In order to fulfill its mandate, the International Center for Evaluation and Development (ICED) needs to design and deploy a dynamic Policy Engagement, Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy. As the first Africa-based international think-tank that seeks to leverage on ongoing research and evaluation projects, the institution needs to design and implement a strong stakeholder engagement strategy and aggressively go out to market its vision and strategy in order to secure support for its agenda by various stakeholders.
As a Africa-based and Africa-led Think and Do Tank ICED is obligated to keep all Africa stakeholders informed of its progress, achievements, and lessons learnt against investments made into the institution. The ICED Policy Engagement and Communications (PEC) strategy will therefore incorporate a strong knowledge management focus and will aim to enhance the understanding of the organization by its stakeholders and position the organization as a though-leader at the regional and global level. Aside from enhancing visibility and brand positioning of the organization, an aggressive communication, policy engagement and knowledge management strategy will seek to help the ICED management and its partners influence policy and practice change within the African continent.
Positioning ICED as a strong brand requires a clear understanding of the organization’s stakeholders and the development of clear messages targeting specific audiences. Our communications strategy will also include a strong advocacy agenda and will involve a proactive rather than reactive approach. Further, the strategy will seek foster accessibility and transparency for ICED by clearly demonstrating to its stakeholders that the organization is managing resources prudently and that its products and services offer value for money.
In summary the PEC strategy is expected to achieve the following:
- Promote a positive image and brand for ICED at the regional and global level
- Create buy-in and support for the ICED mission and work that the organization is doing
- Share information, knowledge and learning from the organization and its partners to the wider public
- Foster engagement with policy makers, partners and carefully identified stakeholders with a view to influencing, shaping and informing policy and practice as well as decision making
- Strengthen internal communications
To position the organization as the go-to institution in the provision of policy engagement, results-focused monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management and impact evaluation expertise in Africa.
The Policy Engagement and Communications (PEC) strategy seeks to position ICED as a thought leader and influencer in the African development landscape. Our aim is to position the organization as a unique, credible and trusted voice within the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and Impact Evaluation industry in the continent. Taking advantage of key global and regional policy frameworks such as the SDGs and the Malabo declaration, we seek to ensure that the organization’s internal team and external stakeholders understand the organization’s strategic approach and deliver on its strategic objectives in a seamless manner.
Our Strategic Objectives
The strategy will be implemented around five key strategic objectives as follows:
- To build and sustain a strong brand and profile for ICED aimed at generating buy-in for the organization’s business models and approaches among its key stakeholders
- To promote policy and practice reforms and become the leading voice in championing for evidence-based, results-focused and business-driven development in Africa.
- To enrich documentation and knowledge sharing to demonstrate the impact of ICED and its partner’s investments and contribution to the African development sector.
- To enhance accountability and foster confidence within African governments, the donor community and other stakeholders regarding the authenticity of ICED’s governance and management of resources.
- To build and sustain a progressive internal communications culture within ICED that promotes staff awareness about the institution’s work.
Aside from seeking to create a strong global brand for ICED, the organization’s policy engagement, knowledge management and communications approach is partnership-oriented and seeks to creatively utilize knowledge and research results generated by the organization and its partners to inspire policy and practice changes. Our goal is support the organization’s objective to catalyze transformative change amongst communities and citizens at large. Our communications strategy will seek to inspire positive action by policymakers, beneficiaries and other actors in the development sector. Working with programme teams, the PEC Department will create a platform for various stakeholders to define dynamic approaches to be deployed in supporting the policy formulation and implementation process. Our team will seek to generate powerful and dynamic dialogues and conversations between stakeholders from government, the public sector, private sector, ordinary citizens etc through the provision of various platforms for engagement.
The Policy Engagement and Communications Program also seeks to ensure the effective utilization of the numerous research findings and information coming out of M&E assignments and impact evaluations derived from projects undertaken by academics and other actors in the development sector, with an aim of driving a progressive change agenda. We seek to ensure that research and knowledge coming out of the continent effectively informs the design of organizational policies and strategies, institutional program and projects and events both at the local, regional and global level. All of this is done with an aim of enhancing accountability, good governance, generating buy-in for new knowledge and generating public support for the approaches and projects designed by various institutions.
Our public engagement, communications and knowledge management work will be implemented around ICED’s five cross-cutting themes. By identifying and tracking cutting-edge research and M&E projects being undertaken by ICED and its partner institutions, show-casing best practices and positioning our partners as thought leaders, we will seek to leverage on new and existing knowledge in the global south to drive a systemic change agenda. In our communication and engagement efforts, we will target several groups including decision-makers in government, the business community, civil society organizations, farmer organization and the academic sector.
In implementing our Policy Engagement and Communications strategy, we will leverage on ICED management’s vast experience in evaluation and impact assessment work. We will ensure results and findings from strategic evaluations and impact assessments done by ICED and its partners are packaged into various products and properly disseminated at local, regional and the global level. The PEC team will seek to support ICED’s partners to develop creative and dynamic policy engagement, knowledge management and communications strategies that enable them meet their research and policy influencing goals. Further, the Program will support organizations to establish effective knowledge management systems and to disseminate program research results outlining key findings and recommendations to various stakeholders.
Internally, PEC team seek to build capacity of the various Programs to be able to effectively package and disseminate research results and knowledge coming out of various projects with the duty bearers and carefully targeted audiences. Our strategy will include a strong digital strategy as well as take advantage of ICED’s social media platforms.
More specifically, through the process described above, the ICED communications team will seek to help partner organizations do the following:
- Share research results and work being undertaken on key national and regional issues and priorities
- Identify and communicate policy and practice gaps and constraints affecting communities and institutions they are working with
- Design stakeholder engagement strategies and advocacy campaigns targeting major duty-bearers
- Use innovative communications tools to package and communicate the positive contributions of partner institutions to the achievement of systemic change in target communities and countries
- Organize powerful convenings and events to share knowledge, show-case best-practice and support the scaling up of what is working
- • Establish progressive knowledge management systems and approaches in order to ensure M&E results are packaged into strong knowledge products and widely disseminated to carefully targeted audiences.