dirksen's picture

JOIN HERE! Discussion Forum for 7th Global RCE Conference

Dear colleagues and friends,

Warm greetings from the RCE Global Service Centre!

We are starting preparations for the RCE Global Conference operational session on Communications and Outreach. We have made some significant progress since our last meeting in Kerkrade, and several of you have joined the Communications Working Group that was set up to help move last year's action points along. It has been a pleasure working with you on these efforts!

For this year's global conference, we are hoping to engage all of you in a discussion group online and, depending on your travel plans, in person to help further develop our communications action plan. If you feel as though you've been erroneously included on this list, please email me directly and I will remove you from further mailings.

The discussion will take place via the RCE Portal but since many of us are new to the Portal or have yet to register, we will be duplicating the initial stages of the discussion on this email list. Please feel free to share your thoughts on whichever service (email list or RCE Portal) that you feel most comfortable with.

A few items to get you started:

1. RCE Portal Registration and Joining the Online Discussion:

Please click the "Register" button on the upper right hand side of the Portal home page to Register on the RCE Portal. You will need to give the Site Password which is "rce" (no quotation marks). You will then be asked to create your own personal password.

Once registered, please click on the Communications & Outreach Discussion group and ask to join the group. You can see the other discussions taking place by visiting the RCE Portal Conference page here:

2. Communications Survey:

Following the Kerkrade meeting, we conducted a survey of all RCEs to better understand their communications needs. Attached please find the Key Findings of the survey. These may prove a useful starting ground for our online discussion. We will be happy to share the full results if desired.

3. Follow up Items from 2011:

Below are the action items from the Kerkrade conference and their current status.

ACTION: RCE Global Service Centre will conduct a communications needs assessment survey among RCEs that would eventually lead to a more formal communications strategy in 2012.

STATUS: Needs assessment survey completed; Communications Working Group formed; 2012 Action Plan created based on the needs assessment survey

ACTION: As a whole, RCEs should better share their experiences via the RCE Portal, esp. to strengthen partnerships and share meeting opportunities with other RCEs for collaborative action

STATUS: Ongoing but with challenges; A “Getting Started” online manual has been created for the Portal but until Discussions for 7th Global Conference began, there was little activity on the Portal; Merging of the RCE Reporting Site with the RCE Communications Portal is a planned activity for the second half of 2012

ACTION: Communicate more consistently with current stakeholders and create policy recommendations on specific issues

STATUS: Ongoing; SCP Factsheet Policy Section as example of an approach; Revised communications materials

4. Online Discussion Members:

The following is the list of members and their RCEs included in this discussion group.

Ali Bukar Ahmad RCE Kano, Nigeria

Jose T. Travero RCE Bohol

Wan Lu RCE Greater Shangri-la

Miyuki Hirota RCE Okayama

Yoshinori Odo RCE Okayama

Kanako Goto RCE Kitakyushu

Yoshiko Misumi RCE Kitakyushu

Katae Terasaka RCE Kitakyushu

Dr. Puji Astuti RCE Yogyakarta;

Akintunde Gideon Babatunde

Niels Larsen RCE Denmark

Koji Okamoto RCE Okayama

Tatsuaki Saito RCE Okayama

Kennedy N. Ondimu RCE Mau

Christian Buettner RCE Nuremberg

Eduardo Sacayon RCE Guatemala

Margaret Fleming RCE East Midlands

Mari Nuutinen RCE Espoo

David Ongare RCE Greater Nairobi

Jos Hermans Ubuntu Committee

Jos Rikers RCE Rhine Meuse

Anna Dirksen UNU-IAS

We look forward to hearing your thoughts via email or in our online discussion!

All best,

Jos Rikers & Anna Dirksen


josr's picture

Dear colleagues and friends, As the conference is approaching rapidly I thank Anna for initiating this discussion. First I would like to suggest to all of us who have registered for this discussion group to switch on email notifications for new entries in this discussion group. If you do this you will get an email message in you mailbox containing a link that takes you directly to the discussion. So you only have to go to the portal if there is somethin new of interest for you. How to switch notifications on? On the top of the screen you see the green bar. In this bar there is a link called Settings. Click it and in the next screen you see the option Community notifications on the left. Click this option and you will see a list of communities you can pick. Tick the box next to this discussion group and do not forget to SAVE. NOTE: This will only work after you have provided your email address in your profile. Please complete your Profile if you have not yet done so.
dirksen's picture

