While civil society and the media are often painted primarily as forces of opposition, a growing group of scholars and practitioners makes the case for their vital roles in building dialogue. The World Bank’s World Development Report 2017 provides empirical evidence for what some have long suspected: Coordination and cooperation, spanning social and political divides, is integral in ensuring good governance and achieving sustainable improvements in security, growth, and equity. Toward this end, vibrant media and informed citizen engagement are essential for ensuring progress and more transparent and participatory policymaking.
On Tuesday, May 23, an expert panel will explore how media and civil society can play a more effective role in helping societies solve problems, addressing the empirical evidence and how it has been done in the field. Tara Susman-Peña will discuss IREX’s newly launched Vibrant Information Systems approach, as Marco Larizza, a core author on the World Development Report, delves into the report’s findings on civil society and the media. They will be joined by Miriam Kornblith of the National Endowment for Democracy and Naomi Hossain, an expert in popular politics with the Institute of Development Studies, to discuss how this works in practice.