AfDB and DevCom Organize Round-Table on Improving Results Communication
A roundtable on multilateral aid and improving results communication, organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the development communication network (DevCom Network), went underway on 22 March 2010, in Tunis with participants sharing perspectives on a wide range of issues communicators face when communicating on development and multilateral aid results. Speaking at the event, which brought together key players in the world of bilateral and multilateral aid, the AfDB Communication Unit Head, Antoinette Batumubwira, urged participants to share their experiences which will go a long way in helping multilateral agencies in their efforts to find a better way to communicate about the results of their projects.
The African Development Bank and the development communication network (DevCom Network) whose secretariat is hosted by OECD, are organizing the “Tunis Round-Table Conference on Multilateral Aid and the Broad Public: Improving Results Communication” from March 22-23, 2010, in Tunis, Tunisia. The joint initiative aims at improving the practice of communicating on multilateral aid. Over sixty communicators from multilaterals and bilateral donors institutions are expected to attend the event.
Communicators from bilateral ministries and agencies perceive communicating on multilateral aid as a controversial issue and define it as one of the most difficult tasks in their daily work. The challenges stem from the problems of explaining to members of parliament and the general public why large parts of official development assistance (ODA) go to multilateral institutions and development banks. Other questions include: What is the added value of dealing with multilaterals? How can multilateral aid for development results be managed? How can multilateral institutions support communicators in communicating on multilateral aid to their domestic constituencies?
The roundtable will bringing together communicators from multilateral and bilateral donor institutions with a view to starting a debate on current challenges and concrete responses to the need to communicate on multilateral aid. It also aims at providing an up-to-date overview on existing tools to communicate on multilateral aid by exploring experiences and sharing best practices among practitioners from various institutions, as well as seeking ways of helping multilateral and bilateral institutions work more closely in terms of development communication, in general, and results-based communication, in particular.
Interviewed by Aristide Ahouassou
- Sala Paterson, OECD Communication Expert ”I hope to come away with some very practical tools and tips for improving the way we communicate results to all our stakeholders”
Question: Donors say we will provide you with aid, but we want elections. How do you think the media can make bilateral aid work for the poor ?
Answer: In the best of circumstances, the media play a fundamental role in ensuring transparency and accountability, both key components of aid effectiveness. They bring to light the interests and commitments of donors, the capacity, interest and willingness of governments (for both donor and recipient) to use aid effectively and the extent to which the aid has translated into improvements in living conditions for the poor. Media are information brokers, truth brokers if you will. Ensuring that the general public is aware of the stakes involved in bilateral aid, and that donor recipient governments are aware that the general public is aware. That is the critical role that the media can play.
The media can also play an important role in highlighting success stories in development cooperation. With aid budgets under threat due to the crisis, people – in both donor and recipient countries – need to believe that aid makes a difference.
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