1.4. Initiate Outreach

1. Begin building human development alliances and other consultative processes that embrace the full range of key external partners.

Outreach involves cementing ties with key partners, including national, regional and international actors who are specialized or have an interest in the theme or the related issues to be examined within the report. The focus should also include relevant media actors and outlets. Outreach is ongoing. Eventually, the outreach should support a media and communications strategy . Consider the outlines of this strategy during the initial steps. Already begin taking advantage of every opportunity to draw the attention of partners, stakeholders and the media to the issues to be raised in the report.

Such alliances and processes help generate public interest and mobilize action. They serve as mechanisms for impact monitoring and for sustained advocacy and follow-up for HDR policy recommendations and human development more generally. The establishment of these human development communities is being encouraged in all countries, along with regional networks that are able to foster exchanges of data, analysis, experiences and good practices across regions. The human development network in the Philippines is a good example.

  • The UNDP Country Office, Regional Bureau, or Regional Centre should be a partner in the HDR process. It can play the role of convener and facilitator in the formation of the HDR team; provide guidance, orientation and training (box 3); act as a gateway to international expertise and good practices; and support advocacy and follow-up. It can be helpful in establishing ties with local and national governments and other key actors. Because of the responsibilities for review and endorsement within UNDP, the Country Office, Regional Bureaux, Regional Centres and HDRO should all be kept informed at critical points throughout the HDR process.
  • The briefing and training of HDR team members should be undertaken early in the preparation process through participatory workshops, seminars and courses on human development concepts, principles, instruments and measurement and on policy applications. Afghanistan represents a good example of this process element. Core authors, partners and UNDP staff should undergo orientation on the theme of the HDR. Members of the steering committee should receive orientation in the complexities of the HDR process and the value added of the human development approach.

    Regional Bureaux and Regional Centres are encouraged to promote the regular sharing of experience and training opportunities among HDR teams and relevant partners involved in the preparation of national and regional HDRs. HDRO may facilitate staff exchanges aimed at fostering capacity development.
    UNDP-sponsored online courses are available and easily accessible, and there are also occasional courses at the regional level and in numerous countries that may contribute directly to the understanding and application of human development methodologies.

  • Engage in early consultations with the government. The government and government-sponsored institutions should be embraced as contributors in the collection of data and in dialogue over alternative policy approaches. Indeed, as the major architect of public policy, the government should be encouraged to become an open and willing partner, ready to support the HDR process, to be receptive to advocacy in areas related to the theme of the report and to implement the recommendations of the report.
  • Tie alliances with local, national and regional institutions involved or interested in the issues and themes to be addressed in the HDR. These institutional links will be essential in data collection, during the drafting of the report and in dissemination and advocacy.
  • Establish contacts with a broad spectrum of practitioners, researchers, policy theorists, statistics agencies and statistics experts who can ensure the proper calculation of the main indicators, academic leaders, professional associations, expert groups and other experts.
  • The participation of other stakeholders — local communities (for example, through focus groups), academic leaders, local government officials, civil society organizations, social workers, rural associations, representatives of marginalized population groups, labour, policy makers and parliamentarians, local media, the private sector and so on — is equally important for information sharing, the full consideration of policy options and the implementation of recommendations. (See the research and analysis modules for more detail.)
  • Links should also be established with Millennium Development Goals Report processes and with the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper process.
  • Non-governmental organizations, bilateral organizations, international organizations, donors, international financial institutions, and other United Nations organizations should be sought out as useful partners.
  • Finally, consider whether the report is to be published by a commercial publishing house or a publisher affiliated with the government or UNDP and begin exploring the relevant links. This search and the related negotiations may take some time; so, this step should be initiated at this stage.

Assemble broad media lists.

Initiate and nurture contacts with key media personalities or media figures interested in the themes and issues of the HDR (newspaper editors, reporters for specialized publications on economic, social and development topics, columnists, radio and television personalities and so on). Consider involving select media representatives as substantive partners in the HDR process, for example, by acting as moderators or panelists in workshops, discussion groups, or media events. A media focal point might be designated early on to act as a reliable source for journalists on development issues year-round.