Dr Valentina Baú

Valentina_BValentina Bau is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute. She conducts research on the application of Communication for Development in Peacebuilding with a focus on realities affected by violent conflict. She explores and evaluates new communication for development approaches that employ different media and communication channels to contribute to social change and sustainable peace in the aftermath of (or during) violence. She also looks at the application of communication for development for citizen engagement and youth participation in governance and peacebuilding. Her more recent work has begun to explore the use of Communication for Development in the context of crisis response interventions, with the aim of developing new frameworks that can link the implementation of applied research with the production of theoretical knowledge, whose translation can inform practice.

Through her current ARC DECRA Research Fellowship on Development communication, media and peace in protracted displacement, she is investigating the use of development communication and CwC (Communicating with Communities) interventions aimed at promoting peace and social cohesion among young people in contexts of protracted displacement. She collaborates with UNICEF and other international NGOs on different projects related to Communication for Development and communication in humanitarian contexts. More generally, she is also interested in looking at the different ways communication can be used in development contexts (particularly in post-conflict settings), as well as in understanding the impact that an introduction to the use of the media has on communities living in extreme poverty. Prior to the start of her academic career, she has worked as an international development professional for various non-governmental organisations, government departments and the United Nations, both in Head Offices and in Country Offices in African settings.

Valentina is available to supervise PhD projects in the following areas:

  • Communication for Development
    Communication for Behaviour and Social Change
  • Communication and Media for Peace
  • Community Engagement in humanitarian contexts
  • Community and Alternative Media
  • The Media in the Global South
  • Health Communication.


  • PhD International Communication: Communication for Development in Peacebuilding (Macquarie University, Australia)
  • MSc Communication for Development (University of Reading, UK)
  • MA Public Relations (Bournemouth University, UK)
  • BA (Hons) Media & Communication Studies (University of Perugia, Italy)

Research Focus

  • International and development communication
  • Humanitarian disasters, conflict and peacebuilding
  • Development studies
  • Peace studies
  • Communication and media studies
  • Social change
  • Organisational, interpersonal and intercultural communication
  • Social program evaluation
  • SEO: International Aid and Development Communication Across Languages and Culture
  • Communication
  • The Media
  • Cultural Understanding
  • Expanding Knowledge
  • International Organisations

Selected Publications

Baú, V. (2023) Reality TV and Civic Engagement. Researching the lives of the Young Palestinians who ran for ‘The President’ (opens in a new window) Creative Industries Journal

Baú, V. (2022) Framing the Representation of Refugee Children and Adolescents: a key informant review of the Italian Media (opens in a new window) Media Watch: Journal of Communication, Vol.13, No.1

Baú, V. (2019) Re-designing the Media in Humanitarian Interventions. Communicating with communities at times of crisis (opens in a new window), pp.67-81 in Shaw, I. and Selvarajah, S. (Eds.) Reporting Human Rights, Conflicts and Peacebuilding: critical and global perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan, London

Baú, V. (2018) Radio, Conflict and Land Grabbing in Sierra Leone. Communicating rights and preventing violence through drama (opens in a new window), Media, War & Conflict, Vol.12, No.4, pp.373-391

Baú, V. (2018) Breaking the Conflict Cycle, Building Peaceful Communities: participatory photography and storytelling with African diasporas in Sydney (opens in a new window), Journal of Communication Inquiry, Vol.2, No.4 (special issue: Mediating Global Migration), pp. 423–443

Baú, V. (2018) Leaving the Camps Behind: the role of development communication in refugee-host integration (opens in a new window), Communication Research & Practice, Vol.4, No.4, pp.361-374

Baú, V. (2017) Art, Development and Peace. Working with adolescents living in internally displaced people’s camps in Mindanao (opens in a new window), Journal of International Development, Vol.29, No.7, pp.948–960

Baú, V. (2016) Citizen Engagement in Peacebuilding. A communication for development approach to rebuilding peace from the bottom up (opens in a new window), Progress in Development Studies, Vol.16, No.4, pp.348-360

Baú, V. (2015) Participatory Photography for Peace. Using images to open up dialogue after violence (opens in a new window), Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, Vol.10, No.3, pp.74-88

Baú, V. (2015) Building Peace through Social Change Communication. Participatory video in conflict-affected communities (opens in a new window), Community Development Journal, Vol.50, No.1, pp.121-137

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