Implementation of the Public Participation Principle in Integrated Water Management - With Special Reference to the ICPDR Communication Strategy - page 04


There are numerous communication challenges in the field of integrated water management. Effective communication is one of the key tools for coping with such challenges. For communication to help maximize the achievement of objectives, it needs to be governed by a communication strategy. A communication strategy that is properly defined, well planned, and implemented according to plan, can make all public groups potentially involved in water management aware of the relevant issues and their role in the resolution of noted problems, and allow them to contribute to water management initiatives.

ICPDR's communication strategy is based on the postulates of integrated management of water resources. It clearly focuses on specific target audiences and, accordingly, creates personalized messages that invite all interested parties and encourage them to become involved in public participation and decision making. Communication channels and means of communication are determined so as to respond to the preferences of target audiences; apart from conventional channels and media outlets, the diversity and possibilities afforded by social media are effectively exploited.

The goal of creating a communication strategy is to lay the groundwork and provide guidelines for developing a plan of communication activities. ICPDR's communication strategy is in essence an ongoing process, which is updated, modified, and adapted to current trends and needs in the field of water management.

Increasingly effective and strong cooperation in the Danube River Basin is an example of an idea that initially appeared to be virtually unachievable, but did in fact materialize through a highly effective communication strategy and ICPDR Secretariat coordination.