Communication for Development

The UN Inter-agency Roundtable on ComDev

Several UN resolutions have referred to communication for development. In particular in 1996, through the General Assembly Resolution A/Res/50/130, the United Nations acknowledged:

“The pivotal role of communication in the successful implementation of development programmes within the United Nations system and in the improvement of the interaction among actors in development, namely, the agencies, organizations, funds and programmes of the United Nations system, Governments and non-governmental organizations”.


Recent Roundtables have sought to build on the “One UN” Agenda for UN agencies and external partners to collaborate on developing and supporting ComDev initiatives at the national level. They have also prioritised the development of ComDev strategies in support of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. A major recurring theme has been the  need to strengthen and mainstream the discipline of ComDev within UN agencies. The last two UN Inter-Agency Roundtables started working in this direction. They tackled the three main and interrelated priorities for mainstreaming communication in development, which are as follows:

  • The issue of advocacy with policy makers;
  • Monitoring and evaluation to demonstrate impact; and
  • Training of communication for development professionals.

Thus the process of formulating and implementing a common UN strategy for institutionalizing and mainstreaming communication in development has begun.

FAO Communication for Development

What is ComDev

Communication for Development (ComDev) is a social process based on dialogue using a broad range of tools and methods. ComDev is about seeking change at different levels including listening, establishing trust, sharing knowledge and skills, building policies, debating and learning for sustained and meaningful change.

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FAO – Research & Extension Branch
Communication for Development
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome, Italy