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Strategic Communications

Strategic Communication - Image - Women

Strategic communications aim to ensure all participants have equal access to and understanding of information.  An inclusive communication strategy promotes education and learning, fosters relationships and coalition building, encourages social and political mobilization, and builds capacity for sustainable communication systems and practices. In the particular context of Social Funds and/or Community Driven Development-type projects, strategic communication plays a key role in community empowerment.

There are specific entry points in which communications interventions can be incorporated in operations to improve project outcomes. A list of possible strategic communication interventions at different stages of the project cycle is summarized in the table below.


Sub-project Cycle Stage

Possible Strategic Communications Intervention

Preparation/Facilitation

This is the most important intervention to ensure that all stakeholders have clarity on the “rules of the game":
Who can participate?
What are the time frames?
What are the requirements/conditions?

Application Process

Reminders of deadlines and procedures to be followed must be disseminated again.  The forms required must be very simple and straightforward.

Field Appraisal

Communities may be consulted during this process.  There must be clarity on the process, roles and responsibilities, and the rationale for this exercise.

Approval

Subproject approvals must be communicated openly and transparently so there is no doubt about the merits of the selected proposals.

Implementation & Supervision

Preparation and implementation of communication campaigns must be accomplished; provide and communicate simplified bidding documents, provide simplified technical standards, material production, training, stakeholder networking, management information system and other monitoring & evaluation tools.

Monitoring & Evaluation

Lead participatory monitoring & evaluation exercises communicated by local facilitators.

Maintenance & Sustainability

Communicate a single set of requirements for developing community-level operations & maintenance plan across projects; clearly communicate the reason for setting user fees (if applicable); plan for periodic supervision after sub-project completion and if gaps identified communicate requirements, methods, standards, etc., again.

Related Reading 

Strategic Communication for Community Driven Development: A practical guide for project managers and communication practitioners (1.85mb pdf)
World Bank Development Communication Division, External Affairs, Africa Region CDD Group, CDD Anchor, Social Development Dept., April 2005
by Masud Mozammel and Galia Schecter

Strategic Communication for Rural Development (1.10mb pdf)
Communication for Sustainable Development in Operations Unit, Development Communication Division, External Affairs, World Bank, July 2005
by Fabio Santucci

With the Support of Multitudes: Using strategic communications to fight poverty in PRSPs (1.09mb pdf)
Information and Communication for Development, DFID and Development Communication Division, External Affairs, World Bank, 2005
by Masud Mozammel and Sina Odugbemi

Country Cases

Designing an Operational Knowledge and Information Sharing System: The Malawi Social Action Fund
World Bank Africa Region Findings Infobrief, No. 104, September 2004
Also available in Français

The Role of Information, Education, and Communication in the Malawi Social Action Fund 
Social Funds Innovations Updates, Volume 1 No. 3, December 2001
Also available in Español (220kb pdf), Français (37kb pdf) and Pусском (214kb pdf)
by Bridget Chibwana, Malawi Social Action Fund and Prasad Mohan, World Bank

Related Websites

World Bank Development Communications
The Development Communication Division (DevComm) supports the Bank's mission of reducing poverty by providing clients with strategic communication advice and tools they need to develop and implement successful projects and pro-poor reform efforts.

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