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Communication for GAC Reform

South Africa

communication for gac reform

CommGAP and the University of Birmingham’s Governance and Social Development Resource Center (GSDRC) have partnered in producing a topic guide on communication and governance.  The guide attempts to capture and summarize for governance specialists and development professionals some of the best thinking and applied research on the contributions of communication approaches and techniques to governance reform initiatives. Learn More »

about gac communications

Communication's contributions to governance reform operate on at least two levels: 1) cultivating public spheres that support transparency, accountability, and participation, and 2) changing attitude, opinion, and behavior in support of reform objectives. Incorporating a public sphere approach to existing governance diagnostics can be helpful toward assessing institutional/structural factors that support or impede the capacity of multiple stakeholders to participate in governance reform processes. In terms of operational and implementation support, the power of communication lies primarily in the area of influence.


Real-world experiences provide the lens through which development practitioners and reform managers can best appreciate the ‘how’ of communication influence in governance reform. Innovative approaches in deploying communication-based solutions offer key lessons in addressing the unique and oftentimes, difficult, challenges of governance reform.

government reform managers videos

Anthonia Ekpa, Deputy Director, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Office of the President, Nigeria (2:43 minutes)
“Communication is the foundation of the house of reform.”

Henry Mambo, Communication Director, Public Service Reform Programs, Tanzania (0:47 minutes)
“Communication is the central link in governance reform.”

Sierra Leone
Zubaru Kaloko, General Manager, National Power Authority (1:30 minutes)
“After dialogue with the press, and those in radio and television,  they have become our partners.  Now, the media transmit our messages to the people, articulate our plans, and sensitize our customers.”

Sierra Leone
Ernest Surrur, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Power, Sierra Leone (4:13 minutes)
“Communication is key to development.”

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research studies

Examples of supported or commissioned research studies completed or currently under way include:

A randomized study of the deliberative spaces created through development interventions in Karnataka, India.
This study will analyze the impact of efforts to improve the quality of deliberation, social accountability and citizen participation under conditions of sharp increases in the budgets of democratic village governments. The outcomes to be studied are the impact on the quality of public goods and civic engagement, and corruption. This research is undertaken by the Development Economics Group of the World Bank.

Communication, Coalition-Building and Development: The Experience of Public Enterprise Reform in West Bengal and Orissa States, India.
This study examines the very different approaches to communication around similar reform programs in two states in India—approaches that were dictated by the vastly different contexts and political settings in each state. The case study is included in the publication Governance Reform under Real-World Conditions: Citizens, Stakeholders, and Voice.

Survey of NGO Practitioners about Communication and Social Accountability Tools
CommGAPcommissioned a quantitative survey of NGO practitioners to probe issues around communication processes and practitioners’ views on the role of communication and public opinion in the use and effectiveness of social accountability tools. To learn more and access the survey report, click here »


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