Communication in NGOs (donors & stakeholders)

To connect and successfully achieve a communication goals -- you’d need to understand the 5Ws in communications.

The Who, Why, Where, When, and What.

These are essential in leading any communication effort in a small or large
non governmental organisation.

Let’s start with who you have to communicate with!

Stakeholders include anyone with a vested interest in your project, as well as
those who can influence the project’s budget and future.

Every kind of stakeholder needs management and communication, ranging from an occasional “light touch” to detailed, frequent updates and check-ins.

Once you’ve identified your stakeholders and analysed their level of interest and
involvement, the next step is to make a strategic plan to both manage and communicate with them.

Tip: While brainstorm, ask your team and yourself these questions!

  • Who cares about this project
  • Who is critical to the project’s successful execution?
  • Who can cause delays or setbacks?
  • Who can influence the opinions of
    others?

Communication and Engagement
Plan

A Communication and Engagement
Plan is a written document that describes who you need to
communicate your improvement work to, the purpose of communication with them, the communication method you will use,
how often you will communicate and
who will communicate with the
audiences identified.

Why Use It?

To generate interest, enthusiasm and
support for the improvement work at
the outset keeping stakeholders informed, up to
date and to sustain interest with progress of the improvement work.

Tip: Identify the
stakeholders i.e. the
key people and
groups who should
be informed about
the improvement
work and the level of influence they have.

HOW TO START?

  • Identify the purpose of the communication for each of the groups
    identified, for example to engage,
    sustain interest or share outcomes
    and celebrate success.
  • What will be communicated. Some features may include: Why this
    particular improvement work is
    important, changes, results, lessons
    learned and next steps.

NOW MOVE TO HOW!

  • Identify the best method of communicating with each of the groups identified.
  • Identify when each group will receive
    communication.
  • Identify who in your team will carry
    out each piece of communication.
  • Some organisations have communication teams and specific
    branding for the organisation.
  • Tip: It would be useful to contact them to
    check at the start of your communication plan.

How it looks?

MONITORING STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

It’s the process of monitoring project stakeholder relationships and
tailoring strategies for engaging stakeholders through modification of engagement strategies and plans.

The key benefit of this process is that it maintains or increases the efficiency and
effectiveness of stakeholder engagement activities as the project evolves and its
environment changes.

This process is performed throughout the project.

How does it work or what are the steps?

  • Work Performance Data

Work performance data contains data
on project statuses such as which
stakeholders are supportive of the
project, and their level and type of
engagement.

  • Organisation Processes

Via NGO policies and procedures
for social media, ethics, and
security or
NGO policies and procedures
for the issue, risk, change, and data
management and the organisational communication requirement.

TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES

1. Decision Making

Decision-making techniques that can be used for this process
include:

  • Multi-criteria decision analysis:

    Criteria for successful stakeholder
    engagements are prioritised and
    weighted to identify the most
    appropriate choice.
  • Voting: Voting can be used to
    select the best response for a
    variance in stakeholder
    engagement.

2- DATA ANALYSIS

Data analysis techniques that can be used for
this process include:

  1. Alternatives analysis: This
    can be used to evaluate options to respond to
    variances in the desired results of stakeholder
    engagement
  2. Root cause analysis: A root cause analysis can be used to determine the basic underlying
    reason that stakeholder engagement is not
    having the planned effect.
  • Stakeholder analysis: The stakeholder analysis
    helps to determine the position of stakeholder
    groups and individuals at any particular
    time in the project.

3- DATA REPRESENTATION

A data representation technique used in this process includes but is not limited to a stakeholder
engagement assessment matrix.

The stakeholder engagement
assessment matrix monitors
stakeholder engagement through
tracking changes in the level of
engagement for each stakeholder.

4- CHANGE REQUESTS

A change request may include corrective and preventive actions to improve the current level of stakeholder engagement.

Change requests are processed for
review and disposition through the
PerformIntegrated Change Control
process.

COMMUNICATING WITH STAKEHOLDERS

A little bit of empathy costs nothing, but accomplishes great strides in addressing
project opposition.

Show the stakeholders you care. Stakeholders
understand that someone wants to win them over,
and that the organisation probably has a plan to do
just that.

Believe me, there are many, many projects
out there where organisations have engaged
stakeholders with an aggressive, empathy-free
attitude attempting to strong arm the stakeholder
into project approval. You are better.

in the next page you will polish your skills and assist
your team when needed.

