Options for the development of a mechanism to advance the scale and effectiveness of communication and media for development, social and behaviour change strategies and action related to local, national, regional, and international development priorities

Autor: 
Rafael Obregon
Fecha de Publicación
Mayo 26, 2017
Afiliación: 

UNICEF (Obregon); The Communication Initiative (Feek)

Below is part of an overall paper called "Development Calling", which is the primary paper for consideration at the all-interested-parties meeting to be hosted by UNICEF on June 27th and 28th, 2017 in New York. The full Table of Contents is here.

D. The worries

As with all fields of work, there are problems and worries to address if communication, media, social and behaviour change strategies are to be more effective at greater scale in addressing all aspects of development.

From the input to the consultations and the survey (500 responses to an extensive set of questions), the following top 6 themes emerged as the major obstacles to communication, media, social and behaviour change being a more prominent, prevalent, and effective strategic option for overall development action in relation to local priorities, national development goals, international goals such as the SDGs, and the specific goals of the range of international development organisations:

➢    Difficulty obtaining the funds required for effective work
➢    Absence of compelling impact evidence data
➢    Comparative absence of the communication, media, social and behavioural change perspective/voice in policymaking forums
➢    Frustration in trying to explain what you do in ways that others quickly understand
➢    No common standards for people working in this field
➢    Lack of a valid change theory

For the full list of options available, please see Question 4 in the Survey. 160 comments were also received.
The “absence of compelling impact evidence data” worry requires some context. There is obviously a significant level of impact data, derived from research using high quality, credible research methodologies, related to this field of work, From a review of the comments that accompanied this question the worry is that there is insufficient impact data and that what does exist has not been distilled, packaged and communicated to policy makers and funders. 

For the full list of options available, please see Question 4 in the Survey. 160 comments were also received.

E. The opportunities

The converse of a problem is of course an opportunity. Participants in the consultation process identified a number of overall development trends that not only matched the qualities inherent in communication, media, social and behaviour change principles and action but will require such action if efforts are to be successful. The top 6 opportunities identified include:

➢    Growth of social media
➢    Rising importance of the voices of the people with whom you work
➢    The main development priorities requiring people-centred responses
➢    Growing levels of engagement by the people with whom you work
➢    Proliferation of citizens’ voices
➢    Increasing recognition of the interrelationship between development issues that are most often regarded as separate and distinct 

For the full list of options available, please see Question 3 in the Survey. 174 comments were also received.

F. The priorities

The problems and opportunities identified were, naturally, reflected in the priorities identified by participants in the consultation process. Again from the survey, which reflected the in-person consultations, the top 6 priorities identified follow. Obviously these reflect the “worries” identified above, but there is not a complete match.

➢    Raise the funds required
➢    Produce the impact evidence
➢    Better coordinate with other organisations involved in similar work
➢    Advocate the importance of your work
➢    Amplify the voices of the people with whom you work
➢    Revise the strategy (the work strategies of the people responding to the survey)

For the full list of options available, please see Question 5 in the Survey. 137 comments were also received.

It is of interest, and perhaps concern, that “Align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” was much lower on the list of priorities. Unfortunately, there were few clues in the comments received that indicate why the SDGs would have such a low priority. Though the SDGs were raised in the course of the in-person consultations, they were not a major focus that emerged in those discussions.

G. The core question

From the consultations, the following emerged as the key question to answer:

In the context of the dynamics, analysis, and interests outlined above, are there ways in which the people and organisations involved in and committed to effective, at-scale communication, media, social and behaviour change strategies that address local, national, regional, and international development priorities can work together through an agreed mechanism that will enhance the impact and reach of all of our work?

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There is a critical dialogue focused on this paper at this link: Draft Paper: Global Mechanism - Comments and critique please

The next section in this paper is The Options - Specific Problems on Which to Focus.

The previous section in this paper is Introduction, Purpose, Stimulus, Consultation.

Editor's note: Above is an excerpt from Rafael Obregon's and Warren Feek's 18-page paper "Development Calling".

The full table of contents for this paper follows:

Introduction, Purpose, Stimulus, Consultation

Worries, Opportunities, Priorities, and Core Question

The Options - Specific Problems on Which to Focus

The Options - Operating Mechanisms

Structural and Funding Base - and Conclusion

Fuente: 

Image credit: Ørecomm