Communications Community of Practice
In general, peacebuilding and peacebuilding work does not enjoy a high profile either in the public or policy space. Despite this, most EPLO member organisations want to be able to communicate their work and messages as effectively as possible, whether for the purpose of advocacy, for the visibility of their (partners’) work, to raise awareness about peacebuilding or for fundraising purposes.
The problem is that many EPLO member organisations are doing this with limited resources. Communications (and especially strategic communication) is not often prioritised in NGO contexts, which are typically characterised by already stretched capacity. It is rare for communications and advocacy staff to have the opportunity to meet or exchange.
The fact that we often face similar challenges and communications / advocacy contexts makes an even stronger case for having a community of Practice (CoP) for peers to draw on each other’s experiences with communications-specific challenges, as well as for learning, innovation, resources, and tools.
As a CoP, the expertise we need may be found among other members of the group, or by pooling resources to invest in skills-building when external input is needed. Either way, this can greatly reduce the cost of expanding or developing specific communications expertise for organisations.
Given the importance of communication in creating visibility, influencing, representing and persuading, peacebuilding organisations cannot afford to lag behind. A CoP among EPLO member organsations can be a small but valuable contribution, focused on supporting the staff that will design, implement or advise on their organisations’ communications and advocacy.
What does it look like?
An informal community of practice to exchange on communications- and advocacy-specific challenges among EPLO member organisations (as exchanges usually only take place between policy or programmatic staff / management). A practice-based initiative that provides opportunities to learn / problem solve among the members and to come together to develop and expand the skills necessary for this area of work.
For more information about the Communications Community of Practice, please contact Maria Cipriani.