Colleagues have previously argued on this blog that public opinion is a critical force in conflict transformation and peace building. It makes intuitive sense that serious assessment of the viability of peace processes requires taking stock of various societal forces -- not just the political will of elites but also the public will comprised of the preferences of various stakeholder groups.
Every morning last week I stumbled through the public foyer in the United Nations Headquarters on my way to work (which was speaking to spokespeople – a tall order). It wasn’t until Friday that I stopped to take a look at the exhibition that I had largely rushed by, running a slalom course through visiting tourists all week.
Roumeen Islam is manager of the World Bank Institute's Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Division. She is an economist by training and, I might add, by conviction. But to anybody who cares seriously about the role of the mass media in development, Roumeen is much admired in a particular capacity: as someone who has made a sterling contribution to how the media is viewed within international development.
I was delighted, yesterday to stumble across Ban Ki-Moon striding purposefully around in the bowels of the United Nations Head Quarters in New York.
The number of governance reform processes in which communication plays a role appears to be vast. Which of these are of vital importance? How exactly can communication help? And what does research have to tell us?
New policy and practice fields need intellectual energy; otherwise they don’t go anywhere quickly. Those promoting the new fields need to be producing justificatory essays, applied research, good practice manuals, policy briefs, evaluations, articles in refereed journals...and blogs too! They should be bombarding policy makers with all kinds of output of good quality; and they should be organizing the field as a serious discipline.
I have been forced to think about the role of the news media in the governance reform agenda a lot in the last few weeks. First, CommGAP had the workshop at Harvard.
A post from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), somewhere in the heart of the medieval section of this deeply multicultural city. I’m here with a team organized by the World Bank Institute (WBI), working with local partners on preparing a capacity building program for low income municipalities on increasing citizens’ participation in local governance. Colleagues from the WBI facilitated sessions on participatory budgeting and citizens’ feedback mechanisms. Two of us from the World Bank’s Development Communication Division contributed a few modules on participatory communication as a cross-cutting issue in enabling and sustaining citizen participation in local governance.
The second day of the Global Media Forum for Media in Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention in Bonn saw far more participation and lively debate from the delegates, which was very welcome.
I am writing from Bonn in Germany - the venue for the Global Media Forum for Media in Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention.
A recent report by the Bank's Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) entitled Public Sector Reform: What Works and Why? offers interesting insights into the recent work on governance at the Bank.