DPI/NGO Relations Communications Workshop
“NGOs Navigating the United Nations”
Report by BKUN Intern Devindree Pillay
Thursday, April 12, 2012
This Communications Workshop focused on teaching the NGO Community how to more effectively navigate the vast United Nations system and how to use social media to assist in more effectively disseminating public information messages to their diverse target audiences. The morning discussion featured a diverse 3-member panel, each of whom shared their personal and professional experiences working within the United Nations system. It was followed by an interactive afternoon Workshop which focused on building inter-generational dialogue through the use of social media while at the same time expanding the connections and contacts between NGOs. Attendees were taught how to strategically develop an online and social media presence that could be specially tailored to the goals, needs and character of their organizations.
Key points raised by the panel and workshop included: • The importance for NGOs of knowing and understanding how the United Nations system is structured and where to find information through use of the UN’s many resources including the Dag Hammarskold Library, the UN website: www.un.org, the DPI Resource Center, the weekly DPI/NGO Briefings. • The importance of NGOs having a clear sense of what they wish to learn about before attempting to successfully explore the UN system.. • The effectiveness of NGOs developing strategic coalitions and partnerships with other NGOs and civil society organizations in the UN system in order to galvanize global and regional support for critical advocacy projects and programmes. • Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to rally an audience around an NGO’s cause or a specific project. Understanding the needs of the audience being served, and knowing which social networking format would be most effective within a given community can go a long way to developing a successful and responsive online presence.
The entire workshop clearly demonstrated the DPI’s sincere support of the noble work that NGO’s are doing, and a benevolent aim to facilitate smoother operations in the NGO’s efforts. This was a very encouraging atmosphere to be within.