Communication for Development

OGC also addresses the issues of inclusion and participation through its focus on Communication for Development (C4D). C4D in very simple terms is two-way communication that enables people, particularly the most disadvantaged in society, to participate in shaping decisions that affect their lives. It is broader than traditional ‘communication’ associated with public relations. UNDP’s approach to Communication for Development is embedded in its poverty reduction mandate which centres on the achievement of MDGs and broader development, governance and human rights objectives.

UNDP, led by OGC, has been a key proponent of C4D principles and approaches in the international development arena. UNDP has actively participated in all the bi-annual UN Inter-agency Roundtables on C4D. The Roundtables which began in 1988 provide an opportunity for UN agencies to exchange ideas and experiences to advance their thinking on C4D issues and promote cooperation among UN agencies to develop common strategies to harness C4D approaches in support of the achievement of MDGs.

In March 2009, OGC co-hosted with the World Bank the XIth UN Inter-agency Roundtable on Communication for Development entitled, ‘Moving C4D up the International Agenda: Demonstrating impact and positioning institutionally’, in Washington DC. The Roundtable brought together 15 UN agencies and key non-UN partners to discuss how to move the C4D agenda and practice in the UN system forward under two main themes: Assessing and Demonstrating the Impact of Communication for Development and Institutionalizing C4D in Development Agencies and Organizations.

The UN Inter-Agency publication on Communication for Development illustrates the diverse C4D approaches adopted by seven UN Agencies (FAO, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNAIDS, ILO, WHO and UNDP) to enhance citizen’s participation and dialogue around policy processes. The publication development process was coordinated by the Oslo Governance Centre, on behalf of UNDP.