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Claire Collins

Senior Digital Evaluation Manager

Part of Digital Diplomacy

12th October 2015 London, England

Talking digital diplomacy in Ukraine

The Digital Transformation Unit regularly gets asked about training and best practice on digital diplomacy and digital transformation by other foreign ministries, in the UK and overseas.

These opportunities allow us to exchange ideas and innovations, share lessons learnt and reflect on the impact and effectiveness of our work to date.

Our most recent training session was in Kyiv with Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event was organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in collaboration with the US Embassy, who provided the fantastic venue at America House, and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

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The training was attended by a broad spectrum of foreign ministry staff who covered areas such as consular communications, press office, the Foreign Ministers office, trade and investment officers as well as a few Ambassadors keen to learn more about optimising digital.

Day one mostly covered strategy, management of channels and social media policy before moving on to more practical sessions on day two which covered Smartphone video production and editing, images and photos for social media and infographics. Staff who had never made digital content produced some great graphics and videos by the end of the day.

On day three the morning session was covered by US former reporter and digital journalist Vince Gonzales who discussed digital journalism before the group got practical advice on using some of the platforms he highlighted.

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The final session covered our digital campaigns training taking the participants through the Government Communication Service’s OASIS campaign planning model (Objectives, audience analysis, strategy, implementation and scoring (evaluation). During this practical session we got the participants to work in groups and use real examples from the foreign ministry.

All of the training was based on our existing digital curriculum we’ve been delivering to Foreign Office staff for the past year .

Throughout, the training provoked a lot of debate and raised many questions around permissions, ethics, language barriers and most importantly how to shift the culture of the MFA.

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We also benefitted from the vast experience of our Canadian and US counterparts who gave hands-on training as well as providing advice on best practice and lessons learnt from recent digital campaigns.

As we wrapped up our training one of the participants thanked us and declared he’d moved from being a digital sceptic to a digital convert. We look forward to hearing more about the wider digital transformation taking place in the Ukrainian MFA.

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