INGO Websites, Image Circulation, and Visual Representations of Development in African Countries: Exploring Local Perceptions
This project critically examines the visual and digital representations of African countries on Savethechildren.org, Oxfam.org, Mamahope.org, and Waterislife.com, using Ethnographic Content Analysis (ECA), Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), and focus group interviews. Grounded in interdisciplinary conversations within rhetoric and composition, intercultural technical communication, postcolonial studies, and development studies, this project reveals how inequalities of the past continue to exist in both visual and digital forms on international NGO websites. It shows that although these organizations seek to promote development and social change in low- and middle-income communities in Africa, the online content they use not only engender but keep in constant circulation the same inequalities they seek to address. I argue that although some of the organizations, particularly Mama Hope and Oxfam, attempt to promote community engagement and challenge development-related stereotypes by incorporating local voices in their content, these voices are minimized through fragmented and individualized representations. This project presents implications for how researchers, teachers, and web designers can move towards more culturally-sensitive approaches in the theorizing and designing of visual and digital communication in intercultural contexts.
Pappoe, Ruby, "INGO Websites, Image Circulation, and Visual Representations of Development in African Countries: Exploring Local Perceptions" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28025010.