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Perspectives on global development

Report, Digital Media Workshop | 1

 

Workshop Report

DIGITAL MEDIA AND THE GLOBAL GOALS
OECD Development Communication Network (DevCom)

Paris, 19-20 May 2016


 REPORT OUTLINE

Page 1. 
Digital trends and today's audiences

Page 2. How governments are seizing social media opportunities

Page 3. Secrets of successful social media strategies and partnerships

Page 4. Creative ideas for SDG campaigns and partnerships

Page 5. Next steps for DevCom 

 

Introduction


Digital media has transformed the global conversation on development. It has changed the way people stay informed, learn and engage in debates. According to
a recent study, it has even changed the way people think. More than two billion people worldwide now use social media at least once a month, and one billion people log onto Facebook every day.

So what does this mean for government institutions working on development? Can social media help them build public support for their work? How should they engage with “digital natives”? 


The
OECD Development Communication Network (DevCom) organised a Workshop in Paris on 19-20 May 2016 to unpack these questions. More than 60 experts on communications, digital media and development came together to learn from one another, share ideas and find new partners. 

 

Digital Trends and Today's Audiences

Which tech trends do development communicators need to know about? How do communicators need to adapt to today's online audiences?

Aurelie Valtat, Digital Strategist at the European Commission, outlined ten social media trends and provided precious practical advice for government communicators in 2016. What tops her list? To play the social media game today, governments need to pay. Also, don’t forget: visual communication is king.


According to 
Lindsey McInerney, Head of Digital Transformation at Hootsuite, social media and mobile technology have led to a “fundamental cultural shift”, driven by digital natives and accelerating every day. In the United States, 90% of young adults aged 18 to 29 are now on social media. When online, they expect quick and tailor-made responses from their interlocutors.‌

 Aurélie Valtat presentation DevCom
 Source: Aurélie Valtat's presentation

Derrick Feldmann, creator of The Millennial Impact Project, shared his research on what drives millennials to engage with social causes. He highlighted two crucial factors: identity and peer influence. Millennials want to feel that they are contributing to a better world. They also want to emulate their friends. To engage them, messages should focus on their personal contributions (e.g. “this is your opportunity to do something remarkable”) rather than putting institutions and brands upfront. 

Reflecting on recent social movements like #NuitDebout, Caroline Castaing, communication officer at the Agence Française de Développement, argued that citizens today want more active roles in the policy debate. They are ready to learn, and public institutions need to provide them with platforms, knowledge and tools to engage in causes.

It is important to remember that citizens fundamentally support global development. According to the Eurobarometer, 89% of Europeans say that helping developing countries is important. 68% support an increase in EU foreign aid . A poll in Switzerland found that 83% of citizens support aid to secure a sustainable future for all, and to show solidarity with the world’s poor.

 

The Digital Opportunity for Development Communicators

 
Douglas Frantz, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, applauded the transformative nature of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, he identified with communicators who have to explain this complex set of goals to their audiences. He identified four opportunities social media makes possible. Used wisely, social media can promote:

  • Solidarity. It can shorten the distance among global citizens and show people what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.
  • Responsibility. It can encourage people to behave in ethical and sustainable ways.
  • Accountability. It can help citizens access data on government performance, share powerful stories of success or failure, and debate policies and programmes.
  • Better policies and practices. Governments can use social media to gather feedback and great ideas on how to improve their work.

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