Options for the development of a mechanism to advance the scale and effectiveness of communication and media for development, social and behaviour change strategies and action related to local, national, regional, and international development priorities

Rafael Obregon
Warren Feek
Publication Date
May 26, 2017

UNICEF (Obregon); The Communication Initiative (Feek)

This is the primary paper for consideration at the all-interested-parties meeting to be hosted by UNICEF on June 27th and 28th, 2017 in New York.


This paper is the core document for the communication, media, social and behavior change all parties meeting on June 27th and 28th in New York, hosted by UNICEF. It presents the rationale, purpose, consultation process, worries, priorities, analysis, and mechanism options to be considered by that meeting as it makes decisions about the best global mechanism to help advance the scale and effectiveness of the work of this important Development community.

Note: While this paper has been drafted by UNICEF’s Communication for Development Section, New York, and the Communication Initiative, it is an attempt to reflect the views, concerns, and recommendations derived from multiple discussions with and contributions by partners across the world. 

A. Stimulus

Continued and improved progress to achieve the priority development goals in international, regional, national, and local contexts requires that the fields of work that comprise the development tapestry become more effective at greater scale. This applies to the communication, media, social and behavioural change community, with its emphasis on people-focused and -driven principles for effective action. Improvements need to be made. Key challenges need to be addressed and progress made.

B. Purpose

Derived from the extensive consultations outlined below this paper provides the framework and options for the June 27th and 28th meeting to make the following decisions:

1.    Which specific priority worries and issues need to be addressed in order for this field of work to become more effective at greater scale.
2.    Which mechanism provides the best organizational possibility for addressing those priority worries.
3.    What are the main steps that need to be taken to implement that mechanism and who is responsible and accountable for taking that action. 

C. Consultation and input

An extensive consultation process has informed the analysis and options that follow. This included:

  • Consultation meetings (face-to-face or virtual) with key people in this field in: the Middle East and Southern Africa (17 participants); The Hague (18 participants); London (31); Geneva (25); Washington, DC (21); New York (34); and East and Southern Africa (27).
  • A survey completed by 527 people from 91 countries responding to questions asking them to identify their priorities, opportunities, and challenges.
  • A specific community group focused on the mechanism options – 236 people submitted and discussed 42 substantive contributions.
  • The consultation questions were also asked of The CI’s Soul Beat network of people active in this field in Africa – 15 substantive contributions were received and discussed.
  • Through The CI’s University and Higher Education network, the questions were posed to people involved in academic institutions who are engaged in this field of work - 43 contributions were received and discussed.

With good geographic, development issue, and communication, media, social and behaviour change balance, there has been considerable input into the analysis and ideas that follow.

There is a critical dialogue focused on this paper at this link: Draft Paper: Global Mechanism - Comments and critique please


Editor's note: Above is the beginning excerpt from Rafael Obregon's and Warren Feek's 18-page paper "Development Calling". You can navigate between sections of the full paper by clicking on the links within the Table of Contents, below.


Introduction, Purpose, Stimulus, Consultation

Worries, Opportunities, Priorities, and Core Question

The Options - Specific Problems on Which to Focus

The Options - Operating Mechanisms

Structural and Funding Base - and Conclusion


Image caption/credit: "UNESCO and UNICEF co-lead national consultation on SDG 4 in Turkmenistan" - Avadiplomatic.com