From Ali Bukar Ahmad: Dear Colleagues, A scan through the 2011 communication survey shows that most of the recommendations made were met long ago.with the exception of few among which is -feature one RCE per month with a success story and case study. And to the best of my knowledge that is not anybody's fault but the system (if at all it is a fault anyway) Secondly, the survey for communication within RCE network shows that "send out a monthly e-update on events and programmes got the most vote/mark 5.0 the highest being 5.2 Furthermore, the interested the RCE community with 5.0 mark was "promote RCE success stories in international media" it was closely followed by "Revitalized UNU-IAS website and individual RCEs the task that had been accomplished a very long time ago. My suggestions based on the above are: 1- we should look at the area we excelled and try and improve on them 2-Look at our weaknesses and constraints and try to over come them 3- look at our opportunities and utilize them and try to create how cease moments. These may be a huge task for us but as i said earlier on, the success of other components of our ( the entire RCE community) activities aims and objectives within the framework of ESD i.e transformative learning, collaboration and partnership, networked governance and research and development all depends on quality and eminence of communications, medium of communications and the comprehensiveness of its outreach. Our present communication systems in my opinion can be improved through the following: COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH PLANNING 1- Communications strategy development 2-Target group, external audience, knowledge,attitude and practices analyses 3- Medium and media selection and mixing COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH STRATEGY 1-Communications and outreach on programs should be defined, simplified before hand what for and for whom the information is meant and how target group and beneficiaries are supposed to translate them into local communications and actions/ adopt them. 2-Isolated initiatives and communications means and medium should be integrated into the larger comprehensive strategy. 3.All components of communication strategy objectives -information, communication or education in any communication task must be analyzed -different media communication channel compliment each other and each has a unique characteristic or unique advantage that useful to accomplish a specific purpose 4-Target group should have access and be familiar with the communication media 5- communication media should accommodate easily, localized message that can be locally developed, produced and supported operationally. 6- Finally, strategic communications planning means to select which medium or combination of media should be used, for what purpose by whom in order to deliver which specific message and to whom. (Strategic com.4 SD 2006) Next i will illustrate the points with examples and case studies form some RCEs and them move forward. Hope we will all enjoy the discussion by expressing our candid opinions. Ali Bukar Ahmad Note I will gladly appreciate criticism because what i submitted is based on my experience and work as a Senior Manager Communication of a sub-region in Nigeria. I am pretty sure there are world of experience that i never come across out there.
dirksen's picture

Dear Ali, These are excellent suggestions and important feedback. Certainly, from the Global Service Centre side of things, we are struggling with ways that we can get relevant stories, updates and case studies from each of the RCEs to share with the wider network. I get the sense that many RCE members are already overwhelmed with work that asking them to contribute articles on top of their already packed schedules is difficult. We've been trying to think of ways of using the annual reports of each RCE as material for newsletters and the like in the meantime, but perhaps this is an issue we can share thoughts on as well in this group. I think your planning/strategy suggestions are all very strong and I look forward - as I'm sure many of us do - to any examples you might be able to share, either via this chain or at the conference itself. Much thanks, Anna
josr's picture

Dear all, In response to what has been put forward so far I would like to comment. One thing that strikes me is that the RCE's in general expect the RCE Service Centre to take initiatives: newsletter, web pages, tool-kits. This is a very understandable expectation and so far we have seen supportive activities from the Service Centre. But at the same time I also see the struggle of new RCE's to develop a strategy and cope with the work involved. For the existing RCE's I see the struggle for resources to keep up activities once started. I would therefore argue that once an initiative is launched by the Service Centre we need a mechanism that involves the RCE's to provide the content and to actually share experiences. This would indeed require extra effort, but the effort can be shared so the benefit will be there as well. If such a mechanism is not in place I am afraid that initiatives are likely to fade away. I would like to suggest that we try to find a mechanism that will keep the discussion and the information exchange going and will lead to the products and activities that all RCE's are looking for. I would think along the lines of an editorial board or team that would actively try to organize information exchange. This could be organized thematically or regionally and supported by the Service Centre. Looking forward to your response, Jos Rikers
dirksen's picture

From Emily at RCE Tantramar: After reviewing the key findings of the RCE Communications Survey, I've identified the main points from which RCE Tantramar would benefit most significantly at this stage in its (early) development: Within the RCE Network Greater facilitation/ease of exchange of best practices Outside the RCE Network Communication and advocacy tool-kit for RCEs Revitalization of RCE Pages on UNU-IAS RCE website RCE Tantramar was just launched this year and is located in a rural, relatively small region compared to many other RCEs. For this reason, its communication and outreach needs are likely different than many other larger or more urban RCEs. Nevertheless, with over 100 RCEs in the world, there is much that we can learn from each other, especially since many RCEs already have several years' worth of experience. Within the RCE network, RCE Tantramar would benefit significantly from the exchange of best practices – this should cover communications and outreach, but also other strategies, campaigns, and initiatives related to ESD (in all levels of formal education, non-formal education, and informal education). The discussion groups structured for the global RCE Conference could serve as examples of categories under which best practices could be found on a page of the RCE website or within the RCE portal. For use outside of the RCE network, a communication and advocacy tool-kit for RCEs, especially ones just starting, would be extremely helpful. There are probably as many ways to launch an RCE as there are RCEs, but, having just begun one, it would be very helpful to have suggestions from which to build based on a variety of successful experiences of other RCEs. If possible, it might be even more useful to have tool-kits for RCEs tailored to different regions of the world, by population size, whether the RCE is urban/rural, etc. A tool-kit might include topics such as: strategies for introducing a new RCE into a region, assessments of the pros and cons of various communication tools (ex: RCE Tantramar decided to use a Wordpress website because of its affordability and user-friendly design), and a guide to structuring communication strategies (social media, website, print media, establishing contacts with local/regional/national news, etc.). Tool-kits, like other best practice materials, could be listed on a revitalized page of the UNU-IAS RCE website or the RCE portal.
rcekano1's picture

I obsolutely agree with Jos, RCEs should be providing the ontent of what ever communication channel developed by the service center. Channels like tool-kit webpages, newsletters etc. Furthermore, mechanisms that will keep the discussion and information exchange are well provided by the service center at least in the survey, like sending out a monthly e-update on events and programmes, feature one RCE per month with a success story and case study,device e-news letter and send it out regularly. These are all mechanisms for "continuous communication among the RCES which is highly imperative. But are these mechanisms viable? if not was is happening to them, waht are their weaknesses and constraint so that we convert them.