That's it - CommGAP is closing shop. October 31 will be the last day of the program. We look back on five years of research, advocacy, capacity building, and operational support in communication for governance reform. And yes, we are a little proud. As a friend of CommGAP told us last week, this end is an occasion to celebrate. And never fear - the blog stays on! The World Bank's External Affairs Operational Communication department will take over, with Sina Odugbemi and Diana Chung at the helm. Look forward to some new bloggers who will share with us new ideas and experiences from new areas of operational communication in development. CommGAP's many resources will remain accessible on our website.
As CommGAP draws to a close, I've been reflecting a bit on what I've learned from the program over the last five years and the many interesting research, practice and policy questions still left to be explored.
For me, CommGAP was one of the first programs to take a critical look at the phenomenon we call "good governance" by drawing linkages between the related but conceptually distinct strands of accountability, transparency, access to information, citizen voice and mobilization, civil society capacity building, media development, public opinion formation, democratic deliberation, and state capacity/ resilience/ legitimacy. I still remember a conversation I had with Sina at a conference many years ago, asking him how he envisioned the "connective tissue" between all these concepts. The CommGAP program, in a sense, was Sina's answer, and I've been lucky to be able to help articulate some of this work.
Bhanwar Gopal, an artist from the Barefoot College, prepares traditional Rajasthani masks for plays and puppet shows with material from recycled World Bank reports. "We keep getting these reports that no one reads, so we decided to put them to some use," founder Bunker Roy says. [Source and image: BBC]
Regardless of its veracity (we’ll come to that in a moment), the BBC’s story raises a couple of serious questions. Exactly how much does the Bank publish? And does it have any impact?
The second question is, of course, hard to answer. But as Martin Ravallion and I found out when we tried to answer both questions, even the first isn’t easily answered.
I may spend my entire day staring at a computer screen, but when I'm not at work, I'm an avid magazine reader. Because of that, I've become increasingly interested in how the magazine industry is responding to the changes in media consumption and content delivery.
As part of the effort to improve estimates of remittance flows within the framework of Balance of Payments statistics, the IMF's Statistics Department, together with the "Luxembourg Group," has completed a draft of the new International Transactions in Remittances: Guide for Compilers and Users (RCG). The chapters and appendices are presented at the IMF's website.