To: People engaged and interested in the development of a global mechanism (now called an Alliance) to advance the scale, impact and policy voice of communication and media for development, social and behaviour change focused strategies and action on priority local, national and global development issues.

Hi and many thanks for your enaggement in this process be it through the consultations that took place, the New York meeting in late June 2017 and/or other opportunities. We wanted to provide a quick udpate on the progress that has been made since the New York meeting. This will be a brief overview. Please do respond if you have any questions or comments.

At the conclusion of the New York meeting a review and transition group was agreed to move forward the development of what we now refer to as the Global Alliance. That group includes Sue Goldstein (Soul City Institute for Social Justice), Lisa Hilmi (CORE), Patrick Cook (International Social Marketing Association), Radhika Gajjala (IAMCR), Susan Krenn (JHU CCP), Antje Becker (Save the Children), James Deane (BBC Media Action) and Rafael Obregon (UNICEF). Warren Feek (The Communication Initiative) is acting as the secretariat to the process.

That overall group, in addiiton to a series of strategy calls has formed itself into 3 working groups - the Name, Priorities and Criteria for being at the Alliance table sub-groups. A quick update on each of these for your review and comment. 

1. The Alliance name?

As stressed by all this is a vitally important issue. The name adopted will be the identity point for the Alliance. For those within this field of work it will act as a gathering point, a clear statement with which we are all comfortable as the description of either what we all do or what we are all trying to achieve. For those outside our field of work it will need to project what we are all about in ways that promptly resonate with the broader development community. Finally it should fairly reflect all of the different elements of this field of work - not be overly identified with any one part of that work. Oh dear! Not at all easy.

All of your ideas are most welcome - please do share! Here are some of the names that have been suggested and are being considered:

  • Global Alliance for Engaged Social Change
  • Global Alliance for Informed and Engaged Societies
  • Global Alliance for Social Change
  • Global Alliance for Engagement and Change
  • Global Alliance for Engagement and Social Change 

Please do share your responses and suggestions.

2. The Alliance priorities

The 2nd working group is assessing what should be priorities of the Alliance in its first 12 months of operation. At the New York meeting everyone was in agreement that there should be a very specific and discrete set of focused priorities that will ensure the Alliane commences in a solid and substantial manner. As with the "name" sub-group this work continues. Following a review of the priority suggestions made online and at the New York meeting some of the priorities that are emerging and being considered follow. No decisions have been made. Your critique and suggestions would be most welcome.

  • Build the infrastructure of the Global Alliance - terms of reference, complete participation criteria, convene initial meetings, communicate the initiation of the Alliance, and all of the other foundations required for the successful commencement of the Alliance.
  • Commence the work related to best impact data - landscaping the most compelling evidence and its strategic implications
  • Focus on one major advocacy initiative for this field of work - there is strong, unanimous support in the meeting for that work to be focused on the next meeting of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) as the theme for their July 2018 meeting is "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies".   

Please do share your responses and suggestions.  

3. The criteria for who will be at the Alliance table

This 3rd sub-group is focused on the question of which organisations will be at the Alliance table? Who will constitute the Alliance decision-making body? Again we would welcome your review of below.

There are many considerations to be taken into account - for example, ensuring the bodies at the table have significant "Southern" perspectives and engagement in their decision-making; wanting to weave together the different strands of our field of work; not competing with any processes that relate to particular segments of this field of work; figuring out the role of and relationship to individual people and organisations across thie field of work; commencing the process with legitimacy and a solid, explicable base; ensuring the process is not overly bureaucratic; and, of course, being able to explain in a solid, logical way why the organisations at the table are at that table.

At this stage, but please do review as nothing is decided, there seems to be general agreement emerging on the following criteria for specific organisations to be at the table - whilst ensuring that there is geographic, development issue and strategic variety balance and diversity across the Alliance

  • Will need to have a primary focus on an agreed element of the communication and media development, social and behaviour change field of work
  • Will have an organizational structure built around a membership or registered network base with those networks or members coming from a range of organisations - not internal to one particular organisation.
  • The management, organisation and funding of the registered network or membership organisation is not exclusively or even predominantly from one specific programming development organisation.
  • The members and/or registered network participants in the Alliance organisations need to come from across a number of countries.
  • High level representation at the table from the agreed Alliance participants. This should be their most senior and central people.
  • Clear understanding and acceptance that this will be an active process - it is not just a series of meetings.

There is still a lot of discussion taking place so please do submit your ideas and perspectives. 

The next step will be a meeting of the review and transition group to finalise teh key decisions. This is tentatively planned for late November. In order to ensure balance others may also be invited by that group. At that meeting decisions will be made. 

Again thanks for your engagement - all ideas most welcome.  Please do comment either online or by email reply.

Warren (and on behalf of Rafael)