The course is designed for leaders, strategists and advisors who want to strengthen the critical competencies necessary to support change agents and reform initiatives in developing countries.
If this sounds like you, but you need a little nudge, check out these 10 reasons why attending the Summer Institute is a good decision.
1. Strengthen the critical competencies necessary to support change agents and reform leaders in developing countries: The program was developed on the premise that successful implementation of policy reforms depends significantly on non-technical, real-world issues that relate to people and politics.
2. Develop the skills necessary to bring about real change: Finding a way to push a reform forward can sometimes be elusive. Political or sectoral change is usually needed. The course will develop your skills to analyze policy options and effectively mobilize support.
3. Apply the most recent advances in communication: Communication strategies are essential to overcoming a lack of political will among key stakeholders, vested interests, the absence of citizen demand for reform, or hostile political barriers. Communication, when done right, is the key to converting reform objectives into achievements.
4. Connect with a global network of development professionals: Senior development practitioners and communication professionals from countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East attend the course each year, creating a global network of development professionals working on initiatives in the public, private and non-profit sectors, with whom leaders can connect.
5. Leverage social/digital media tools and analytics effectively: In the past few years, we've seen a shift of the traditional web communication model from one-way communication to a two-way feedback loop. Increasingly, new social media tools now also facilitate a multi-voiced approach: one where an organization and its audience do not speak solely to each other, but voices in the organization engage in conversations that are already happening among members of the audience.
6. Develop communication metrics and apply monitoring systems: Measuring audience perceptions and influence in real time, over time helps align metrics with the goals of a reform effort for quality, consistency, and the smart use of resources.
7. Craft multi-stakeholder collaboration to support reform: Robust coalitions are usually at the center of any successful reform initiative. They rally technical experts, build support within government and the private sector, and educate the public on the importance and meaning of a reform.
8. Interpreting and using political economy analysis: The push and pull of politics, the power of vested interests, varying degrees of institutional capacity for implementation, and contrary public opinion can all make the success of a reform agenda tenuous. A thorough understanding of the political economy of an environment is key to a solid foundation for a reform effort.
9. Learn from the best. The course is taught by leading experts from the World Bank, the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.