Appreciating the Role of Communication in Promoting Sustainable Livelihood: A Closer Look at Some Selected Literature

Daniel Odoom ORCID iD, Joseph Obeng-Baah, Van Crowder & Ebenezer Asumang

Issue: Vol.3  No.6  June  2022  Article 2 pp. 213-229
DOI :  |   Published online 14th June 2022.
© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


Livelihood interventions are essential to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs). Issues such as poverty (SDG 1), hunger and food security (SDG 2), education (SDG 4), and consumption and production (SDG 12) are central to improved livelihoods. To this end, development actors are encouraged to implement carefully designed livelihood interventions to improve the lives of people. A vital argument which dominates livelihood discourses is the issue of sustainability. The debates on sustainable livelihood appear unending, especially in developing nations where poverty continues to threaten the lives of many citizens. Particularly, there are varying positions on the concept of sustainable livelihood and its core elements. Indeed, the seeming lack of clarity on the concept of sustainable livelihood presents a challenge to development actors in their attempts to ensure improved livelihoods. Against this backdrop, this paper attempts to contribute to bringing clarity to the concept of sustainable livelihood and the role communication plays in its promotion through a review of some selected literature. The authors submit that sustainable livelihood cannot be achieved especially in developing countries without access to adequate information and improved communication strategies. They maintain that no livelihood policy can sustainably be implemented without consciously designed efforts on the part of stakeholders to integrate policy communication strategies into the policy. Finally, the authors contend that participatory communication approaches are central to any sustainable livelihood initiatives and must, therefore, be given the necessary preeminence in sustainable livelihood thinking and theorizing.

Keywords: Livelihood, sustainable livelihood framework, information, participatory communication, policy communication.

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Daniel Odoom is currently a Lecturer with the Department of Communication Studies of the Ghana Institute (GIJ)where he teaches courses in including Development Communication Strategies, Communication for Social Change, Introduction to Development Theories, and Advanced Communication Research Methods. He also serves as the Faculty Registration and Examinations Officer for the Faculty of Integrated Communication Sciences, GIJ. During his career, Daniel worked as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Cape Coast. Prior to joining GIJ, Dr. Odoom was the Head of the Research Department at the Takoradi Campus of the Ghana Communication Technology University. He was also a lecturer at the Organization Development Institute, Accra. He has many years of teaching experience at the university level. Daniel has authored several scholarly articles published in a number of reputable journals. His research interests include development communication, communication for social change, community development, sustainability, contemporary development issues, governance and decentralization, and human resource. He is a Development Communication Specialist and a Development Consultant. Daniel is also an Organizational Development Consultant with immense experience in both public and private sector organizations. Daniel has served on several university committees at various universities where he has worked. He is a member of a number of national and international professional bodies and a reviewer for many reputable national and international journals. Odoom holds an MPhil in Development Studies and a PhD in NGO Studies and Community Development from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Joseph Obeng-Baah is currently a Lecturer at the Department of Communication Studies of the Ghana Institute where he teaches courses in development communication. Currently, he serves as the Coordinator for Certificate Courses at the Institute. Prior to his appointment at GIJ, Dr. Obeng-Baah worked as a lecturer
at the African University College of Communication, Accra. He was also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. His research interests include communication and development, peacebuilding, and human rights. He holds an MS in Peace Operations and Global Health Policy and a PhD in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from George Mason University, United States of America. He also holds a Professional PR Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) United Kingdom, and Post-Graduate Diploma in Communication Studies from University of Ghana. He is an accredited member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (UK).

Van Crowder is currently a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education (ALCE) at Virginia Polytechnic and State University. Prior to this, he was the Executive Director for the University’s Center for International Research, Education and Development. In this capacity, Prof. Crowder developed and managed university international projects in numerous countries around the world. At the University of Florida, he was Associate Director, International Programs in Agriculture and a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Communication and Education. During his career, Professor Crowder has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and the Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC). At the FAO of the United Nations, Van Crowder was the Senior Officer in charge of Rural Extension Systems and Development Communication. As a Senior Director at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (U.S. Department of State), Prof Crowder managed the $400 million portfolio of education, health, and community development projects. His research interests straddle various areas including extension education, development communication, rural development, livelihood and agricultural innovations. He holds a Masters in Communication Studies and a PhD in Adult Education.

Ebenezer Asumang is currently the Country Director for PIRON Global Development GmbH and Branch Manager for People Investor AG. As a Country Director and Branch Manager, Ebenezer strategically leads, directs and manages people and teams through project initiation, development, and execution across sectors of the economy. Ebenezer is a Business Management Consultant, a Certified Digital Marketer and a Creative Freelance Writer. He is a Sustainable Finance and Investment Analyst and a Columnist. His expertise spans different fields including innovative and sustainable finance, development communication, and international development. He is a member of the Association of Freelance Writers, UK and the Chartered Global Investment Analysts, USA. He has worked for many years in the financial, media, pharmaceutical and the NGO sectors. He holds an MBA from the Open University of Malaysia and an MA from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

Odoom D., Obeng-Baah J., Crowder V.,& Asumang E., “Appreciating the Role of Communication in Promoting Sustainable Livelihood: A Closer Look at Some Selected Literature.” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 3, no.6 (2022):213-229.

© 2022 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (