This volume underlines that development communication: - Is, first and foremost, about people and the process needed to facilitate their sharing of knowledge and perceptions in order to effect positive developmental change.- Is based on dialogue, which is necessary to promote stakeholders' participation. Such participation is needed in order to understand stakeholder perceptions, perspectives, values, attitudes and practices so they can be incorporated into the design and implementation of development initiatives.- Follows the two-way, horizontal model and not the traditional one-way, vertical model of Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver and increasingly makes use of emerging many to many forms of communication made possible through new technologies. - Gives voice to those most affected by the development issue(s) at stake, allowing them to participate directly in defining and implementing solutions and identifying development directions.- Recognizes that reality is largely socially constructed-and thus culture-specific. The implications are that there can be different realities (or different perceptions of the same reality) for the same situation according to specific groups' perceptions and needs. Thus the role of development and by extension communication is not to "impose" the correct reality, but rather to foster dialogue to facilitate mutual understanding among different perspectives. - Uses a number of tools, techniques, media and methods to facilitate mutual understanding, define and bridge differences of perceptions, and take action towards change, according to the particular needs of the development initiative. These tools and techniques should be used in an integrated way and are most effective when used at the beginning of development initiatives.Jan Servaes is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.