Last year, CommGAP and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) jointly organized a learning event on the role of communication in anti-corruption efforts, bringing together anti-corruption agencies, senior practitioners, and academics to talk about communication-related challenges faced in anti-corruption work. There, we heard several issues that troubled the anti-corruption agency officials, but one in particular stood out: agency officials were deeply conflicted with the task of working effectively with the media and journalists. While in theory, they understood the importance of working with the media for their work to be successful, in practice, they did not quite know how to establish a good working relationship with the media.
In an effort to equip anti-corruption agencies with tools to overcome this challenge, CommGAP is continuing its partnership with UNODC on two upcoming initiatives. First, we will soon be launching a joint white paper entitled "Building Public Support for Anti-Corruption Efforts: Why Anti-Corruption Agencies Need to Communicate and How.” It explains the reasons for anti-corruption agencies to communicate effectively with both the media and the public to gain public support for themselves and the anti-corruption struggle. The white paper also provides practical tools and suggestions on how to go about doing so.
Secondly, CommGAP and UNODC will hold a side event during the Third Conference of the States Parties (CoSP) to the UN Convention against Corruption in Doha, Qatar this November. Scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, November 10, the side event will examine two important topics. Session One, entitled “Make Media Your Friend, Not Your Foe: Do’s and Don’ts in Media Relations,” will provide anti-corruption agencies with an opportunity to interact with each other and share lessons learned on latest techniques for establishing a collaborative relationship with the media, so that media would become an important ally of anti-corruption agencies and support their work to fight corruption. With the help of the media, accurate information about corruption can reach the public, whose support is fundamental to anti-corruption agency’s long-term survival and success. The session will begin with three presentations--first two presentations on the work of media relations units within two anti-corruption agencies and the third presentation on the topic of media relations around investigations--followed by a plenary discussion.
Session Two on “Good Practices in Awareness Raising Campaigns” will review a selection of good practices on anti-corruption campaigns from member states and civil society to better inform future prevention work against corruption. Four case studies will be presented, followed by a discussion on how the successful framing of the issue helped raise public awareness and generate public intolerance of corruption. Follow up activities will include the development of practical training tools for the anti-corruption community, such as an easy-to-use advocacy guide for NGOs implementing anti-corruption strategies.
Keep an eye out for the upcoming white paper and report of the side event, both of which will be posted on our site. To those of you attending CoSP in Doha, please come join us at the event!
Photo Credit: Flickr user Kenny Miller