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A regional knowledge exchange on knowledge management (KM) and communications was held from 23-25 August, 2016 in Bangkok. The event involved participants from 10 countries and 5 additional organizations. While the primary audience of the knowledge exchange was KM and communications professionals engaged in REDD+ programmes across the region, UN-REDD Programme Technical Advisors and Programme Managers were also invited to participate to build their understanding of the role that KM and communications can play in supporting REDD+ and the readiness process.

On the second day of the event, participants were given the opportunity to benefit from a succession of “training” sessions, on topics such as Advocacy: means and methods, Graphic Design and Layout Concepts, The use of internet, multimedia, and social media, and Organizing education and awareness raising activities. On the third day, a round-table discussion was held with external agencies including IUCN, Freeland, WWF and RECOFTC on their KM and communications activities and explored possible links with the UN-REDD Programme.

The wrap-up session captured key conclusions and recommendations for facilitating KM and communications work in order to ensure greater impact in national REDD+ processes. It was noted, for example, that while KM and communications represent an essential component of capacity building for REDD+ implementation, it is often not explicitly incorporated into the theory of change, and instead seen as something of an optional “add-on”. 


Some highlights from the A/P regional meeting on "Knowledge Management and Communications"
taken in August 2016, at Bangkok, Thailand. Photo Credit: Heang Thy

The view of KM and communications as superfluous was understood by participants to be partly a result of KM and communications specialists not sufficiently emphasizing the importance of their work. This, in turn, may stem from a lack of confidence of the specialists in dealing with what are viewed as complex technical issues related to REDD+. Therefore, opportunities for KM and communications personnel to be receive training on REDD+ are important.

The value of exchanging information among different regionally-based organizations was recognized, and a commitment made to organize future informal meetings among the organizations and, when possible, another similar event in the future.

Meanwhile, the Technical Advisors and Programme Managers also identified their top priorities for KM and communications work, which were:

  • Support the development and implementation of KM/Communications/Media Strategies, focusing on ensuring consistency in messages for key audiences;
  • Development of information notes on specified topics/issues such as lessons learned on drivers analyses; and lessons learned on approach for Policies and Measures identification; and
  • Capacity building and training for all stakeholders on required topics (four elements of REDD+ under the UNFCCC framework).


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