The seminar on ‘Starting Effective Dialogue with a Sceptical Public’ was hosted by the Portuguese Institute for Development Assistance (IPAD, I.P) and co-organised with the DevCom Secretariat over the course of 2 days from 5th-6th May 2011. The seminar brought together DevCom members to discuss the challenges and methods of communicating with a sceptical public. Megan Lloyd-Laney, of CommsConsult led the seminar, the interactive presentation and discussions across the two days encouraging members of the Secretariat to engage with the problem and find new solutions. Day 2 included presentations by three chosen DevCom members and following discussions took place in break off groups. A subsequent ‘Toolkit’ was produced from the results of the discussions over the course of the two days.
Training and Workshops
CommsConsult provided this seminar with in-depth and interactive presentations and practical activities across two days, including presentations from DevCom members. The workshop aimed to provide organisations, specifically those running campaigns, with a set of techniques to deal with ‘aid sceptics’. Day One began with an introduction from Megan on how and why the public become sceptical and throughout the day members of organisations were encouraged to look into the reasons behind their own personal ares of scepticism and the reasons they overcame them. Break off groups conducted SWOT analyses of their own organisations to calculate the strengths and weaknesses of their campaigns. Participants analysed the challenges and methods of engaging with a sceptical audience and were provided with practical communication tools for future campaigns.
Day Two incorporated three presentations from DevCom members, sharing examples of campaigns in Finland, Norway and Belgium in order to showcase real tactics, results and challenges. The final breakout groups of the session looked at creating meaningful dialogue with specific audiences through the techniques and lessons learnt over the course of the seminar.
Following the workshop CommsConsult provided a Toolkit for effective dialogue with sceptical audiences.