The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) Global Secretariat led a two-day Communications Workshop for members and partners across regions, constituencies, and task forces last 19th and 21st of October.

Through the event, CPDE aimed to help build each other’s skills in developing and implementing a communications strategy, introduce tools and resources that members can use for Effective Development Cooperation-related communications work, and create a space to share best practices, experiences, and concerns around CPDE-related communications.

Day 1

CPDE Capacity Development Coordinator Glenis Balangue kicked off Day 1 with welcome remarks, while CPDE Network Manager Jennifer Padilla talked about the CPDE rebrand which sought to reflect CPDE’s unique mission as a global civil society platform .

She was followed by CPDE Communications and Capacity Development Officer Daniela Sepulveda, who spoke about improving coordination across the platform to amplify collective CSO voices in CPDE-related communications work. More specifically, the presentation outlined different ways in which members could share resources and know-how to collaborate on social media and reach out to media outlets.

CPDE Communications Officer Fanny Porot then delivered a presentation summarising Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) principles and techniques for effective website management. She provided practical information on writing compelling stories in the age of shorter attention spans, and increasing site traffic through the use of the right keywords, tags, and hyperlinks, and meta-descriptions.

For his part, CPDE Webmaster Alvin Villamor demonstrated how to stream webinars and how to upload information onto the CPDE website while maximising viewership through proper tagging and categorisation.

Two CPDE members then generously shared their best practices and experiences in communications work: International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), through Alain Rodriguez, and Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN), through Simona Mladenovska. Specifically, Alain shared ITUC’s communication trajectory for the #Timefor8 campaign calling for real action on SDG 8 and the need for a new social contract.

Day 2

The second day of the workshop was more interactive with participants being encouraged to comment on their experiences and best practices.

CPDE Communications Manager Meg Yarcia delivered an extensive presentation on Building a Communications Strategy where she outlined the different parts of a communications strategy and plan, and tips in crafting messages and engaging one’s audience. She also provided links to a more detailed guide to creating a communications strategy along with a sample communications plan.

Towards the end of her session, Matt Simmonds, CPDE’s Senior Policy and Liaison, made a brief intervention, elaborating on CPDE’s Effective Development Cooperation (EDC) advocacy and how we engage in different policy arenas.

Finally, Karl Castro, an artist and designer who has collaborated with CPDE for various communication materials on EDC shared a presentation on Design Thinking titled, “One with our audience: Notes on art and design for meaningful conversations.”

In his session, he encouraged participants to think outside the box and step out of their comfort zones when drawing up communication materials. Beyond talking about aesthetics, Karl delved into a holistic approach that reflects on the interactive nature of materials, whether the material produced is empowering and whether it opens space for conversations, among other considerations. He particularly emphasized that “design is not how it looks, but how it works”.

The two-day workshop was moderated by CPDE Finance Manager Maty Dominong.

Available in English, French and Spanish, the recordings and presentations may be viewed here. #

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