Presentation / Presentación

  • Alfonso Gumucio Dagron (born in Bolivia, 1950) is a writer, filmmaker, journalist, photographer and development communication specialist. His father was Alfonso Gumucio Reyes, a leader of the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR), Minister of Economy during the Government of Victor Paz Estenssoro, and Ambassador to Uruguay and Spain. He is the author of several books on film and [communication for social change, as well as documentary films, photographic exhibits and hundreds of articles in journals. He has worked in five continents on social development projects, as a communication for development specialist.
  • Because of his involvement as progressive journalist he has twice been forced to live in exile, first living in Paris from 1972 to 1978, and later in Mexico from 1980 to 1984.
  • He studied filmmaking at the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC) and the University of Vincennes, in Paris. Back in Bolivia in 1978 he directed a number of documentaries on cultural and social issues, as he worked at the Centro de Investigacion y Promocion del Campesinado (CIPCA), a Bolivian NGO, and published as a journalist in various daily newspapers and weekly journals.
  • Since the mid 1980s his work in development communication programs has taken him to Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, Latin America and The Caribbean, serving for various international organizations. He worked with UNICEF in Nigeria and Haiti, and as an international consultant for FAO, UNDP, UNESCO, The Rockefeller Foundation, AusAID and Conservation International.
  • He was the Managing Director for Programmes at the Communication for Social Change Consortium and familiar with issues of child rights, environment, indigenous populations, arts and culture, human rights, community organization, health and sustainable development.

Areas of work / Areas de trabajo

  • Independent consultant / consultor independiente
  • Communication strategies / Estrategias de communicación
  • Community media / Comunicación comunitaria

Experience / Experiencia

Participatory Communication / Comunicación participativa


Managing Director - January 2004-2009

The Managing Director is a key member of the Consortium’s leadership team, serving as the second-in-command. His responsibilities include providing oversight and leadership to three of the four strategic areas of work: knowledge building, innovation watch and communication incubator. Along with the president/CEO, he is responsible for running this international nonprofit organization which includes a small New Jersey-based staff and a network of consultants in Africa, Latin America, Asia, North America and Europe. The Managing Director is the leader responsible for the programmatic focus of the Consortium. In this role, he develops program ideas, supervises projects, provides quality control and editing/review functions, manages consultants’ work output, recruits consultants to the network and evaluates their performance. He maintains the Consortium’s Latin America office and is responsible for hiring and supervising local consultants and staff, representing the Consortium in Latin America.


Consultant, researcher & writer - May 1999 to December 2003

In charge of research and drafting of a report on “Participatory communication and social change”. Field trips to Latin America, Africa and Asia to review development projects involving local governance and citizen and community participation. Development of research instruments and criteria, selection of experiences, compiling information and drafting of 50 case stories based on experiences of participatory development and communication for change worldwide. Presentation at The Communication Initiative Forum (May 2000) for foundations, international development organizations and NGOs. 2. Research on universities and other institutions offering training and studies on communication for development, in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Supervisor: Denise Gray-Felder, Vice-President Administration and Communications, The Rockefeller Foundation, New York.


Chief Technical Adviser of Project RLA/98/010 “Tierramérica” - June 1998 to February 1999

Project Director of “Tierramérica”, a regional platform of communication & citizen participation for Human Sustainable Development, a UNEP / UNDP joint initiative. Technical evaluation of Tierramérica during its first phase. Supervision of all activities related to the project, mainly the publication of a newspaper supplement circulating through a network of 12 leading newspapers in the region, including a Portuguese edition in Brazil. Coordination of special issue of Tierramérica on “Climate Change”, in English and Spanish, for the COP4 meeting of Buenos Aires (November 1998). Several missions to The Caribbean area and South America for negotiations with newspapers, governments, NGOs, and UNDP field offices. Participation in various international meetings.


