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Having discussed field experiences in communication for development in Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Burkina Faso and Niger, and the design and implementation of a National Communication for Development Policy (NCDP); and

Having analysed the problems encountered in the implementation of the NCDPs in the different countries.

The participants recommend that:

  1. ECOWAS member countries include communication for development as a priority in government activities and as a factor in political, economic, social and cultural development. To this end, communication for development should be an integral part of all national programmes and policies.
  2. Each states ensure articulation between the national Poverty Alleviation Strategy and the NCDP to increase the impact of development programmes and projects on grassroots communities.
  3. The NCDP coordinating structure be housed within an autonomous and credible institution capable of guaranteeing efficiency and functionality.
  4. All development projects and programmes include an adequately financed communication component (allocated about 8 - 12 percent of the overall cost of the project or programme).
  5. The different development actors be trained in communication for development.
  6. States wishing to implement a National Communication for Development Policy create, in all ministerial departments and public institutions, communication units mandated to prepare and implement sectoral communication strategies.
  7. Special consideration be given to monitoring and evaluation throughout the NCDP implementation process.
  8. ECOWAS urge the governments of member countries to design and implement NCDPs.
  9. States which design NCDPs assign competent personnel and adequate financial and material resources to them to ensure sustainability.
  10. A conference of ECOWAS ministers in charge of Information/ Communication be convened to examine the results and recommendations of the Niamey workshop.

The workshop also came up with the following suggestions for countries interested in NCDP design and implementation:

- Present to development actors the experiences gained by other countries in order to arouse the interest of national authorities;

- Organize a seminar for the design of NCDPs for the leaders of the countries;

- Organize mini-workshops for partners, institutions and civil society organizations at each step of the preparation and implementation process.

Niamey, 5 April 2002

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