COMMUNICATING INTERNALLY

Use these successful method / competencies and apply them!

  • PRESENTATIONS

Presentations provide
clear information to stakeholders.

Tip: Having a presentation is optional; you
are better off focusing on the
dialogue!

  • FEEDBACK

Feedback is used to
ensure that the
information to
stakeholders is received
and understood.

  • NETWORKING

Nettworking ensures
access to information
about levels of
engagement of
stakeholders.

  • REPORTS

Backed up with data and
statistics you should
highlight the top
performing parts of your
project and reassure the
stakeholders you have the
situation in control.

  • ACTIVE LISTENING

Active listening is used to
reduce misunderstandings
and other
miscommunication.

  • POLITICAL AWARENESS

Political awareness is
used to understand the
strategies of the
organisation,
understand who wields
power and influence in
this arena.

  • LEADERSHIP

Successful stakeholder
engagement requires strong
leadership skills to communicate
the vision and inspire
stakeholders to support the work
and outcomes of the project.

  • CULTURAL AWARENESS

Cultural awareness and
cultural sensitivity help the
stakeholders/communication manager or your teammates to plan
communications based on
the cultural differences and
requirements of
stakeholders and team
members.

KEEP THEM INFORMED & HAPPY

As approach the end of the line, knowing where everyone stands with regards to the project is incredibly helpful
when strategizing around communication.

Mapping out who needs some extra attention, who’s already onboard, and who
will be a thorn in your side can help you prioritize how you spend your time
keeping folks aligned, building consensus, and putting out fires.

Slot each stakeholder based on their level of support for the project! Use this technique to help you

  • Unaware

The stakeholder doesn’t know anything about the project and its potential
consequences on their areas of concern.

  • Resistant

The stakeholder is aware of the project but is opposed to it potentially actively
advocating against it moving forward.

  • Neutral

The stakeholder is aware of the

but is neither supportive nor opposed to it.

  • Supportive

The stakeholder knows about the

project and wants it to succeed, but isn’t
spending much time or political capital.

  • Champion

The stakeholder is actively engaged,

committed to the project’s success,

and
willing to lend assistance to the team.

Easy,right?

Once you know where everyone stands, you can identify opportunities to move
strategic stakeholders into holding more favorable views of the project!

BUILD OUT YOUR

COMMUNICATION PLAN

1 — WHICH CHANNELS AND FORUMS WILL YOU USE TO COMMUNICATE?

  • Email
  • Slack
  • Automated updates from project tools — Trello?
  • Project specific meetings
  • Management meetings
  • All hands meetings
  • One-on-one meetings

2 — WHAT ARTIFACTS WILL BE SHARED
USING THESE CHANNELS?

  • Product roadmaps
  • Project plans (PWP)
  • Demonstrations
  • Metrics and KPIs

3 — EARLY ENGAGEMENT WITH KEY
STAKEHOLDERS

  • Get donors and sponsors onboard and excited
    about the project and its
    potential to build allies.
  • Ensure they’re being informed using their
    preferred communication channels
    and level of detail.
  • Define up front what to leave in and what to
    exclude to best manage their expectations.

4 — GET THE EXTENDED TEAM ONBOARD

  • Get support, cooperation, and commitment
    from key stakeholders, implementation, team members and partners.

Tip: Note their specific
concerns and areas of interest and map out how
to get them the
information and updates
they need.

BEFORE YOU
START

As you identify the stakeholders and how to manage them most efficiently, you will also start to have the
beginnings of your communications plan.

Begin with a simple grid filled out l with the stakeholders you’ve
ranked, and jot down what kinds of communications they would expect and need.

When you are creating this plan, be mindful that while high-level l executives want to be kept in the loop on
high-profile projects, their time is also quite valuable.

A good project manager knows how to balance
communications that keep someone important feeling informed, but not bogged down with granular
details.

Likewise, “extended” stakeholders don’t need to have access to everything about the project, as
long as they feel they are being heard and have input.

Sam Alsroré worked with notable organisations such as
UNICEF, LinkedIn. His work in Yemen
led him to be the recipient of “Humanitarian of the Year Excellence Award”.

Sam led projects in
India, UK, Tanzania and Yemen. He’s also the recipient of the “United Nations Africa Recognition Award” in 2018 for his work in the development sector.

in it for the development of humanitarian aid projects.