Chief, Communication, Information & Child Rights - December 1995 to December 1997

Overall supervision of communication, health information, child rights, children in specially difficult circumstances (CEDC), A/V production unit and Documentation Centre in UNICEF Haiti. Developing, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluating projects: training of journalists, training of network of community theatre groups, production of audio-visual messages for radio & television. Supervision of activities of UNICEF 50th Anniversary, the Fondation Loisirs, Culture et Sports, and Konesans Fanmi a network of 96 NGOs. Support to parliamentarian Commission for the Rights of the Child, the Coalition Haitienne pour la Défense des Droits de l’Enfant (COHADDE). External relation responsibilities over Atlanta Olympic Aid, UNICEF National Committees, launching of various UNICEF Haiti publications. Main achievements: a) network of Community Theatre; b) network of journalists specialized on social issues; c) revision of Haitian laws on children.


Chief, Communication & Information - July 1990 to October 1994

Planning, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of communication, information and community organization programs. Supervision of 12 staff in Lagos and zonal offices: Enugu, Ibadan, Kaduna and Bauchi. Budget of 5 Million US$ for the country cycle. In charge of mass media capacity building, social mobilization, citizen participation and local governance, support to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Supervisory responsibility on Greeting Cards Operations (GCO) and Library. Focal point for training activities. Main achievements: a) network of 40 community theatre groups and development of training materials; b) 68 Local Governments trained through Participatory Development Workshops (PDW) and training manuals developed; c) research and publishing of “Directory of NGOs in Nigeria” with 300 entries; d) four books, a UNICEF bulletin and an NGO bulletin published.


Executive Director and President of the Board - January 1986 to June 1990

Policy making, planning and overall responsibility over the institution. Supervision of twenty professional staff and consultants. Conducted research and training programs, supervision and development of training aids, printed and audio-visual materials; publisher of newsletter, brochures and books on development communication; support to grass root organizations & unions, citizen participation, local governance and networking with NGOs. Achievements: a) more than 35 training workshops per year; b) monthly publication of bulletin “Red de Recursos de Comunicación Alternativa” widely distributed in Latin America; c) directory of NGOs; d) international seminar on miners radio stations; e) series of “Cuadernos de Comunicación Alternativa”; f) book: “Las Radios Mineras de Bolivia”.


Development communication consultant - November 1980 to August 1981

Consultant in communication for the Ministry of Planning; Project “Apoyo a la Alfabetización Económica” (NIC/80/103). Conception of strategy, design, planning, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of training and capacity building project. Main achievement: a) Establishing an audio-visual production unit at the Central Sandinista de Trabajadores (CST); b) production of educational films.


Head of Communication Unit - October 1978 to July 1980

Overall responsibility on audio-visual production and development of communication materials for social mobilization in rural areas. Achievements: a) Production of documentary films and educational slide shows; b) Strengthening of the audio-visual unit.

Other / Otros: AUSTRALIAN AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL AID (AusAID) – PAPUA NEW GUINEA July-August 2001, November 2001and April 2002 – Communication Advisor on the Health Promotion Support Program (HSSP), National Department of Health.

MOVIMIENTO MANUELA RAMOS - PERU March 2001 - Consultant. Communication advice for ReproSalud project.

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF) - GUATEMALA March to May 1999 - Consultant. Communication strategy for UNICEF Haiti.

UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (UNDP/UNOPS) - NEW YORK December 1997 to February 1999 – Consultant. Evaluation of “Tierramérica”.

THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION – NEW YORK March to April 1998 – Consultant. Case studies on communication for social change.

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF) - HAITI July to October 1995 - Consultant. Communication strategy for UNICEF Haiti.

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF) - COLOMBIA June 1995 - Consultant. In charge of producing a communication strategy for UNICEF Colombia.

FONDO PARA EL DESARROLLO DE LOS PUEBLOS INDIGENAS DE AMERICA LATINA Y EL CARIBE - BOLIVIA January to May 1995 - Consultant. Preparation of project profiles for the first regional meeting and General Assembly of the organization.

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) - ITALY November to December 1994 - Consultant at the Office of External Relations (OER). Drafting a strategy for improving communication between FAO headquarters and country offices.

CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL, WASHINGTON DC April 1992 – Consultant. Prospective evaluation of Awareness Community Theatre (ACT) project in Papua New Guinea.

CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL, WASHINGTON DC 1988 to 1989 - Communication advisor. Communication strategy for Conservation International, and the Liga de Defensa del Medio Ambiente (LIDEMA), a cluster of Bolivian environmental NGOs.Editor of the book “Conservación, Desarrollo y Comunicación”.

