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Ensure clear and continued communication among project partners and stakeholders.

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Ensure clear and continued communication among project partners and stakeholders.

Ensure clear and continued communication among project partners and stakeholders.

Posted on August 13, 2019 by Lillian Holmes

Authoring Organizations: Pacific Institute
Consulting Organizations: 2030 Water Resources Group
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
PVH Corp
Universal: Yes
Last Updated Aug 13, 2019

Overview

Communication is an essential part of any project. Good communication with stakeholders and beneficiaries raises awareness as to why a project is necessary and beneficial. Clear communication can also generate local ownership for the future of the project and the behavior changes the project seeks to promote.

Benefits

Clear and consistent communication among partners and stakeholders will provide:

  • Clarity about the project process and progress.
  • More trust among partners as everyone is well informed.

Guidance

  • A local coordinator or project manager can assist with effective communication. The use of a local coordinator can build trust with the local community and partners as the coordinator will better understand local norms and practices.
  • Where possible and applicable, hold meetings in the local language to gather more input and collaboration from stakeholders.
  • Use innovative forms of communication to reach the local audience. For example, consider using an acting troupe or a local authority such as a university to convey key information to a general audience.
  • Communicate regularly and don’t over-complicate the information.  Simple and effective communication is best. The best communication method will depend on the stakeholders – consider email, newsletters, SMS, WhatsApp, phone calls, or another means of communication.
  • Don’t forget to document communication and feedback so it can be referenced later if needed.

Example

When forming the Protecting Lake Hawassa (PLH) partnership in Tanzania, participants discussed various communication tools and rated the options by preference and effectiveness. Maaza – the partner leading the Community and Stakeholder Engagement (CASE) –  decided that a priority project within the partnership should be to raise community awareness of the risks to the lake.  No proposed technical solution to tackle the pollution of the lake (e.g. better solid waste management) could succeed without community education.

To raise awareness in the local community about how poor solid waste management can impact local water supply, the Protecting Lake Hawassa (PLH) partnership organized a half marathon in Hawassa with a trash collection event the day before. They also organized smaller activities in the industrial park, including jerry cans with educational messages, and created an essay competition for local schools on the benefits of protecting Lake Hawassa.

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This lesson learned reflects the beliefs and experiences of the author, not necessarily the Pacific Institute, CEO Water Mandate, or UN Global Compact.