Stakeholders engages NGOs, Funders on ways to harness strategic communications

By Abija reporter

Adedoyin Jaiyesimi, AdeolaAdemokoya, Ehi-Dakwo, DrTobi Oluwatola


Comms Avenue in partnership with Luminate a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has engaged other NGOs, communications experts and sponsors/funders of NGOs on ways to harness strategic communications and make impactful and sustainable contributions in the society.


Ms Adedoyin Jaiyesimi, Co-Founder of Comms Avenue, said this at a one day stakeholders meeting held in Abuja.


The meeting was themed: How Change Agents, Funders and Creative Agencies can harness the power of strategic communications.


It focused on ways development professionals, change agents,, NGOs and their funders could work better with the media and strategic communications professionals for greater impact.


Jaiyesimi emphasized the need for change agents working especially on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to understudy the roles and relevance of communications experts in their projects and provide adequate support to boost their work.


“We have interviewed NGOs and other change agents that are working on social impact projects in Nigeria to find out the struggles they have working with communications experts and vis-a-vis communicators too.


“We realize there’s need for better understanding of the roles of communicators and though change agents are doing amazing jobs in making societal impacts but if the story tellers and the communications experts are not writing or telling the stories well.


“To the right audience, in the right way and at the right time, it will not get the impact that they want, especially in Nigeria where there are a lot of societal issues that change agents are providing solutions to,” she said.


She said that it was pertinent for change agents to prioritize strategic communicators in their projects budgets in order for them to adequately projects the contributions and impact they’re making in the society.


Jaiyesimi said that strategic communications was beyond press releases and programs and it should be expanded to accommodate strategic communications trainings for professionals and practitioners in the various space.


Mrs Valary Mumbo, an Associate of Luminate Africa, also reiterated the need for NGOs and other change agents to understudy, prioritize and infuse strategic communications into their programs and projects.


Mumbo said that the outcome of effective collaboration between change agents and strategic communicators would have more significant impact in any society.


According to her, there are enormouse benefits for change agents to work with strategic communicators, they will make tremendous social impact, solicit magnanimous public support for the SDGs and ellicit behavioral change in the society.


“Our goal in Luminate is to influence funders like us to understudy the peculiarity of the change agents, the strategic communicators and funders and collaborate to make better measurable impacts.


“Today’s event is just a conversation starter and we hope that with the actions of the different groups, there will be better collaborations towards working to make social impact.


“An original research on this focus has been commissioned in Kenya with the Comms Avenue and we are excited to conceptualize the findings in Nigeria and we are positive about the outcome from the use of the resource tools and kits,” she said.


She urged NGOs, Civil Societies and other change agents to ensure to incorporate communications from the birth of their projects to the final executions, because communications was central to any successful project execution.


Mumbo also appealed to funders, donors and sponsors of projects to be more vocal and flexible with fundings, especially for the inclusion of strategic communications.


Mr Emmanuel Kuyole, Ford’s Foundation Programs Director of Natural Resources and Climate, said that the roles of strategic communications remained integral and could not be overlooked.


“It was quite important for us to be a part of these meeting because of the focus on how to build collaboration between change makers, strategic communicators, experts and funders.


“We have explored a couple of things and there is need for change makers to be able to prioritize strategic communications as part of their strategic work which is integral to achieving the kind of results that they want.


“Funders and sponsors of projects have been urged to accommodate robust strategic communications budget to help the eco-system to build the needed collaborations.


“It has been identified that part of the challenges of change makers includes funding and funders need to do as much as they can to be flexible in their fundings to provide the needed support to the entire agents in the ecosystem,” he said.


Kuyole urged journalists, contents creators, media consultants and practitioners to build their skills and upscale their capacity in the different areas of expertise in order to meaningfully interact and contribute to the works of change makers across sectors.


Other stakeholders at the meeting lauded the timely event and called for more engagements that could foster synergy and collaborations for more impactful contributions to national development.


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