Towards a common UN system approach: report of the 10th UN Inter-Agency Round Table on Communication for Development

This report summarizes the proceedings of the 10th UN Inter-agency Communication for Development Round Table, held at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 12 to 14 February 2007. The Round Table was convened on the theme ‘Harnessing Communication to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals: Towards a Common System Approach’.

The meeting’s objectives were to increase joint Inter-agency collaboration at Headquarters and UN Country Team levels; strengthen awareness among UN system organizations on ways in which the impact and effectiveness of Communication for Development can be measured; and introduce mechanisms to harmonize Communication for Development programming approaches within the UN system.

The Round Table provided an important forum to take stock of the extensive range and scope of Communication for Development-related initiatives and activities being implemented by the UN system. A consensus emerged around three broad cross-cutting and overlapping approaches practised in the UN system: (a) Communication for Development as governance or participation; (b) Sector specific communication; and (c) Information and communication technologies.

There was also recognition that Communication for Development cannot be divorced from the wider context of UN reforms. Participants agreed that a number of activities proposed during the Round Table needed to be designed and implemented. The two sets of actions were adopted.

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