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Citizens' Voice

 

Communication & media for a more open government

Public communication and media ecosystems play a critical role in ensuring that policies respond to the needs and aspirations of citizens. They both rely on and reinforce the open government principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder participation. Communicating effectively and fostering a robust media sector is all the more important given low trust in government in most countries and a global context where online and social media are increasingly shaping citizens' perceptions, and where disinformation and hate speech are proliferating. 

 

Responding to the continuously evolving media and communication landscapes and their challenges requires an effective policy and legal framework, clear strategies and adequate capacities at national and local levels. To this end, the OECD is cooperating with countries in the MENA region to promote strategic public communication that supports open government principles and contributes to improved policymaking and public services. 

 

Through its MENA-OECD Governance Programme and with the generous support of the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the first phase (2016-2018) of the Citizen’s Voice project helped establish and strengthen public communication networks at the national level in Morocco and Tunisia. As part of the initiative, the OECD produced analysis and recommendations for the governments, as well as capacity-building activities on a number of topics. 

 

 

Currently in its phase two (2019-2020), the project focuses on implementing a selection of recommendations from the Citizens' Voice reports in Morocco and Tunisia, while scaling its activities to the local level in these countries. The project has additionally expanded to Jordan and Lebanon, for which the OECD is conducting public communication reviews and capacity building.

 

Establishing and strengthening networks of public communicators and key stakeholders in the media and civil society The OECD supports Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia by:

  • Publishing its "Citizens' Voice" reports, which assess public communication structures and the media ecosystems at national and local levels, and provide tailored policy recommendations
  • Conducting capacity-building seminars on access to information, social media use and strategic communication

The Reports revealed that open government principles could be further embedded in Tunisian and Moroccan public communication strategies, as most ministries do not clearly prioritize citizen participation and transparency.

 

The growing use of social media platforms is an opportunity for governments to reach and engage with a wider variety of audiences, including traditionally underrepresented groups in policymaking such as women and youth.

 

In order to address the growing proliferation of online disinformation and hate speech, governments could develop social media guidelines, build the capacity of public communicators and promote media literacy programmes at national and local levels.

Key Highlights from the Citizens' Voice Reports

 

Publications

   

 

Events 

Learn more about our work on:

Open Government

Public Communication & Media: Key Components of Open Government

 

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