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Improving Communications. Help for you to OWN your communications . Communications: it’s not just for “the boss”. Reporting is often seen as an expression of hierarchy (“you must give me this information”) instead of sharing information for learning . Communications Serves YOU.

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Improving communications

Improving Communications

Help for you to OWN your communications

Communications it s not just for the boss
Communications: it’s not just for “the boss”

Reporting is often seen as an expression of hierarchy

(“you must give me this information”) instead of

sharing information for learning.

Communications serves you
Communications Serves YOU

  • Communications should make you energized and confident about the importance and impact of your work.

  • Communications should inform AND inspire

  • Ask yourself: what do you want to happen as a result of your message in a report or a meeting?

You have project objectives?

Then you also have


Use what you already have do
Use What You Already Have/Do

You can use things you have written to others in your formal reports later:

  • Save all emails you send

  • Take notes whenever you are on the phone

  • Take your own notes in meetings

How to write a great report
How to Write a GREAT Report

Practical tips to improve your written communications

(please see the handout as well)

For what audiences are we writing
For What Audiences are We Writing?

  • Donor community

  • UNDP

  • Ministry

  • Afghan public


    Different audiences have different needs!


  • general theme: result-based reporting (what was achieved)

  • follow the format, divide your inputs into usually activities, achievements, challenges, etc.

  • Try to fill in all the categories:

    • Risks (you cannot directly influence) can be: weather conditions, the security situation etc.

    • Issues (you can change through diff. programming): understaffing, lack of funding etc. , every projects encounters these

  • explain things as if you were explaining what you are doing to a friend. Processes have to be explained in more detail to donors than they have to be to the Dep. Minister.

Refer to your work plan
Refer to Your Work Plan:

  • Ask yourself: How does this activity or result tie to my unit’s work plan?

  • Why was an activity proposed, but not implemented? What were the challenges?

Three key questions
Three KEY questions:

  • What period are we reporting on?

    • what report is your input for (monthly? quarterly?...)

    • Indicate this in the text andfile name

  • What difference are you as part of NABDP making?

  • What is working and what is not working?

  • How were challenges addressed? These can often be turned into good lessons learnt.

Follow up from report to report
Follow-up from report-to-report:

  • Follow-up on what you wrote in the previous report: if you said that you were going to provide a training, then describe what happened to that idea in the next report

  • For this purpose, please, also keep a copy of your inputs that you have sent to the Communications unit

Informal observations
Informal Observations

  • Informal observations are very welcome

    • The Kuchi man changing his mind

    • Convincing men to involve their women

  • Come to tell us, if you think you have a good story to tell

  • If you are keeping a journal, share relevant parts with us

Meetings trainings
Meetings & Trainings

  • If you mention that you attended meetings or that you conducted trainings, please, mention the following:

    • Why was the meeting/ training important? –reasons & results, who participated

    • Did it work out the way you had planned it?

    • What is going to be different now that the meeting took place/ the training was conducted?

Provision for inputs
Provision for Inputs

  • The unit should inform Gunda/Fariba about who (1 person per unit) will provide an input for a report, so that Gunda/Fariba knows with whom to follow-up. Also, please inform this designee about his or her responsibilities!

  • In case if your absence, please, inform Gunda/ Fariba before you leave regarding who will provide the input instead of you. Also, please inform this designee about his or her responsibilities!


  • Deadlines are real

  • Many deadlines are regular (so please budget time for them)

  • Deadlines are set by MRRD, donors and UNDP, not the communications unit

We re here to help
We’re Here to Help

  • Invite a member of the communications unit to sit in on your unit meetings and de-briefings; we will take notes to use in your monthly reports

  • Set a time for one of us to interview you about your training, workshop, project, etc.); you can speak and our team member will take notes and produce a written report for you to review

  • Bring us your rough information and ask how you can improve the information

  • Use our tools (“How to Write a Report”, “Questions to ask yourself as you write”)

Photos are a part of reporting
Photos are a Part of Reporting

Why take photos
Why Take Photos?

  • Proof of work being done

  • To show progress

  • To show PEOPLE (it’s nice to see instead of just read)

  • Other reasons?

Take photos

  • Be respectful; ask for permission; notify the group that photos will be taken and how they will be used.

  • Take LOTS of photos. Take several photos of the same scene, from the same angle and different angles.

  • Outside shots are best (because of light), but take pictures away from the sun, if possible.

  • When inside, get close to the subject, and try to aim away (instead of into) light sources.

  • Get FACES and ACTION when possible.

  • Get C O L O R when possible.

  • Show local people talking, teaching, learning, working, etc.

  • As much as local culture and circumstances allow, get photos of women.

  • It’s okay to arrange people for a photo (e.g. asking people to stand in a certain place).

  • Remember that photos will serve many needs (donors, government, internal use, etc.).

For indoor photos
For Indoor Photos

  • Get CLOSE to the main subject(s), and try to aim away (instead of into) light sources.

  • Get FACES, with EXPRESSION if possible.

  • Ask signers of an agreement to pose together (stand close together with the agreement, have them shake hands and face the camera, etc.) after signing for a photo.

Share your info
Share Your Info!!

  • Share written and verbal info with your unit supervisor and the Communications office (Gunda, Jayne, & Fariba)

  • If only in Dari, that’s okay – share the input with Fariba!

  • Invite us to your debriefings!

  • Come visit our office or invite us to yours!

  • We’re here to help!