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF) - ETHIOPIA January 1988 - Consultant on development communication. Prospective evaluation of “Training in Programme Communication” project (WIF/UNICEF). Addis Ababa and field trip to Bale region.

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF) - BANGLADESH December 1987 - Consultant on project “Training of Communicators for Child Survival and Development”.

DIVISION OF TECHNICAL COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT (DTCD/UNDP) - BURKINA FASO 1986 to 1988 - Communication and social mobilization expert to the Ministry of Planning, on Project “Assistance a la Planification et au Developpement” (BKF/82/010). Design of strategy, planning, implementation and monitoring of development communication activities.

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) - BOLIVIA July to August 1985 - Communication consultant. Research, conception, photography and design of a rapport on FAO activities in Bolivia.

INSTITUTO INDIGENISTA INTERAMERICANO (III) - MEXICO April to June 1985 - Communication consultant. Design and writing of institutional rapport. UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO) 1983 to 1984 - Consultant for the editing of the book: “América Latina en sus Espectáculos y Fiestas”.

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) - MEXICO 1982 to 1983 - Communication expert on project “Capacitación y Organización para el Desarrollo Rural” (MEX/82/003). Strategy, planning, implementation and monitoring of training activities to support rural organizations in Cuetzalan (Puebla) and Ahuacatlán (Nayarit).

Education / Estudios

  • Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques (IDHEC) 1973-1976, Paris (France) Communication & film studies, degree in film production and direction. Specialty in photography and editing.
  • Université de Vincennes 1972-1975, Paris (France) Communication & film studies and sociology
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid - Facultad de Ciencias de la Información 1971-1972, Madrid (España) Communication & information studies
  • Universidad Mayor de San Andrés - Facultad de Filosofía y Letras 1970-1971 La Paz (Bolivia) Studies on Literature.

Other / Otros

  • UNICEF Programme Procedures Regional Workshop, Takoradi (Ghana), 1991
  • Social Communication Studies, CIESPAL, La Paz (Bolivia), 1986
  • Film Analysis, Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Prensa, La Paz (Bolivia), 1969-1970

Premios literarios / Literary Awards

  • Mention to Razones Técnicas (poems) at the “Concurso Nacional de Poesía Franz Tamayo” in 1973 (Bolivia)
  • First Mention to Minero de Ultimo Nivel (short story) at the “Concurso Nacional de Cuento del Instituto Boliviano de Arte” (IBART) in 1975 (Bolivia)
  • Mention to Interior Mina (short story) at the Concurso Internacional de Cuento “La Palabra y el Hombre”, 1977, Veracruz (México)
  • National award to La Máscara del Gorila, Premio Nacional de Testimonio del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), México 1982

