PACE’s policy communication and media training programs build local capacity by expanding the roster of advocacy and policy champions and producing strong cadres of journalists who educate and motivate supporters. PACE partners with leading country research and advocacy organizations to create high-quality evidence-based materials, as well as build the capacity of organizations to advocate effectively.

Communicating Evidence to Policy Audiences

Many researchers and advocates aim to improve population and health policies but lack the necessary skills to translate data and results into policy-relevant recommendations. To overcome this gap, PRB conducts policy communication trainings to strengthen the capacity of experts, researchers, and advocates to influence policies for lasting change. Alumni of these trainings have emerged as leaders in research and policy communication. They have presented research on reproductive health (RH), family planning (FP), and HIV before international audiences such as the International Conferences on Family Planning and the African Union Summits, and local audiences such as traditional leaders and ministries. PRB recently revised and expanded the curriculum used in these trainings, and has made the materials publicly available through an online Policy Communication Toolkit. Click the photo below to learn more about how policy communication trainees have applied their skills throughout their careers.

Informing Policy and Development Through Journalists

The media can play a vital role in setting a country’s policy agenda. Compelling and accurate news reports have the potential to spur policymakers to advance national development by addressing RH, FP, gender disparities, and population issues. Media attention is also critical to holding leaders accountable for their commitments and ensuring that they spend public resources wisely and fairly to improve citizens’ lives. Through our unique approach, including workshops, study tours, and mentoring, PRB helps journalists understand how FP, RH, and population growth can impact development. Study tours and field visits enable journalists to see first-hand how health problems manifest and to talk to the people who are affected. Through ongoing mentorship after participating in training, PRB motivates journalists to maintain the focus on health reporting, such as in this newspaper supplement on population growth and FP in Ghana written and produced by a trainee.

Empowering Youth to Engage With Policymakers on the Demographic Dividend

In response to the need for action on adolescent and youth issues in Kenya, PACE partnered with the Centre for the Study of Adolescence to develop a new multimedia video that empowers young people to understand their importance to Kenya’s economic growth. The video engages decisionmakers on the importance of investments in youth to achieve a demographic dividend in Kenya. Accompanied by ongoing workshops for youth advocates in Kenya on how to communicate with policymakers on this topic, this video is part of a PACE-led strategy to empower youth advocates to engage with national and county-level policymakers on the demographic dividend. Kenyan youth advocates at national and county levels are leading the way to ensure stronger policy commitments to youth and more meaningful participation from youth in decisionmaking processes.

How Demographic Change Can Spur Development in Kenya

PRB has cultivated over 200 demographic dividend champions in Africa through partnerships with local research and policy institutions. Increasingly, local organizations have taken the leading role in developing policy and advocacy materials related to the demographic dividend. In 2014, PRB partnered with the Kenyan National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) to create this policy brief on the demographic dividend. NCPD and PRB developed the content of the brief together, with PRB providing technical input and NCPD ensuring that the messaging and content would resonate in Kenya. Over 3,000 copies of the brief were shared throughout Kenya to Members of Parliament, major media houses, development partners, universities, international and local NGOs, and the general public. As a result of taking the lead on this brief and other demographic-dividend-focused activities, NCPD has become an authoritative voice on the demographic dividend in Kenya.

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