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What are Communication Challenges in Field Offices?

Hervé Huot-Marchand, Head of Office,UNESCO Office in Bamako

The challenges of communication in conflict and post-conflict countries, such as Mali, are linked to the very specific nature of this situation, characterized primarily by a state governance made difficult and complex by several demanding actors. This leads to decentralized governance that may even prove almost non-existent in some regions where insecurity is still high and difficult to overcome, because of asymmetric conflicts and multifaceted challenges. Communication also faces challenges related to the various past or continuing violations of human rights and civil liberties in all their forms (physical, social, economic and cultural).

To address such communication challenges, UNESCO Office in Bamako acts in coordination with other United Nations agencies as well as with MINUSMA, within the framework of the United Nations Communications Group (UNCG), defining a coordinated communication strategy, organizing awareness raising, and advocacy activities around debates, radio broadcasts that are beneficial to both the Government and the communities.

 

Christian Manhart, Head of Office, UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

One of the communication challenges we face in Nepal is the fact that the country has exactly 123 official languages, mainly due to the large number of different ethnicities. The UNESCO Office in Kathmandu has two education field coordinators based in the Far West and the Southern Terai regions, who both originate from there and are able to work in Nepali and the respective local languages, Maithili and Dodeli. Many of our local publications and community radio programs, for example on comprehensive sexuality education, are disseminated in those and other local languages. This ensures that we reach many communities difficult to access.

Since 2014, we publish all texts on our website not only in English but also in Nepali, and this has increased our visibility all over the country considerably. We count on the UNESCO transformation process to also provide our office with the multilingual web platform, allowing us to publicize in more languages. 

 

 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of UNESCO