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Communicating Equality: Effective Communication Strategies for Equality Bodies

June 9th 2011
Equinet held a successful training event on the development, deployment and monitoring of effective communication strategies on 30-31 May at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen.

trainingsign  (Click to enlarge picture) In the current climate of economic and financial crisis across Europe, equality bodies need to more than ever ensure that equality and non-discrimination are kept on the agendas of national political institutions, stakeholders and the media.

Despite cuts to financial and human resources resulting in a tightening of budgets, equality bodies continue to strive to effectively promote and communicate equality and the benefits of building an equal society free of discrimination.

The issue of under-reporting also represents a great challenge for Equality Bodies. To address this problem, effective communication strategies need to be devised and deployed by national equality bodies to raise awareness of and provide information about people’s rights and duties.

In order to address these challenges and to support the work of its members through capacity building, Equinet organised its first-ever training on communication strategies. Hosted by the Danish Institute of Human Rights the training took place on 30-31 May 2011 in Copenhagen. The event was open to staff members of equality bodies who have and interest and/or role in communications strategy and activities.

The main goals of the training were to:

mandana  (Click to enlarge picture)

  • Exchange NEBs’ experiences and good practices in devising communication strategies and implementing communication activities aimed at promoting equality, raising awareness and providing information on rights.
  • Gain practical knowledge and understanding of strategic issues surrounding communication in the field of equality and non-discrimination
  • Reflect on how to involve and collaborate with stakeholders in the field of equality to combat underreporting and lack of awareness of people’s rights
  • Exchange insight and experience on how to strategically use social media tools and manage the related risks.


The Equinet Secretariat is currently collecting and analysing the evaluation forms provided to participants. If you have not yet completed an evaluation form we would kindly ask you to do so by the 30 June 2011. An electronic version of the form can be accessed here.

Please click here to view the training programme

Session I

mags_patten  (Click to enlarge picture) Mags Patten, Communications Consultant
Keynote Expert Lecture

marysha  (Click to enlarge picture) Marysha Molthoff, Dutch Equal Treatment Commission
Getting the Message Across: Communications Strategies by the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission

signe  (Click to enlarge picture) Signe Hinz-Andersen, Danish Institute for Human Rights
Working with the Business Sector: The Mia Award

denisa  (Click to enlarge picture) Denise Lazar, Romanian National Council for Combating Discrimination
NCCD’s Internal Communication Strategy

Session II

worldcafe  (Click to enlarge picture) The second session of the event was a "world café" workshop, facilitated by Cailin Mackenzie of MIMAT. This was the first time that Equinet has used this method. It allowed dynamic discussions to develop around 4 key aspects of equality bodies communication practices.

Members of the Equinet Working group on Communications Strategies and Practices acted as table hosts and helped participants to exchange their communications experiences, learning and good practice, to discuss the challenges they face in their work and to explore steps that could be taken in the future.

Further information about the world café technique can be found here.
Session III

Day two kicked off with a panel discussion. The discussion, led by Jozef de Witte of the Belgian Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism, was taken part in by four representatives from equality body stakeholders.

panel  (Click to enlarge picture) They were:

Heidrun Silhavy, Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB), Austria

Louise Agius, Head of Diversity, Learning & Development - HSBC Bank, Malta

Stéphane Lévêque, Directeur, FNASAT - Gens du voyage, France

Roberto Chinzari, Perugia School of Journalism Alumnus Association, Italy

Further information about the collaboration between the Autrian Trade Union Federation and the Austrian Ombud for Equal Treatment can be found here.

Session IV

nathalie  (Click to enlarge picture) Nathalie Morgenthaler, Luxembourg Centre for Equal Treatment
Communicating Equality Experiences from Luxembourg

joao  (Click to enlarge picture) João Paiva, Portuguese Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality
How can Equality Bodies Unleash the Power of Social Media?

alan  (Click to enlarge picture) Alan Anstead, Founder and Chief Executive of UK NGO “Equality”
Engagement through Digital Communication

Summary report

A summary report of the training can be donwloaded here.
littlemermaid  (Click to enlarge picture) Expenses Reimbursement for Members and Speakers

Equinet will reimburse the costs incurred by speakers and participants coming from member organisations. To claim your expenses, please download the Reimbursement Form and send it, filled in and signed, to Equinet. Please note that any expense that is not backed by original evidence (tickets, receipts, both boarding passes for flights...) will not be reimbursed.

Given the constraints on its funding, Equinet generally reimburses Members’ expenses once it has received the final installment of the Grant for the year the activity took place, from the European Commission. This generally happens in April or May of the next year. Should you require an early reimbursement, please contact the Finance and Administration Officer directly (