Perspectives on global development

DevCom Seminar "Communicating Development Results" - 23 & 24 April 2012


The “Results and Accountability” and “Transparency” building blocks of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation call on development communicators to convey credible evidence for progress in poverty reduction. For accountability purposes, both multilateral and bilateral donors are in quest for showing value for money, and proving development effectiveness. Building on the independent analytical capacity of DevCom and the expertise and long-standing experience of the IDB, this seminar leverages donor expertise from every region of the world towards the common goal of improving results communication. As a forum for peer learning, it fosters strategic partnerships, dialogue, and consultation between multilateral organisations and bilateral donors.



Session 1
Opening discussion: Demonstrating Impact of Development Cooperation

The opening session addressed the following questions: How can donors provide strong evidence to show that aid allocations are being used effectively? How can they better communicate the impact of their work? What “results” do they want to communicate and to whom? How do they organise their results framework for data to be communicated to various audiences? How to communicate about “global public goods & bads”?

Session 2
Good Practice in Communicating Results

This session discussed concrete examples of recent campaigns, strategies and tools for results communication. What are the secret ingredients of successful results’ communications? How to convey results stories in compelling yet based on hard facts, ways? How can donors include the partner countries’ voice in communicating about development results? How to harness social media as a tool for development communication?

Session 3
Making the case for effective multilateralism

In the current climate of fiscal retrenchment, proving that development assistance provides value for money is more important than ever. The question is how donors can make a case for multilateralism to the general public, legislators, and civil society. What is the specific added value of multilateral institutions that can be communicated: Large scale of capital and knowledge resources? Political neutrality and legitimacy? Ability to focus on specific issues (i.e. large infrastructure) and countries (i.e. fragile states) that bilateral aid does not typically address and where multilaterals have more expertise or a stronger presence? What role communication plays in gaining funding support for multilaterals in times of budget cuts and funding gaps? How can multilaterals support bilaterals in communicating on multilateral aid to their domestic constituencies (general public, civil society, media, etc.)? How can donors communicate results effectively to parliament? How can bilateral donors seek data to be communicated from multilaterals? How can multi and bilateral institutions work closer together on development communication and specifically about results?

Session 4
Communication challenges around aid assessments

In most donor countries there is little opportunity for a discussion around multilateral aid and citizens learn only incidentally of the rationale for choosing different channels. Re-assessing and scrutinizing multilateral aid allocations help inform the public debate. Communicating clearly and publicly the principles that underpin grants to multilateral institutions is important for strengthening taxpayers’ support to development. Aid assessments by bilateral donors show that multilaterals need to do more to demonstrate their specific contribution to development results. Key questions to be addressed: What and how do donors communicate on the findings from their development assistance assessments? How do multilaterals respond to aid reviews? What will be the implications of aid reviews for transparency and accountability? How can different partners work with each other to better communicate development results according to collective international priorities and the public interest of all states? How can donors report on negative results or recognise failure?

Session 5
Social Media and Wrap Up

In this session, participants will discuss how multilateral and bilateral donors can leverage the power of social media for effective development communication, how does it work practically and how success of social media communications is defined?


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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