Perspectives on global development

DevCom Annual Meeting 2016


What do citizens today think and know about development? Have the migration crisis and security concerns changed their attitudes to foreign aid? And how can communicators help engage citizens, global leaders and businesses on the Sustainable Development Goals?


At the end of a challenging year for international cooperation, the 2016 DevCom Annual Meeting brought together communications managers from development institutions, analysts, and representatives of civil society and the private sector. They shared experienced and lessons and identified priorities for DevCom work in 2017-2018.

Click here to read the Workshop Report



Annotated Agenda

List of Participants 

Discussion Note: Towards a DevCom Peer Learning Hub for SDG Communicators



David Hudson & Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson (University College London - UCL)
Eva Bratholm (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation)
Helene Toury (Veolia)
Raúl de Mora Jimenez (UN SDG Fund)
Poonam Muttreja (Population Foundation of India)
Caroline Petit (UN Regional Information Centre)
Perrine Bouhana (GlobeScan)
Guido Schmidt-Traub (UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network)
Desmond Spruijt (Mapping Worlds)


DevCom group pic


Day 1 Agenda - 9 November 2016
Download annotated agenda here (PDF version)

I. Welcome 

Mario Pezzini, Director, OECD Development Center


II. Changing the State of the Public Debate on Development:

A number of events have shaken up the public debate on development in many OECD countries. These include the refugee crisis; terrorist attacks and security threats; and divisive referenda and electoral campaigns.

How have these events affected public attitudes to development and aid? 
How are DevCom members communicating about changes in aid allocations to respond to the refugee crisis?

Lead Presenters:
David Hudson, Senior Lecturer in Political Economy, University College London (UCL)
Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson, Senior Lecturer in Political Behaviour, (UCL)
Jörg Faust, Director, German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval)
Eva Bratholm, Head of Communications, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
Eva Bratholm, Head of Communications, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, and Co-Chair, OECD DevCom


III. Engaging the Private Sector in Development: New Narratives


The growing role of the private sector is a core feature of the 2030 Agenda, and some multinational enterprises have embraced the SDGs, both as core business and as corporate social responsibility. 

How is our understanding of the private sector’s role in development evolving?
How do development institutions communicate with businesses?
How can we partner with and learn from the private sector to broaden the reach and improve the quality of SDG campaigns?


Lead Presenters:

Nathalie Jaubert, Deputy Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, BNP Paribas
Helene Toury, Marketing & Communications Director, Middle East Africa, Veolia
Raúl de Mora Jimenez, Communications Specialist, UN SDG Fund
Ursula Heinrich, Head of Unit, Development Information & Communication,  Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration & Foreign Affairs, Austria


 Bathylle Missika, Head of Partnerships & Networks, OECD Development Centre


IV. Harnessing the Power of Entertainment Education

The Population Foundation of India seeks to alter and transform deeply entrenched social behaviours and promote the empowerment, health and wellbeing of women. How has the Foundation’s soap opera helped?


Special keynote presentation:

Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India


Pierre Duquesne, Ambassador of France to the OECD and Chair of the OECD Development Centre Governing Board


V. Sharing Early Experiences & Lessons on SDG Communications 

The SDG implementation phase has begun and countries are defining their policy priorities and strategies for the SDGs.

How have UN institutions and DevCom members been approaching the need to engage citizens on the goals?
How are citizens engaging with the goals? What are the opinion polls telling us?
How is civil society helping to build a global movement for the SDGs?


Lead presenters:

Caroline Petit, Deputy Director, UN Regional Information Centre, Brussels
Adi Mistry Frost, Head of Strategic Communications, Civicus
Perrine Bouhana, Associate Director, GlobeScan


Facilitators for the afternoon sessions:

Henri-Bernard Solignac Lecomte, Head of Strategic Communications, OECD Development Cluster
Felix Zimmermann, Coordinator, OECD DevCom


VI. Demonstating Progress: Innovative Approaches for the SDGs

The global SDG monitoring framework is taking shape and countries are considering how to best measure and demonstrate progress towards the goals. New technologies and innovative tools can help.

Will the SDGs affect the way we benchmark global progress?
What new tools are allowing us to make results more visual and interactive?


Lead presenters:

Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Desmond Spruijt, Director, Mapping Worlds


Henri-Bernard Solignac Lecomte, Head of Strategic Communications, OECD Development cluster



Day 2 Agenda - 10 November 2016                         

I. Welcome Remarks

Douglas Frantz, OECD Deputy Secretary General


II. Development Communicators in 2016: Both Crisis Managers and Development Educators?

Across development institutions, communications professionals are faced with both growing demands and budget pressures. They need to balance day-to-day priorities with longer-term strategic work. They need to acquire specialist skills and engage with a growing number of stakeholders. Meanwhile, their main audience – citizens – appear to be losing trust in public institutions. They have a challenging role to play in demonstrating that their institutions are delivering results for development and citizens alike.This session features an explorative discussion on how the nature of members’ work is evolving.

What tools and skills can help members address their challenges?
What experience, lessons and advice can members share?
What value do they see in international collaboration and networking?



Linda Smiroldo Herda, Speechwriter, OECD Development Centre


III. Strategic Directions and Support for DevCom in 2017-2018

The Discussion Note on the 2017-2018 DevCom work programme proposes themes and deliverables for the biennium. It also outlines DevCom’s financial situation, clarifying what resources are needed to keep DevCom operational.

What themes and activities should DevCom prioritise?
How should the network evolve to deliver maximum value?
What financial support will DevCom members pledge for 2017-2018?



Bathylle Missika, Head of Partnerships & Networks, OECD Development Center
Felix Zimmermann, Coordinator, OECD DevCom


Lead speakers:

Hillevi Ekberg, Acting Director of Communications, Swedish International Development Agency
Patrick Reichenmiller, Deputy Head of Communication Management Unit, SDC, Switzerland



IV. Appointment of DevCom Co-Chairs for 2017-2018

V. Next Steps & Conclusions


Bathylle Missika, Head of Partnerships & Networks, OECD Development Centre




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