Jimmy Okello speaking at the Partners' consultation in Hong Kong. Photo: Contributed
In mid-2016 WACC invited a representative from Community Media Network Uganda (COMNETU) to participate in a Partner Consultation titled “Linking Communication Rights to the Sustainable Development Goals”. It took place December 14-16, 2016 in Hong Kong in collaboration with WACC’s organizing partner Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants.
Having seen the list of participants and panelists presenting, I realized it would be a wonderful opportunity to meet with experts in the field of communication for sustainable development and to discuss strategies for advancing communication rights in our local, national and regional context.
The Consultation was a new and eye opening process through which WACC collected opinions and views from partners about its own and others’ future communications activities. As an external partner participating in the consultation I felt it increased the legitimacy and hence the quality and credibility of communication proposals. It is a method we shall consider to use to improve on our media network.
During the consultation WACC sought out comprehensive overview of differing interests, to make sure that proposal for activities were based on the best available information. The consultation ensured maximum participation, openness, and coherence.
Consultation documents provide on a USB memory drive and web links were clear, concise, and included all necessary information such as the Introduction to the Communication Rights Charter. Such documents can also be used by COMNETU during a similar workshop to educate and inform its members.
All the participants were given an opportunity to express their opinions, and adequate awareness of the matters to be consulted upon was ensured through pre meeting documents communicated via email. Partners were also given sufficient time for responses and feedback through the evaluation form was provided.
In my view, the consultation strategy worked well and reached out to partners, met its objectives, and we look forward to further outcomes as participants have time to reflect on the experience and to apply it to their own work.