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04.04.2005 Business & Finance

Poor dialogue can mar success of programmes

By GNA

Accra, April 4, GNA - Poor dialogue between the Government and the public could mar the success of laudable programmes and projects that aimed to improve the lives of the people, Mr Mats Karlsson, World Bank Country Director, said on Monday.

Speaking at the opening of a day's communication strategy workshop for public information officers, Mr Karlsson said the flow of accurate and timely information from both ways was crucial to ensure social accountability and the monitoring of how well resources were used in the execution of projects.

Besides, a two-way process of information was essential to expanding the development realm of people, especially those in the rural areas, he said.

The workshop was aimed to improve the skills of public information personnel to enable them to package their communication products and strategies to the appropriate audience, especially those in the rural areas.

Being run under the Development Dialogue Series, the workshop is a World Bank initiative to promote and sustain effective communication among targeted stakeholders in the country's democratisation process. Public Relations Officers and Executives of Core Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies are taking part in the workshop, which is also aimed at facilitating social accountability and development information.

Mr Karlsson said information management on key issues of public life at the national, district and local levels must be handled in ways that would ensure that all stakeholders understood. He asked public information officers to get behind the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy, whose review was to be completed by June this year, to articulate what it intended to achieve in the short and long-term.

Mr Karlsson urged public information officers to network among themselves to uphold best practices.

Mr Kojo Yankah, President of African Institute of Journalism and Communication, facilitators of the workshop, said for public relations roles to be effective they must be linked with the development needs of the country.

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