Ready, Set, Communicate!
To improve existing communication strategies, a common challenge brought together, in two days, a dozen representatives from youth organizations of the NET-MED Youth Algeria group. Participants had only two days to become equipped with new tools and skills that would enable them to better develop internal and external communication actions within their organization. Team work, brainstorming, role play, simulations and debates were some of the ingredients that made this workshop a success. Its participatory methodology and collective dynamics were key.
This all happened on September 30th and October 1st, from 9 am to 5 pm at Hydra Hotel in Algiers. Organized by members of the NET-MED Youth group in Algeria in partnership with the Human Development Network (HDN), the workshop themed “Internal and External Communication: The Multiple Tools for NGO Communication”, comes as a response to a need expressed by the youth organizations themselves.
On the one hand, the goal is to ensure a better management of the information flow inside the organization, for an improved work efficiency. And on the other hand, the idea is to enhance the visibility of the organization and its presence in the local and regional media field.
“This workshop enables youth organizations to enhance, internally, the efficiency of information flow, but also to improve their communications strategy externally, to highlight the actions they undertake in the field and to promote their activities and projects,” says Nawel Guellal, trainer and head of HDN.
This initiative was the first in a series of three capacity-building workshops targeting Algerian youth organizations in the field of information, communications and media. It is, above all, a skill-sharing opportunity.
“We teach executive members in associations different practical communication techniques so they can acquire new skills to communicate, notably with the use of new digital technologies,” says Aissa Merah, university professor and expert in communication strategies for organizations.
Both Aissa and Nawel Guellal were trainers at the workshop.
"There are many youth organizations in our country, but they are not represented in the media," says Adel Bourgazen, representative of the Algerian network for the protection of children's rights, NADA. "We are asking all organizations to build a good communication strategy to enhance the visibility of their activities and projects."
The workshop went beyond the classical learning method. Its very format was an enabler of inter-personal exchanges and networking; and this brought a much-appreciated added-value.
The workshop, which had been inaugurated with words from Andrea Cairola, Communication and Information Advisor for the UNESCO Maghreb office, and by Nacim Filali, National Coordinator of the NET-MED Youth programme in Algeria, drew to a close after two days, to the full satisfaction of participants.
“As a communications officer for the association SIDRA, my participation to the workshop on communications of youth organizations has been very beneficial,” says Lamine Zellag, a participant. “It was an occasion to learn, and above all, one to gain awareness about the impact that internal and external communication can have on an association’s positive image. This workshop also facilitated networking among actors involved in communications for various youth organizations, to discuss about difficulties and advantages that they may encounter in this field, and to develop a communication strategy to adopt in the future, and to increase organizations’ efficiency and impact through the media.”
Lamine goes on to say “All of this took place in a festive atmosphere between the participants and trainers, but most of all, my general feeling is that it’s pleasant to work together for the same cause!”
The next meeting is already on the agenda: at the end of October 2016, a second workshop will be dedicated to media relations, in an attempt to respond to the needs of the same organizations in this area.
Activities building skills among youth organizations and young journalists; to enhance youth representation in media and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy and youth-generated media content.
Activities joining youth organizations, employment experts and different national stakeholders to engage in dialogue and work together on unemployment solutions and skills needs.
Activities empowering youth to participate in the communal and national development, revision and implementation of national youth strategies and public policies.