USAID S2S Concludes Governance Communication Training For Information Officers, Journalist In Ebonyi

Media Professionals and information officers have been trained on governance communication and citizens feedbacks in the best approach of communicating government policies and programs to the public. The advise was given at a 3-day training of information officers of MDAs and selected some selected journalists in Ebonyi State. The workshop was organized by USAID State2State team held at Cirenes Hotel Abakaliki from 1st to 3rd March 2022.

Giving insight on the essence of the training, Ahmed Mohammed who is the Citizens engagement Director and team lead Advisory Team, and the citizens engagement and capacity building specialist, Mr. Ibiam Azu Agwu on behalf of Ebonyi State team lead of USAID State2State, Barr. Sam Onyia, explained that the training workshop was to further equip information officers of MDAs and media persons on how best to communicate government programs and policies to achieve accountability, transparency and effectiveness which are the major focus of State2State program.
Mr. Ibiam noted that the training was expected to review the recently developed Ebonyi State Communication strategy with particular attention to communication need of the citizens on governance accountability, transparency and effectiveness in service delivery.

In a paper presentation, a Communication Specialist, Mr. Obinna Chukwezie explained that Governance communication aspires for people's participation on different levels of government programs and policies.
"It is governance communication unless people are directly and actively involved in the government discussions on the matters concerning them. Government communication is more about relationship and less of delivering messages from one point to another."

He advised participants to always fix communication strategy to a particular context, research on the interest of different audience, show success stories about impact of responsible media on democracy and to always encourage government officials to open up policy process for scrutiny.

The communication specialist also charged media handlers to always define their intended results, identify target audience, channels for sending the message, best media platform and how best to package the message.
On her part, State2State Gender and Social Inclusive Specialist, Ejiro Okotie emphasized the need for media and information officers to share information in a way that everybody irrespective of gender and people with disabilities can understand without any barrier.
Other areas and topics discussed at the training included communication strategy, elements of communication, group works, tools for communicating governance reforms, best practice in effective communication, ways to gather citizens feedbacks and communicate back to government. Others are freedom of information law: impacts and implications, interactive sessions and group presentations.

In an interview, some of the participants including the Ebonyi State NUJ Chairman, Mr. Tony Nwizi, Rosemary Eziube of Radio Nigeria, Uchechukwu Idam of NTA, Eugene Ebenyi of the Ministry of Information and State Orientation among others thanked USAID State2State for the training which they said was an eye opener on how best to communicate with the citizens and as well receive their feedbacks on government programs and policies.

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