Sharjah: The International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) will be held in Sharjah on March 20 and 21 next year under the theme, ‘Behavioural Change Towards Human Development’, it was announced on Saturday.

Organised by Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), the forum will host prominent figures and top officials, including heads of state and governments, thought leaders, directors of regional and international organisations, representatives of civil society and study and research centres, media personnel and students of mass communication and media.

It is expected to focus on the role of government communication in supporting and enhancing human capital development, featuring discussions on the promotion of healthy habits, elevating the status of education, building skills of the future, fostering behavioural practices dedicated to sustainability, and how governments can work together to encourage their people to feel individually responsible for human development.

Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council (SMC), said: “IGCF’s previous editions have successfully strengthened communication structures and tools by shedding light on several issues of importance in the field across nations and governments.

“The 2019 edition is set to be one of the IGCF’s most specialised. It will be tailor-made to assessing the role of government communication in promoting positive behaviour around issues of national interest. Government communication’s mission is to enhance people’s awareness and seeing the larger public interest as part of their own. This can only be achieved when governments use communication to influence personal and social practices in a way that will enable individuals to fully understand their role in the success of national plans.”

Local and international communication experts, together with behavioural specialists will come together at IGCF 2019 to deliberate on how to realistically incorporate sociology and human sciences into the development and implementation of successful government communication campaigns. “Without understanding people’s mindsets or the behavioural source of their practices, government policymaking will not be as accurate or impactful. Personalised and inclusive government communication — one that is complete only with citizens’ equal participation — can inspire positive change in people’s attitudes to serve broader public interests,” he added.

The forum will push for the adoption of behavioural strategies into government communication plans — a practice that distinguishes the more welfare-centric and participative governments in the developed world. It will also highlight the importance of training government communication personnel, who will be agents of qualitative change in government communication by facilitating the adoption of behavioural theory principles.