This publication explores how the use of strategic communication has expanded beyond the Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS) and is now being integrated into national development planning and implementation. Many of these strategies are shifting their focus from a “dissemination and publicity strategy” to a “communication program” that emphasizes information interventions beyond the traditional campaign, workshop or seminars. Enhanced communication has evolved hand in hand with enhanced citizen participation. Both have been increasingly integrated into policy planning, budgeting, and government processes more generally. Citizens increasingly are making the leap from policy awareness to demands for accountability.
The challenges of communication in national development strategies—both within and between government, civil society, and donors—correspond to some of the key challenges of the PRS initiative: how to create a genuinely participatory and comprehensive process. The rise of new information technologies has helped make civil society even more central in the national development debate. Improving communication can provide opportunities to reconfigure the relationships among government, donors, and civil society.
Communication for Governance & Accountability Program (CommGAP), World Bank, Washington DC, USA, 104 pp.