All together now: Oral testimony, theatre, media, debate How one community’s concerns reached a national audience

This case study demonstrates Panos’s integrated approach to communication for development: combining first person testimony, relationship-building, inclusive dialogue and working with the mainstream media so that the voices of people most affected by development issues contribute to national-level understanding and decision-making. It examines the long battle by the fishing and farming communities on the shores of Pakistan’s Manchar Lake to achieve national recognition and action on the pollution caused by a government-led land drainage project that has steadily been destroying their livelihoods and health. Panos London and Panos South Asia, local and national civil society organisations (CSOs), the community of Manchar, and local and national media worked together on a range of communication activities and outputs culminating in a People’s Assembly in 2007. The different activities, and the strength of the media coverage they generated, drew provincial and national government officials into dialogue, resulting in a number of positive outcomes for the people of Manchar Lake. The story of Manchar Lake suggests there is no single – or quick – route to achieving dialogue between those with power and those who lack it, and ultimately effecting change. However, by examining the successes and challenges of the integrated approach used in this case, this document outlines ideas that could potentially be applied in other situati

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