Books / Libros

  • 1977 Provocaciones - Essays on Bolivian literature. Editorial Los Amigos del Libro, La Paz (Bolivia), 1977. 280 pages. Second edition: Plural Editores, La Paz (Bolivia) 2006.
  • 1979 Antología del Asco - Poems. Ediciones Palabra Encendida. La Paz (Bolivia). 1979, 116 pages.
  • 1979 Seis Nuevos Narradores Bolivianos - Short stories, co-authors: Jaime Nisttahuz, René Bascopé, Ramón Rocha, Manuel Vargas and Félix Salazar. Editorial de la Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA), La Paz (Bolivia), 1979. 220 pages.
  • 1979 Cine, censura y exilio en América Latina - Study. Ed. Film-Historia, La Paz (Bolivia), 1979. 156 pages. Second edition: CIMCA, Federación Editorial Mexicana y STUNAM, México 1984. 184 pages.
  • 1980 Razones Técnicas - Poems. Ediciones Palabra Encendida, La Paz (Bolivia), 1980. 110 pages.
  • 1981 Bolivie - Study. Editions du Seuil, Petite Planete, Paris (France), 1981. French. 180 pages.
  • 1981 El Cine de los Trabajadores - Study. Ed. Central Sandinista de Trabajadores (CST), Managua (Nicaragua), 1981 and Ed. Wiphala, Caracas (Venezuela), 1981. 154 pages.
  • 1981 Les Cinémas d'Amérique Latine - Study, editor (in collaboration with Guy Hennebelle). Ed. Textimages, Paris (France), 1981. French. 544 pages.
  • 1982 Historia del Cine Boliviano - Study. Editorial Los Amigos del Libro, La Paz (Bolivia), 1982, 376 pages. Second edition: Filmoteca de la Universidad Autónoma (UNAM), México 1983. 330 pages.
  • 1982 La Máscara del Gorila - Essay. Editorial Oasis e Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), México 1982, 100 pages. Second edition: CIMCA, La Paz (Bolivia), 1989. 100 pages.
  • 1983 Aporte de la experiencia a la teoría de la comunicación alternativa: Bolivia, radios mineras y Nicaragua, cine obrero sandinista. Cuadernos de Comunicación Alternativa, La Paz (Bolivia). CIMCA. 31 páginas.
  • 1984 Sobras completas - Poems. Federación Editorial Mexicana, México (México) 1984. 88 pag.
  • 1986 Luis Espinal y el Cine - Biography. Ed. CIMCA, La Paz (Bolivia), 1986. 134 pages.
  • 1989 Las Radios Mineras de Bolivia - Study, in collaboration with Lupe Cajías. La Paz (Bolivia): CIMCA / UNESCO, 1989. 230 pages.
  • 1990 Comunicación Alternativa y Cambio Social - Study, CENDES. Ed. CIMCA, La Paz (Bolivia) 1990. 100 pages.
  • 1990 Conservación, Desarrollo y Comunicación - Essays, editor. LIDEMA, Asociación de Periodistas and Conservation International, La Paz (Bolivia), 1990. 320 pages.
  • 1990 Sentímetros - Poems. Palabra Encendida, La Paz (Bolivia), 1990. 170 pages.
  • 1993 NGO Puzzle - Essays, editor with G.K. Ngeri Nwagha. UNICEF, Lagos (Nigeria), 1993. 142 pages.
  • 1994 Popular Theatre - Study and training manual. UNICEF, Lagos (Nigeria), 1994. 176 pages.
  • 2000 Memoria de Caracoles – Poems. Plural Editores, La Paz (Bolivia), 2000. 136 pages.
  • 2001 Making waves: participatory communication for social change – Study, The Rockefeller Foundation, New York 2001. 352 pages. Haciendo olas: comunicación participativa para el cambio social, (Spanish), La Paz, 2001. 368 pages. Ondes de choc: communication participative pour le changement social, (French) New York, 2001. 370 pages.
  • 2002 Community Theatre for Health Awareness in Papua New Guinea – Health Promotion Branch, National Department of Health. Port Moresby, 2002. 104 pages.
  • 2006 Communication for Social Change Anthology: Historical and Contemporary Readings – edited by Alfonso Gumucio Dagron and Thomas Tufte. Communication for Social Change Consortium, New Jersey (USA), 2006. 1068 pages.
  • 2008 Antología de Comunicación para el Cambio Social: Lecturas Históricas y Contemporaneas – compiladores Alfonso Gumucio Dagron y Thomas Tufte. Consorcio de Comunicación para el Cambio Social. Editorial Plural. La Paz, Bolivia. 1.480 pág

Films / Filmes

  • Gumucio studied film in France and worked as assistant director to Alan Labrousse and Jorge Sanjines, and as a scriptwriter for Antonio Eguino. His first film as director, Señores Generales, Señores Coroneles (1976) is a documentary portraying the role of the Bolivian army and the CIA in the 1971 military coup that interrupted the democratic process in Bolivia; it includes interviews with Philip Agee, former CIA agent, and Régis Debray. During the late 1970s and early 1980s he directed short documentary films on social and cultural issues, such as Tupaj Katari, 15 de noviembre (1978), El Ejercito en Villa Anta (1979), Comunidades de Trabajo (1979), Cooperativa Sandino (Nicaragua, 1980), Domitila: la mujer y la organizacion (1980), Primo Castrillo, poeta (1984). In 1983 he co-directed with Eduardo Barrios, a documentary for UNESCO on the miners community radio stations: The voice of the mines. His documentary film Bolivia: Union Rights (1988), part of the People Matter series produced by AVISE, was aired by the Dutch television. He later directed Oloruntoba (Nigeria, 1994) a portrait of the Nigerian artist; Sous Lavi (Haiti, 1997); La Primerisima (2003) and Voices from the Magdalena (Colombia, 2006) a report on community radio stations working in a war-torn region of Colombia. In 2008 he directed Women of Pastapur in India.
  • He has been active as a film critic during the 1980s and 1990s, publishing his columns in journals of Latin America, Europe, North America and Africa.

