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Your host, CEO and Founder of contentgroup, David Pembroke, is joined by two of the OECD's policy analysts, Karine Badr and Carlotta Alfonsi, to discuss the OECD's Report on Public Communications. The trio walk through some of the key findings of the report and share the process in which the data was obtained.


Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, government was rushed into the opportunity of utilising new digital channels for engaging with and listening to citizens. The OECD report was based on the OECD 2020 Understanding Public Communication Survey results provided by 46 countries and the European Commission. The questionnaires targeted centres of government (CoGs) and ministries of health (MHs), to ensure both a whole-of-government perspective as well as a sectoral one from a key service-providing ministry were captured.

"Citizens actually look at the government as unitary. They don't understand or necessarily care about the silos of the internal bureaucracy of government. So when they see disjointed or not coordinated messages coming their way, it can create confusion, and it can actually undermine the efficacy of each of the communication of different ministries that might on their own be quite well crafted and effective. And I think COVID-19 provided a very good demonstration of the need for coordination and most of all of cohesive communication." - Carlotta Alfonsi

This episode touches on the key challenges faced by government communicators. For example, more than three quarters of CoGs (76%) and MHs (79%) identified lack of human resources and skills as one of the top three challenges in conducting core communication functions. 

Another point the trio touch on is that of evidence and data. Specifically its place within the current structure of many governments and its challenging demand for a specialised skill set.

"The issue about structures and capacity really links to kind of ensuring that public communication is considered as a profession in itself. And it's historically not always been the case, but as any profession it requires standards, guidance, skills. And so we've really seen how capacity, structures, skills, training came up for most countries that we've talked to. " - Karine Badr

To view the executive summary of the OECD report click here

Discussed in this episode:

  • Research process for the OECD report
  • The key Findings of the OECD report
  • Challenges faced by Government communicators

*01:00 The OECD is not an international organization but rather an inter-governmental one. 

*03:33: The survey for the report was launched in January 2021 and not 2022. 

David Pembroke has recently released a blog focusing on the key takeaways of the report which can be found here.

The transcript for this episode is available here: EP#131 The OECD Report on Public Sector Communications 

About the Author

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an inter-governmental organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. Our goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being f...