Professor Jo Tacchi

Professor Jo Tacchi is a media anthropologist with a record of research collaboration with academic, commercial, government and community partners.

She has led a number of complex, multi-country research projects and developed ethnographic and action research approaches and methodologies that have been taken up globally.

Her research is mostly concerned with media, communication and development. She also has a long standing interest in media and affect, participatory content creation, and the role of radio and new audio technologies in domestic spaces. She has developed methodologies that combine ethnographic principles with action research cycles (ear.findingavoice.org), and recently published Evaluating Communication for Development (2013 Earthscan, Routledge), and Digital Ethnography: Principles and Practices (2016 Sage).

Her current work explores issues of voice and participation in relation to information and communication technologies (ICT), media and development, education and active citizenship, and capacity development in relation to evaluation of communication and development.

Academic background

Professor Tacchi moved from the UK to work at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia in 2001 and since then has won over AU$5m in competitive research funding from organisations including the Australian Research Council, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP, KPMG, Intel, ABC International Development, DFID, IDRC. She joined RMIT University in Melbourne in January 2011 as Deputy Dean for Research and Innovation in the School of Media and Communication, and from there became the Director of Research at RMIT Europe in Barcelona.

She returned to the UK at the end of June 2016, and since October 2016 she holds the position of Professor in the Institute for Media and Creative Industries at the Loughborough University London campus, where she will continue with her research and contribute to the Institute's teaching and research supervision.

Current research and collaborations

EduMAP: Adult Education as a Means for Active Participatory Citizenship (2016 – 2019)

The aim of the project is to understand and develop the real and potential impact of adult education on learning for active participatory citizenship in Europe. Under favourable circumstances, adult education can be an efficient means of preventing unemployment, social exclusion and political frustration among vulnerable people. EduMAP will provide empirically validated knowledge of the structural, institutional and situational barriers preventing vulnerable groups from seizing opportunities for further studies and active political, social and economic participation. To understand how the providers and users of educational initiatives are situated in the flows of information and communication, Professor Tacchi will lead the work program that will study and map communicative ecologies in the field of adult education and develop innovative forums for dialogue between educational agencies and young people.

Evaluation and Monitoring of Communication for Development and Social Change in Spain: design of indicators to measure its social impact (2015 – 2018)

The strategic importance of communication in solidarity organizations has been gaining importance over the years. This has contributed a variety of technological, communication, social, and political processes which allow contemplating today the communicative axis as an essential dimension in cooperation and social action. In this context, the present research project intends to assess the communication for development and social change in Spain with the design of a methodological device that makes operational its guiding principles, in order to reinforce their social impact. Taking as a starting point a double methodological strategy (bibliometric analysis and case study), the project aims to map the presence of communication for development and social change in the research on Communication in Spain, taken as a reference similar researches&

Current PhD / research supervisions

She is currently interested in supervising research students on any topic relevant to her expertise and interests.

She currently supervises 5 PhD students at RMIT University (where she has a fractional appointment) on the following topics:

  • Beyond broadcasting: community radio and capacity building for development
  • Human Centred Digital Media: A Participatory Understanding of Mobilising Digital Media as Development Enabler in Practice in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Preserving Niue in a Digital Age: How digital media is impacting construction(s) of Niuean identity and culture
  • Love and Violence: A case study of film production and distribution in Papua New Guinea
  • The Impacts of Mobile Technology on the Communicative Ecologies, Traditions and Cultures of Samoa

Interests and activities

Professor Tacchi has a vested interest in research and publications, take a look at some of the works she is involved in below:

Adult Education as a Means to Active Participatory Citizenship

Mobilising Media for Sustainable Outcomes

Finding a Voice, and Ethnographic Action Research

Senior College Member ESRC Peer Review College. 2015 - current

Australian Research Council (ARC) OZREADER 2008 - current

International Editorial Board, The Radio Journal

Editorial Board, Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia Series, Routledge

Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Alternative and Community Media

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