Tool 3: Protocol for information flow and communication management
Tool type: Protocol
Target group: decision-makers, Ministries
Benefit of the tool: supports governance and management of the HWF planning stakeholder network and covers all phases of the overall HWF planning process (see WP4 flow chart)

Please consider the following instructions as a guide for HWF planning to aid in the successful completion of actions

Description: First, please identify all actors and stakeholders in the field of HWF planning. What stakeholders can be listed in the HWF planning stakeholder network? (Use together with Tool 5)

1. WHAT: Attention and engagement should be dedicated to information flow and communication management (R3). Recognising the importance of information flow and communication management in the process of HWF planning is crucial, as is emphasising critical bottlenecks. It is beneficial to elaborate on Governance/Attention regarding this process since direct efforts and consequences/benefits can be easily calculated. As a result successfully influencing stakeholders’ attitudes, having/building a common vision among stakeholders and teamwork can all be accomplished.
2. WHO: A HWF Planning Committee (R5) member with expertise in communication should pay attention to this process. Therefore, identify one person responsible for communication management issues who primarily ensures transparency, sustainability, updates and follow-ups regarding any changes to the HWF planning field.
3. HOW: Tasks and detailed responsibilities of the communication manager:
● Preparing a communication-dissemination strategy that includes knowledge sharing and awareness raising. Regular evaluation and revision of the strategy is also required in order to establish more appealing communications regarding evidence in HWF planning and the interpretation of the results of analyses.
Considering the communication and dissemination channels according to target groups also belongs to the strategy: What items are of greatest assistance for reaching the target group? Newsletters, online platforms, publications, reports, scientific manuscripts, circulated emails, conferences, workshops, policy dialogues, etc.
● Fostering, monitoring, governing and managing communication: Updating information for stakeholders on a regular basis is preferable, also investing in network-building, i.e., exploring new stakeholders and interested parties.
● Creating, developing, strengthening, assessing and managing the stakeholder network and any partnerships/alliance more productively could bring higher-level collaborations and increased clarity in the information flow.
● Establishing a coordination path in information flow: Investigating information flow directions (how key actors relate to each other), preparing a stakeholder analysis and list with entitled bodies in HWF planning is enviable. For example: Ministry/decision-maker → HWF Planning Committee → Stakeholders
● Coordination mechanisms: Strategy development for stakeholder engagement is necessary
Internal events: Organising the meetings of the HWF Planning Committee
External events: Organising adequate stakeholder consultations, annual national gatherings with all stakeholders, WSs, individual/group meetings/Delphi/revision rounds, etc; managing the whole network with attention to international experts or those from other sectors.