Photography / Fotografía

  • Over the years, his photographic work has been shown in personal and collective exhibits on Bolivian landscapes and people (Altiplano, 1989) and portraits of artists from Latin America (Retrato Hablado, 1990). After four years working in Nigeria, he presented his series on children (Age of Innocence, Nigeria 1994 and (Bagaje Africano, Bolivia 1995). In Haiti he exhibited people and landscapes (Trois-sur-Haiti, 1997). Other photography shows include: Imágenes de Bolivia (París, 1973), Reflejos y Transparencias (La Paz, 1988), Nueve Fotógrafos (La Paz, 1990), Paisaje y Medio Ambiente (La Paz, 1995). Some of his photographs have been distributed by Gamma agency, and through the German news agency DPA, along with his articles on Latin American culture.
  • Books such as: Realizando el Futuro published by the Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), Ciudad de La Paz, Luz, Magia y Tradición published by the Municipality of La Paz, included his photographs, as well as Imágenes del Trabajo awarded at the 4th International Art Contest organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 1986. His photographic work has been used in book covers, calendars, magazines and journals of Latin America.
  • In 1983 he wrote the first historical perspective on Bolivian photography, which was published in the monthly journal Bolivia 2000 with the title Primera Aproximación a la Fotografía en Bolivia. Later, in 1986 Cóndor, a quarterly review published in Switzerland printed his article Breve Vistazo a la Fotografía Boliviana. He is a founding member of the Bolivian Society of Photography (Sociedad Boliviana de Fotografía) and served as Secretary for Media Relations for the 1986-1988 period. He was elected President of the Bolivian Circle of Professional Photographers (Círculo de Boliviano de Fotografía) for 1995-96.

Journalism / Periodismo

  • He has published over a thousand articles and short essays in approximately one hundred newspapers, journals and magazines of Latin America, Europe, North America, Asia and Africa.
  • He has been editor, board member, chief editor, cultural editor or correspondent of Vinculo, Revista Nacional de Cultura, El Nacional, Facetas, El Mundo, Zeta, Aquí, and Vanguardia in Bolivia, as well as Excelsior (Mexico), Desquicio (France), Brecha (Uruguay), and The Journal of Development Communication (Malaysia).

Associations / Asociaciones

  • PSO (Netherlands) Member of the International Board (2006- )
  • Founding member of CRIS (Communication Rights in the Information Society)
  • Latinoamericana de Investigadores de la Comunicación (ALAIC), coordinador del Grupo Temático sobre Comunicación para el Cambio Social (2006)
  • Founding member of Our Media/Nuestros Medios, a network of communication academics and activists
  • International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), since 2000
  • International Sociological Association (ISA), member since 1986.
  • International Association of Super 8 Film and Video, member of the board on 1983-1986.
  • Asociación Boliviana de Investigadores de la Comunicación, miembro del directorio 1986-1987.
  • Círculo de Fotógrafos Profesionales de Bolivia (CFPB), Presidente 1995-1997.
  • Asociación de Periodistas de La Paz, desde 1986. En el directorio en 1997-1998.
  • Sociedad Boliviana de Fotografía, miembro fundador en 1986 Secretario de Prensa 1986-1988.
  • Asociación de Críticos de Cine de Bolivia, miembro fundador en 1979.
  • Asociación de Cineastas de Bolivia, miembro desde 1978.
  • Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Prensa, miembro desde 1971.

Weblinks / Sitios web

Contact / Contacto

  • Phone: 52-55-5250-4448
  • Mob.: nunca / never
  • Email:
  • Address :

Campos Eliseos 69 A
Colonia Polanco
11560 México DF - MEXICO

Other information / Información adicional

  • Nationality: Bolivia
  • Language(s): Castellano, English, Francais

Participation in the Alternative Media Global Project

  • Yes
  • Function: global correspondent
whoswho/g/gumucio_alfonso.txt · Last modified: 2020/12/20 20:55 (external edit)