From my perspective as a comms professional, one of the most exciting things about the Sentinel project is our close relationship with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (ME&L) team; two of the project’s comms staff are also ME&L staff.
Deliberately planned engagement between the two teams has meant we have been able to really closely align our communications ideas to the project’s theory of change targets and think about the practical implementation of comms activities that support this. “Obviously!”, I hear you say. But in my experience, it is truly amazing just how often a theory of change is locked away in project documents and not referred to in a continuous and active way.
Our recent communications and M&E workshop in Ghana started with a good look at our communication strategies. After thinking through the natural phasing of our comms programme we saw a comfortable fit between this overall plan and our theory of change milestones.
The programme will also have a strong bias for outcome harvesting – where we will collect evidence on what has changed, and then work backwards to determine whether or how a particular intervention has contributed to this change. Evidence gathering often includes a conversation with key stakeholders providing yet another ME&L tool that can really add to a great comms strategy. More of that later – watch this space.
Focused communications strategy aligned to key Theory of Change targets