For the last 3 years, The Social Change Agency has managed the communications side of UK Aid Match, one of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)’s largest public facing programmes. This involves working with more than 60 international development charities to deliver creative, solutions-focused communication campaigns that engage the public with UK Aid.  

Working closely with so many charities gives us a unique insight into the common obstacles and challenges organisations are facing when it comes to their communications.

Issues like the poor public perception of the sector, divisive dominant narratives that ‘charity begins at home’, strained resources that limit risk taking, straight up funding cuts, challenges in sourcing ethical, authentic and engaging content and ongoing concerns around how to decolonise the language of aid.

These are big topics that won’t be ‘cracked’ by one individual or organisation alone. 

But there is strength, solidarity and sometimes, even solutions to be found in coming together as a sector… which is why the DevComms network was born. 

We wanted to create a space for comms professionals to come out of their organisational silos and have honest, practical discussions, time for creative thinking, problem sharing and solving.

In its current form, the DevComms network is a Community of Practice of over 70 mid-senior level communications professionals working within the international development sector who are passionate about sharing their expertise, challenges and learnings to tackle these bigger picture issues, together.

The regular events are varied, from free flowing discussions, to skills-based presentations and Q+As on specific topics. We organise and facilitate the sessions but topics and talking points are shaped by the members.

It’s so valuable to have the chance to chat to people about work stuff – I feel so isolated at the moment and you second guess yourself all the time.

If you’re a communications professional working in the sector and want to be part of the DevComms network please sign up here.

These sessions are always so useful and extremely interesting. I always learn so much which I can then carry forward into my own day to day activities. Thank you so much for running them!

If you don’t work in the sector but are interested in what we do please get in touch – hello@thesocialchangeagency.org – to see how we can help you, or work with you in the future.