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Au Revoir! CommGAP Says Goodbye

Anne-Katrin Arnold's picture

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.

CommGAP was launched as a Trust Fund in 2006, our donor was the UK's Department for International Development. CommGAP's mission was to mainstream communication in governance work throughout the World Bank and in development practice. Over the years we have published close to 50 books, policy briefs, discussion papers, technical briefs, and workshop reports. We have hosted and co-hosted more than 30 knowledge events throughout the world, with development practitioners and academics exchanging ideas and know-how on how communication can help to promote governance reform in developing countries. We have trained practitioners, civil society, and government officials in the effective use of communication for development - we covered everything from how to write a message to how to push through an entire reform. Our blog is among the most widely read World Bank blogs and even claimed the number one spot for a while. At this very moment, yours is one of more than 650,000 page views that we registered since the blog launch in 2008. Our operational work has brought us to Mongolia (in the winter), to Kenya, to South Africa, to Cambodia, Morocco, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Vietnam, Mozambique, Uganda, the Philippines, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. We made many friends and found many allies in donor organizations, universities, civil society, and governments - and among you, the readers of this blog.

Yes, we're a little proud. And we hope that our work has been useful to you and that you have enjoyed reading our missives on this blog. We'll be around, so please check back in here and send us a note! We'll continue to promote the role of communication for development effectiveness and governance reform, and we hope you'll stay with us throughout the next stage of our work.

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Submitted by Henriette on
Dear CommGap team, you have all reasons to be proud! CommGap's voice in the governance debate inside the Bank and beyond has been incredibly important. Too few are able to approach the complex issue of governance and state-citizen compacts comprehensively. CommGap's work was able to bridge the divide between the supply and demand sides of governance and to provide a framework that truly reflect "real world" conditions. It was able to cut across silos and connect people and ideas across a wide spectrum. I can only hope that "au revoir" means not good-bye forever and that the legacy of your work will carry on. My real secret hope is of course that CommGap will be able to come back in some new incarnation - it is still so very much needed. Thank you for the great work you have done. Working with you was a great pleasure and privilege. Henriette

Submitted by Thomas Jacobson on
Dear CommGap team, An elegant leave taking, Anne-Katrin. But I would like to second Henriette and express the hope that CommGap's work will continue within the Bank, faring well in another form. One bit I would like to add is my appreciation for the way the program worked to bridge not just the divide between supply and demand sides of the governance process but also the divide between academics and practitioners. But it is clear that these communities have much to learn from one another, and much to contribute to one another as well. It is not a divide easily bridged, but the numerous valuable books and reports CommGap produced demonstrate that it can be done, and done well. A model for future collaborations i should hope. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had working with the very talented team who served under Sina Odugbemi's leadership. Tom J.

Submitted by Fumiko on
Dear CommGAP team, Congratulations on all that you have achieved in the last five years! I feel privileged and fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of something so dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking. I second all that Henriette and Prof have said, and can only add that I am now trying my best to apply what I've learned and heard in my work at CommGAP in my current work. It is not an easy task. I hope that CommGAP will come back to resume the important work it started. In the interim, I am so happy to hear that the blog will continue to challenge us in our thinking on the why and how of effecting change. Congratulations again, and thank you. Fumiko

Submitted by Yanina Budkin on
Dear CommGAP team, I also second Henriette and hope that CommGap's work will continue within the Bank, in whichever form you and all us, could find. Your unit was key to provide an academics perspective and framing to what we do in the field that I found extremelly useful! I specially enjoyed your publications and books. All the best and hopefully in the near future, CommGap will be around us again. Yanina

Submitted by Patrick on
Dear CommGAP Team Congratulations to all your accomplishments during the past years. Through your dedication, the mainstream development practitioners within and outside of the World Bank listened, learned and (hopefully) applied more systematically interactive "communication for development" approaches. Bravo! Under the motto- Don't Cry Because its Over- Smile Because it Happened- I wish all of you all the best and look forward to a continued involvement in the future. Best personal regards Patrick Kalas

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