Successful chat engages online community on global partnership

Team of experts engages in successful chat on global partnership (Photo: Predrag Vasic/UNDESA)

Almost 500 participants took part in the Facebook chat discussing the report “A renewed global partnership for development” on 4 April. Questions addressed topics ranging from the sustainable development goals (SDGs); how to ensure government and private sector accountability, to safeguarding human rights and gender equality.

Launched by the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, the report focuses on the need for the global community to develop a renewed global partnership for development for the post-2015 era which fosters collective action from all countries to create an enabling environment for development. Based on the lessons learnt from the current global partnership for development, the report provides a set of recommendations on potential dimensions and format.

Nine experts from DESA’s Division for Development Policy and Analysis (DPAD) and the Division for Sustainable Development as well as UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy interacted with the online community, answering questions posted from users from all over the world. For example, there was one that especially caught everyone’s attention. It was a question posted from a primary school in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, asking how children can be better involved in international cooperation.

The more than 60 questions posted were related to human rights, gender equality, government accountability, inclusion of youth in development strategies, environment, sustainability, and other topics.

Diana Alarcon, Senior Economic Affairs Officer at DPAD responds to online questions (Photo: Predrag Vasic/DESA))

Diana Alarcon, Senior Economic Affairs Officer at DPAD, who also took part in the chat answering questions, highlighted the depth and specificity of the questions posted and also, the level of detail and familiarity that most of them had with the UN report and complementary information. “It was a high level discussion, with sophisticated, concrete and specific questions to our experts,” she stated.

“It is the second time we do a live chat for promoting our reports, and we are very happy about the way in which this new technology helps us to share our documents and reach all kinds of people,” said Diana Alarcon.

The first Facebook live chat, hosted by DESA and UNDP, took place on 27 November 2012 and it highlighted the UN System Task Team’s first report “Realizing the Future We Want for All”. It addressed the post-2015 development agenda more generally and provided some key recommendations on how to build on the successes of the MDGs beyond 2015.

The team in DESA is very positive about this tool for promoting the department’s reports and documents, because of its enormous possibilities of direct and open dialogue with the online community.

“Also, our team of experts has developed a taste for interacting with our followers in social networks and to discuss with them their work in the reports”, Diana Alarcon said.

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