Training for Local Town and City Councils’ PR Personnel Print E-mail
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Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00

Participants of the workshopThe first in a series of training workshops on communications aimed at improving the  skills of  public relations personnel in all nine City and Town Councils across Belize began on Monday, July 8th at the House of Culture in Belize City.

The objective of the workshops is to train the public relations teams of each municipality to allow for institutional strengthening and to improve effectiveness and efficiency in communications work on behalf of the councils.  They also form part of a communications strategy under the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP) being implemented by the Social Investment Fund. 

Among other things, this strategy will define key tools and steps that focus attention on short, medium and long-term two-way communication processes with an emphasis on eliciting feedback from all affected groups, responding to their needs, concerns and suggestions, and engendering a broad public understanding and support for the overall goal and purpose of the BMDP among stakeholders on the local and national level.

In addition, the strategy will look at developing interventions to include communities and stakeholders in the management and monitoring of the Councils and its roles and responsibilities.  These channels will be used as a more direct channel of communication to inform residents, community members and actors as it relates to Councils functions, projects and programs.

The workshops included topics such as Introduction to Media Communication and Management, Introduction to Photoshop and Graphic Designing, Consultation and Relationship Building and Public Relations Strategy Planning and Implementation. The workshop is being facilitated by Daedra Haylock, a local consultant from PRfect Green Belize consulting firm.

Of the five workshops to be held, three will be at the national level and were held in Belize City from July 8 to 10th, the  remaining two will be at the regional level and will be held in Orange Walk Town and Belmopan on July 11and 12 respectively.

The BMDP is a $30.0 million Government of Belize project being financed through the World Bank and implemented by the Social Investment Fund (SIF). The project is focusing on three main components namely: Municipal Infrastructure Investments, Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for Town and City Councils and Central Government and Project Management and Administration.

Under phase I of the BMDP, 19 streets have been paved in the seven participating municipalities; the Punta Gorda Town Council Administration Building and adjacent town hall were also rehabilitated while renovation of the Dangriga town market is currently underway. This represents approximately $7.8 Million in infrastructure investments throughout the municipalities. These include Benque Viejo del Carmen, San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Belmopan, Dangriga, Punta Gorda,  Orange  Walk and Corozal.

Under its capacity building component, the BMDP is providing training on municipal development planning to all local municipal bodies and has strengthened their revenue enhancement capabilities through the provision of training, computer equipment and accounting software.

Meanwhile, preparations are underway to initiate phase II of the BMDP.   This will see a further investment of  approximately $13.0 Million in infrastructure development in the municipalities throughout Belize.