A. Goals


Knowledge: To increase the communication and media for development knowledge base from which development actors can draw when making their strategic and programming decisions.
Networking: To increase the ability of development actors to engage and network with colleagues in other fields, communities and countries and organisations with an emphasis on those within the communication and media for development community.
Review: To increase the levels of peer critique and commentary on the strategies and programmes of those involved in development action with a priority emphasis on the communication and media for development perspective within those critiques and commentaries.
Debate: To increase the levels of debate about core strategic issues in development action with an emphasis on supporting a higher profile for the communication and media for development community within those debate.
Partnerships: To increase the strength of partnerships between organisations in the communication and media for development community and between that community and other development disciplines and fields.
Organisation: To increase the extent to which the communication and media for development community is organised to play a wider, deeper and more effective role in making progress on the priority development issues in local, national and international contexts.



B. Change Principles


If people and organisations active in international development [with a particular focus on communication and media interventions] have…:


  • increased access to real-time information [when they need it]
  • increased levels of horizontal connections [links to peers in other organisations]
  • increased levels of peer review and commentary [particularly through relationships with external people and organisations]
  • increased numbers of working partnerships [with organisations that can add value through a partnership relationship]
  • increased debate and engagement on the strategic issues related to their work [such as the best overall resource investments]
  • increased capacity to collectively organise in pursuit of commonly shared goals…


…then the work of those organisations and the people within them will be both more effective at broader scale.



C. Operational Insights


Network: 75,000-plus from 200-plus countries [grows at 20 per day on average]

    • Geographic Balance: e.g., 16,000 in Africa
    • Media development specific – e.g., journalists, others in media orgs, media dev orgs, freedom of expression groups etc.: 16,000
    • Non-OECD: 70% of network
    • User Base: 2.5 million individual user sessions in 2008 [75% non-OECD use]
    • Africa: 9% of all portal use is from African countries


Shared knowledge base: 35,000-plus summaries from network have been submitted/shared – 10 to 15 new per day]


Africa-specific process, operated from Africa: click here


Latin America-specific process, operated from Latin America: click here


Peer Review: 40,000-plus peer review ratings and commentaries on knowledge included in the portals


Strategic Thinking – Policy Ideas: Over 2,000 summaries across the development spectrum


Research Communication: Summaries of over 1,500 research studies


Theme sites on specific issues – e.g., Media Development theme site


E-magazines related to the specific themes and the relevant people within the network – e.g., Media Development e-magazine issued every other month


Communicators and Media: 65% of the network


Policy makers, funders, researchers, tech. experts, managers, government advisers, etc.: 35% of network – 18,000


Personalisation: Users can configure the portal specific to their interests


Partnership of Agencies: All working together to guide and grow the processes – many of them are Media Development focused


Policy Analysis and Ideas: Blogging process with BBC WST


Platform: Sophisticated Web 2.0 - continually upgrading



D. Strategic Direction: Summary


Take the above CI platform and base and further advance towards a "Facebook mates with Wikipedia" style and process for advancing communication and media for development – continuing to advance the CI’s focus on social networking, knowledge management, and policy debate and dialogue processes.




Warren Feek

Executive Director

The Communication Initiative

5148 Polson Terrace

Victoria BC V8Y2C4 Canada

Tel: 250 658 6372

The Communication Initiative website