The crucial role of strategic communication in enhancing the impact of development programs across Africa. The report, a collaboration between Luminate, a global philanthropic organization, and The Comms Avenue, a capacity-building platform for communication professionals in Africa, underscores the need for greater investment in this area.

According to the findings, there is a limited appreciation for the significance of strategic communication in the efforts of change agents in Nigeria. The report suggests that funders should encourage prospective grantees, who are driving change, to prioritize strategic communication by incorporating it as a designated line item in the budget templates accompanying grant applications.

Furthermore, the report recommends that funders facilitate strategic communication firms by providing them with access to vital connections that may otherwise be challenging to obtain.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ event themed ‘Winning Hearts and Minds’ in Abuja, Toyin Akinniyi, Vice President, Africa, Luminate, emphasized the importance of increased investment in strategic communications. She stated, “Funders, like ourselves, need to invest more in strategic communications to shape narratives, garner support for social movements, and ultimately increase impact across the continent.”

Akinniyi also highlighted the positive outcomes of collaborations, noting that evidence demonstrates that increased cooperation between funders, strategic communicators, and change agents leads to more sustainable impact.

Valary Mumbo, an associate of Luminate, emphasized the benefits of collective efforts between strategic communicators, funders, and change agents. These benefits include the ability to effectively convey impacts, mobilize public support, and inspire behavioral change through targeted communication strategies.

Mumbo also addressed a common misconception between change agents and strategic communicators, noting that change agents may sometimes doubt the expertise of strategic communication firms in supporting their work.

Co-founder of The Comms Avenue, Adedoyin Jayesinmi, explained that the study was designed to foster increased collaboration between NGOs, strategic communicators, and funders. He asserted that if funders allocate more attention and resources to strategic communication, change agents will be better equipped to carry out their crucial work.In conclusion, the report serves as a call to action, urging stakeholders to recognize the pivotal role of strategic communication in driving meaningful societal change and ultimately enhancing the impact of development programs throughout Africa.