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Words to hear and use less

28 January, 2020

From Warren Feek's excellent Communication Initiative ( http://www.comminit.com/), here are some of the words he would prefer to hear and use less (edited from a longer piece):

"SOCIAL and BEHAVIOUR CHANGE" Such phrasing makes those two very different processes look the same and provides the excuse for those doing straight individual behaviour change to claim they do social change as well, and vice versa.

Alternative: Social change and behaviour change

"EVIDENCE BASED" or " RESULTS DRIVEN". Sounds great, logical and rational. But we all know that most policy, strategy, and funding decisions and choices are not exclusively based, or even substantially influenced in many cases, by proven results or credible evidence. It is much more complex than that: from government policies to decision-maker interests; historical relationships to trade-offs; built-in biases to organisational reputation; and technological trends to (insert your example).

Alternative: Valuable

"SUSTAINABLE" Please send your best understanding of what is “sustainable” in a Development context. Organisations get a maximum of 5 years of funding and then must have their own non-funder revenue? Of course not. The work has Government support? Again, no. Local communities assume full responsibility ... well, no. The changes made and initiatives developed last a long time - maybe... but how willl we know, and is a long time a good thing? There are plenty of other possibilities that also make little sense. So what does sustainable mean? If we do not know, let's use this term much less.

Alternative: Works

Chris Zielinski


Blogs: http://ziggytheblue.wordpress.com and http://ziggytheblue.tumblr.com

Research publications: http://www.researchgate.net

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Global Health, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme at the University of Winchester. Formerly an NGO, Phi supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. Chris also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. He was the founder of the ExtraMED project (Third World biomedical journals on CD-ROM), and managed the Gates Foundation-supported Health Information Resource Centres project. He served on WHO’s Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. Chris has been a director of the World Association of Medical Editors, UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). UK-based, he is also building houses in Zambia. chris AT chriszielinski.com

His publications are at www.ResearchGate.net and https://winchester.academia.edu/ChrisZielinski/ and his blogs are http://ziggytheblue.wordrpress.com and https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ziggytheblue