Chapter 6 of the Model Forest Toolkit
Sharing lessons learned is part of the sixth Model Forest Principle. Whether it is communicating results locally among stakeholders, to local or national governments, or with other members of the IMFN, sharing experiences accelerates sustainability in all of our landscapes and increases the opportunity to access new or additional resources.
Developing a communications and knowledge-sharing plan for your Model Forest will help define your target audiences and key messages, and agree on preferred approaches and methods to collect and share findings and results. The plan should directly link to your Model Forest strategic plan and supporting program of work.
STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Who do you want to communicate to and why – both internally and externally?
Consider how to obtain information (e.g. social media, academic journals, community events, conferences, etc.). Understanding your audience helps tailor the kind of information you share, when and how.
STEP 2: UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES
What are the key issues for your Model Forest – climate change, livelihoods, indigenous engagement, industry practices, etc.?
Understand how key issues are being reflected in the media and the public arena and how your Model Forest stakeholders position themselves accordingly. These form the basis of your Model Forest’s key messages.
STEP 3: DEVELOP YOUR OBJECTIVES
What are you trying to achieve with your communications plan and how does it help achieve your Model Forest’s vision and objectives?
Apply your understanding of the relevant issues to develop 3-4 key messages that clearly reflect your Model Forest’s vision, mission and expected impacts.
STEP 4: DEFINE YOUR APPROACHES
How will you reach your audiences?
in order to define which approaches or channels will be best suited to reach your audiences, map out target audiences alongside key messages for each. For example, Model Forest members and stakeholders might be best reached through a knowledge-sharing webinar that collects and shares success stories to emphasize the key message, “Model Forests bring stakeholders together to cooperate in the use of natural resources.”
STEP 5: COLLECT INFORMATION
How and when will you gather stories and results from your Model Forest projects?
Explore how to link your communications and knowledge-sharing plan to the Model Forest M&E Framework to ensure activities include a component of collecting results at the right times and in the right ways to feed your communications and knowledge-sharing needs.
STEP 6: PLAN AND IMPLEMENT ACTIVITIES
What will you do on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis to achieve your communications objectives?
These might include, for example: a social media campaign to launch a new report, a moderated online discussion around a specific event, monthly newsletters for sharing internal successes and announcements, weekly web articles to showcase project activities, building an online research database to share project findings, and an annual report released each year.
Importantly, these activities should build on and amplify the outputs of key activities and link to achieving Model Forest impacts.
STEP 7: EVALUATE YOUR ACTIVITIES
How successful are your communications and knowledge sharing activities and does anything need to change?
Monitor and evaluate following the same principles as for the wider Model Forest M&E Framework.
There are many available resources both online and through partner organizations to help you build and implement a communications and knowledge-sharing strategy. This is simply a quick overview of some key steps in the process. You will need to expand it and tailor it to your own Model Forest’s needs and priorities.
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