: to Radu Tatucu, to Stefan Cibian, to Madalina Pruna   

Image:Media.png Romania - Policy Makers - Tatucu Radu (text)


Claudiu Craciun, an Associate Assistant in SNSPA - State University for Political and Administrative Studies in Romania  participated in  the Eugad consultations.  He thinks that development education should reveal that there is a necessary unity between being a responsible citizen and supporting development cooperation activities. For example the choices we do with our consumption patterns influence the way we produce and we trade. Governmental and non-governmental actors need to collaborate to have a better impact. While educators have the ability to create awareness, media has a key role in switching from being sensation-oriented towards being information-oriented. See more in Interview to Claudiu Craciun(21)




Julian Parr, Regional Manager, South East Asia, Oxfam GB, says imparting knowledge to people is relatively easy. The real challenge is is to create a behavioral change among people. People know that it makes sense to wear a safety belt and not to drink and drive and yet you go out into the streets of New Delhi and you see people completely drunk and wearing no seat belts. So, it is actually getting people responsible for their actions and translating knowledge into behavior and practice.

There is no magic formula for this. However, knowledge lasts roughly as long as a campaign, so if i run an advertising campaign for six months, people will remember it for six months. The trick is to run it for longer. The problem is also that electronic media is hugely expensive and governments and agencies can't always afford it. The challenge is about managing financial resources and dissemination of information. ⇒ See the  Complete Interview


see the complete interview with Julian Parr


Advocacy expert, Liana Popa, the Executive Director and Program Manager of the Foundation for Pluralism in Romania participated in  Eugad consultations.  She thinks that smaller and flexible organizations, working with volunteers are those best equipped in creating awareness about development programs and motivating others to participate. Local authorities and educators, as well as the media, have the capacity to contribute, to the achievement of this goal through correlated activities, at local community level, where they hold the role of “opinion leaders”.   See more in Interview to Liana Popa



Sebastian Burduja is Advocay Expert and President of the League of Romanian Students Abroad. She believes that the problems created by globalization require global solutions, and international cooperation projects educate citizens and governments to interact and cooperate globally. She thinks that each person should work toward building awareness; that we all have a responsibility – educators, media professionals alike. It can be achieved if we realize that the problems created by globalization require global solutions.  See more in Interview to Sebastian Burduja.


Other Resources

Planetary Citizenship - Your Values, Beliefs and Actions Can Shape a Sustainable World

Book - dialogue between Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist philosopher, educator and prolific writer and poet, President of Soka Gakkai International, and Hazel Handerson, consultant on equitable ecologically sustainable human development and socially responsible business and investment. This dialogue explores the rise of "grassroots globalists," ordinary citizens taking responsibility to build a more peaceful, harmonious and sustainable future. In their dialogue, the two maintain a practical yet profoundly optimistic view of human potential amidst the realities of global concerns.


Next ⇒  Development assistance as social education

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