Why using media can foster engagement in development

Why is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding media? How can storytelling build people’s knowledge and change perceptions of international development?

The media has an important role in helping the world make progress on development goals, argued Daniel Green, deputy director of strategic partnerships at the foundation.

“The more informed and engaged they [international development actors] are, the more knowledgeable they’ll be, the better decisions they’ll make [and] the better chances we’ll have of making progress,” Green told Devex on the sidelines of the World Convergences Forum 2013 in Paris.

While informing citizens and donors, fostering broader support and even influencing aid expenditures are all important aims, Green explained, future strategies will focus on using technology, tools and data to “get smarter” and better understand what makes people engage with development issues. Along with credibility and trust, an important route to successful engagement, according to Green, is the ability to make stories accessible.

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About the author

  • Richard jones profile

    Richard Jones

    In his role as Partnerships Editor Richard oversees editorial content for partner and client campaigns, leading a talented team of writers and editors, conducting high-level video interviews and moderating panels at events. Previously an associate editor, he covered the full spectrum of development aid in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Devex. Currently based in Barcelona, Richard brings to bear 14 years of experience as an editor in institutional communications, public affairs and international development. His development experience includes stints in the Dominican Republic, Argentina and Ecuador, as well as extensive work travel in Africa and Asia.