Perspectives on global development

DevCom/DFID Joint Workshop "Web 2.0 & Social Media in Development Communication" - 11 October 2012


The topic of social media has aroused DevCom members' interest over the last two years, which was expressed in high participation in special social media sessions and practical workshops organized during DevCom meetings. New communications technologies and Web 2.0 provide innovative ways for messaging about development, and members have indicated strong need for innovation in the ways they communicate. This workshop was organised in order to help members to embrace these opportunities and aimed at answering some key questions : 

  • How can donors leverage the power of social media for effective development communication?
  • How does it work in practice?
  • How do you define success of social media communications?


Session 1
Introduction : Web 2.0 for Development

  • Results of the DevCom survey on social media adoption - Joanna WISNIEWSKA, DevCom
  • Digital Downing Street - Nick JONES, Deputy Director Policy Communications, Digital, Prime minister's Office & Cabinet Office
  • Measurement matters: evaluating communications - Peter RIDDELSDELL, Strategics Communications Adviser, DFID

Session 2
Peer Learning by and for DevCom membres I - good practice from bilateral donors

This session captured best practices and extended the knowledge on how the tools are being deployed across bilateral donor institutions for disseminating development results, awareness-raising and public debate. Presentations focused on : designing and implementing a social media communications strategy; overcoming barriers to the use of social media tools; embedding organisation-wide social media culture.

  • Simon DAVIES, Editor for Online News and Social Media, Digital Media Team, DFID
  • Guido COUCK, Communication Officer, BTC
  • Marit HVERVEN, Adviser/Web Journalist, NORAD

Session 3
Peer-learning by and for DevCom members II - good practice from multilaterals 

Multilateral organisations showcased how they are strategically using Web 2.0 tools to publish development results in order to reach and engage different audiences. They discussed techniques for effective use of tools and increasing the impact of Web 2.0 communication; do's and don'ts of social media; gauging online audience and measuring influence of social media.

  • Roxanna SAMII, Manager, Web, Social Media and Internal Communication, IFAD
  • Jemima SUAREZ, Web Editor/Social Media, UNDP
  • Kaavya ASHOK KRISHNA, Education Communications Specialist, World Bank

Session 4
Parallel Working Groups

  • Parallel break-out groups were followed by a plenary discussion to report back on existing practices and tips to effectively engage the public online, monitoring web communications and expanding a social media strategy/plan to support their communication goals.


Full background documentation, including the summary record, is available on the DevCom Knowledge Platform (members only). To request access, please contact the DevCom Secretariat.


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