May 03, 2010, the founding coalition of the World Bank-USC Summer Institute meets to discuss the program. Back row from left to right: Michael X. Delli Carpini (Dean), Professor Patricia Riley, Sina Odugbemi, Ed Campos, Carola Weil, Helen Garcia, Saafir Rabb II and Caby Verzosa. Front row from left to right: Ernest James Wilson III (Dean), Johanna Martinsson, Anne-Katrin Arnold.
The External and Corporate Relations Vice Presidency of the World Bank Group, the World Bank Institute, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California have forged a strategic partnership to provide an executive course on Reform Communication.
Initially, the course was launched by the World Bank Communication for Governance and Accountability Program (CommGAP) as an instrument for capacity development. In developing the CommGAP program, a series of roundtable meetings and global dialogues were held to engage institutions involved in learning programs for public sector reform, strategic communication, diplomacy, and stakeholder engagement. Two of these institutions were the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. These universities have contributed their faculty and classroom facilities and have provided access to their communication research and graduate and executive education programs.
The World Bank Institute (WBI), a global connector of knowledge, learning and innovation for poverty reduction at the World Bank, began discussing their possible involvement in 2010 and formally joined the partnership in 2011.
The first pilot of the course was launched in 2011 and was aptly titled the “Executive Course in Communication for Governance Reform.” Over 400 interested applicants responded, and from this group a total of 40 senior development practitioners and communication professionals from 19 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, East Asia, and South Asia participated in the course from July 18-27, 2011. The pilot course was paid for and hosted by CommGAP at World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. and was, therefore, able to accept a wide range of participants. The course instructed participants on how to use research and best practices in communication to advance governance reform through education, ongoing research projects, and the development of support networks.
May 03, 2010, the founding coalition of the World Bank-USC Summer Institute meets to discuss the program. Back row from left to right: Michael X. Delli Carpini (Dean), Professor Patricia Riley, Sina Odugbemi, Ed Campos, Carola Weil, Helen Garcia, Saafir Rabb II, and Caby Verzosa. Front row from left to right: Ernest James Wilson III (Dean), Tony Lambino, Anne-Katrin Arnold.
In 2012, the course shifted to a participant-funded model for greater sustainability and moved to Los Angeles, where it was hosted by the University of Southern California. The focus of the course remained Governance for Reform Communication, but lectures expanded and were designed for government/public sector officials or private sector advisors who wanted to provide implementation support to change agents and reform leaders in developing countries. A total of 12 professionals from 8 different countries—Uganda, Pakistan, Yemen, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Thailand Zambia, and Serbia— attended.
In the summer of 2013, the course welcomed 17 participants— from Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ghana, Panama, Nigeria, Philippines, Haiti, Kuwait, India, Brazil, Uganda and the USA.
This year, 2014, the concept of the course evolved to “Reform Communication: Leadership, Strategy, and Stakeholder Alignment” to better cover the complex political environment in which reform occurs. This year, the course welcomes 30 participants from around the world, including Bangladesh, China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, the UK and the United States.
The strength of the partnership lies in the involvement of both academics from the Annenberg Schools and practitioners from the World Bank to blend theory and practical application in an educational setting. Bank staff and Annenberg professors are passionate about their fields of expertise and continuously update their training materials to incorporate new knowledge and tailor their lessons to the needs of course participants. Both the World Bank and the Annenberg Schools are premier institutions dedicated to the goals of reform communication.