Strengthening engagement between governments and citizens
Public communication contributes to better policies and services, greater citizen trust, and, ultimately, stronger democracies in an increasingly complex information environment. Done effectively, it provides accurate and timely information and allows the opportunity for stakeholder participation and feedback.
Overcoming big policy challenges requires better dialogue between governments and citizens. In 2021, only 45% of countries set transparency as a primary objective of communication, and only 8% used it for promoting participation. The deficit of transparent, inclusive and responsive communication has a clear cost in terms of loss of trust, disengagement and can even outright protest.
OECD work in this area
The OECD is looking to identify how the public communication function can be reformed and conducted more strategically to better support good governance, open government objectives, policymaking, and service design and delivery.
This analysis is taking place at a challenging time for media and information ecosystems, marked by a shift to digital platforms for news and information, the decline of print and broadcast journalism, and growing restrictions to press freedoms in many countries. This transformation has occurred in parallel to a series of international crises that undermined people’s finances and health, with direct consequences on their trust in the ability of the state to protect them and ensure their well-being.
The rise of mis- and disinformation adds to the complexity. In 2021, only 38% of Centres of Government had developed guidance in responding to this threat.
These transformations have created new priorities for public communication and also allow for unprecedented opportunities in its application. The OECD is supporting its members and partners to identify areas of cooperation and reform to meet this challenge.