The following steps seem to be necessary in the process of designing and implementing a national communication for development policy.
1. Expressed national willingness to design a national communication policy in support of development programs.
2. Establishment of a National Committee to provide strategic guidance to the design effort.
3. Identification and selection of themes and sectors to be involved in the situation analyses and background studies, in the context of national possibilities.
4. Preparation of a summary document outlining the major development thrusts, and the socio-cultural-economic challenges and realities of the country. This will serve as a reference/guide for national experts preparing sectoral and other studies.
5. Organisation of a national training and consensus building workshop for national experts and others involved in the design process, to facilitate common understandings and set common values and goals.
6. Undertaking of desk and field research in the identified areas, using a common methodology and especially participatory approaches.
7. Organisation of regional/provincial consultations to assess information and communication needs at these levels, and to involve the views and ideas of frontline development workers and grassroots communities in policy the design process.
8. Preparation of a summary document of the results of field research and information collected at national and regional levels, as a background paper and stimulus for national dialogue.
9. Organisation of a national workshop to design a national communication for development policy, involving a broad spectrum of stakeholders from government, civil society, private sector, NGOs and community based organisations. Inputs to the workshop include the conclusions and recommendations of the regional/provincial workshops, which are then discussed, noted and actioned as necessary.
10. Report back consultations to stakeholders especially at regional/provincial levels.
11. Design of a national communication for development program with short, medium and long-term action plans, sectoral programs and budgets.
1. Reaffirmation of the national will to commit to the implementation of the adopted policy. This should involve government, civil society and all actors in national development.
2. Establishment of a credible, independent, flexible institutional framework for the implementation and management of the policy. This should include both a policy-level organ and a technical secretariat of qualified experts.
3. Identification and allocation of human and financial resources for the national coordinating mechanism.
4. Promotion of the national communication for development policy to obtain support from development partners and national stakeholders, including grassroots communities.
5. Organisation of donors round table and other actions for resource mobilisation.
6. Monitoring and evaluation of the national communication for development policy.
These steps while not meant to be followed mechanically should be thoroughly examined in each national exercise, to ensure that the most suitable design and implementation process has been followed, so that the resultant policy and its implementation will add value to national development.