Where Government, Organizations, and People Intersect
Kate Head has 30+ years providing a wide range of support for government, civic organizations and political leaders in strategic communications, web usability, advocacy and coalitions in 28 countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Advocacy Challenges in Weak States
Traditional democracy programs focus on community or civil society advocates that define their agenda and ask for changes from government. This model works if government has strong institutions, because civil society can push their agenda alongside political parties, businesses, and moneyed interests. But many transitional countries have weaker government institutions with few resources and less capacity. In these places, a strong advocacy campaign makes for a lopsided effort that usually frustrates both advocates and government leaders.
In weak states, democracy works best when government and advocates communicate, create understanding, build trust and collaborate to make change.
Cases in Places
Training Should Result in Work Products
I often re-work training agendas, so they are no longer theoretical presentations. My goal is that they become a combination of new skills and actual work with an outcome, a…
When News Breaks, Respond Fast
Responding to breaking news is the easiest way to get your organization exposure in the media. The story is going to be discussed in the media, so it is really…
Internal Communications for Large Coalitions
Communications among partners or members of large coalitions is often where conflict lies. We have met angry organization leaders who were not invited to a meeting, did not get to…
See Where I’ve worked
Select a region below to read more about my projects.
Deloitte, South Sudan: Led a communications review of the new national currency and the close of the exchange for the Central Bank of South Sudan (prior to statehood). // NDI, Malawi: Coached all political parties in script writing and production of 28 radio ads. Devised the national broadcast policies and time allotment for political party advertising for the Central Election Commission and the Malawi Broadcast Corporation (MBC). Wrote and produced radio ads on voter education. Analyzed election results and prepared commentary for the continuous 72-hour national radio elections broadcast for Malawi’s first democratic elections.
Created and implemented plans for the Presidential Committee for the North East Initiative designed to coordinate Nigerian government bodies, international aid organizations, and non-governmental groups in the Boko Haram impacted areas. Created communications plans, media analytics, creating sustainable coordination efforts for communications across the platform, and created a network to build cooperation. // Northern Education Initiative+, Nigeria: Created a five-year advocacy and five training modules for government and non-governmental organizations in Sokoto and Bauchi states on education issues. // Liberia Mobile Payments Designed and implemented a pilot project for government payments through mobile money with teacher groups on mobile payments, and provided guidance for the telecom, government and banking to expand the mobile payments eco-system. Conducted focus groups for government payments, created a customs and tax communication plans. // Business Monitoring & Price Unit, Nigeria: Created branding and communications plans for the government office responsible for investigating corruption in national contracts.
Stability in Key Areas-East, Afghanistan, Communications & Outreach Director: Responsible for 40+ communications staff and a million dollar effort in citizen information centers, radio shows, public events and training programs. Analyzed 210 focus groups in unstable districts for program guidance and monitoring purposes over a two-year period. // Southern Afghanistan Municipalities: Conducted focus groups and polls to devise branding for six cities including Kandahar and Lashkar Gah. Oversaw staff, municipal websites and collateral materials for the cities and their service programs. // Control and Audit Office, Afghanistan: Benchmarked international trends to evaluate and recommend improvements for the agency on internal and external communications, information policies and website innovations. // Ministries of Commerce, Finance, and Communications, Afghanistan: Wrote government communication and media plans for targeted and public audiences on economic reforms for the three ministries. // Pakistan NDI: Analyzed the pre-election environment throughout the country, and organized a delegation of international monitors the 1993 Pakistan elections.
National Democratic Institute, Political Party Trainer: Provided strategic advice to 20 Cambodian political parties for the 1993 United Nations-sponsored elections. Conducted twenty-seven provincial and national workshops on party building, campaign planning, and election monitoring. Traveled to 21 of the 25 provinces.
Kosovo Ministry of Trade & Industry: Implemented focus groups of key audiences for a public-private partnership of a ski resort. Created materials, a video, website and communications plan for the mountain/resort development effort. // Albania Anti-Corruption Coalition Advisor to the executive leadership team through election monitoring program and public statements, and assisted them in launching a national anti-corruption advocacy program. // European Union-UNMIK, Kosovo: Served as Director of Public Education-Information during the Euro monetary conversion, the introduction of VAT, the launch of wage and property taxes, a new pension program and commercial law changes. // Bosnia, Herzegovina Organized a public launch and internal training for a unified database that allowed government to track and enforce pension, tax and healthcare payments.
NDI, Russian Federation: Trained national and regional political parties and candidates on advanced campaign strategies including focus group research, targeting, material creation and television advertising. Created materials on civic advocacy and served as a guest trainer to civic organizations and women's groups on influencing government and political parties. Assistant producer to Ludi program. // NDI, Belarus: Trained political leaders and civic leaders in message development and public speaking with programs in Ukraine.
National Bank of Ukraine: Conducted user tests for the redesign of the central bank’s website, and based on the findings, designed wireframes and recommended innovations for the site. Developed a content management workflow and trained bank staff to write for the website. // National Democratic Institute Acting Director Ukraine: Managed the electoral support efforts, 12 staff and the administration for regional and national election monitoring organization for the Presidential elections of 2010. // Moldova National Democratic Institute Acting Director: Oversaw the USAID-sponsored international and national election monitoring organization efforts. Responded to political and legal challenges, election observer complaints and harassment of monitors from Moldovan government entities. // Slovakia: Conducted a survey mission and made recommendations for future programming with the Parliament, Political Parties and Civil Society Organizations for the National Democratic Institute.
Parliament of Kyrgyzstan: Evaluated citizen and media access to the Parliament and formulated recommendations for transparency and access improvements based on international standards. // Tax Administration of Kyrgyzstan: Wrote focus group and poll instruments to analyze public opinion and launch internal and external communications programs for the new tax code reforms. // Tajikistan Department of Taxation Conducted a stakeholder survey and wrote communications materials for small business owners on VAT and business taxes. // National Democratic Institute: Evaluated a civic organization, a parliamentary program and the overall environment for democratic programming.
West Bank, Gaza Wrote a 300-page manual “Getting Things Done in the West Bank and Gaza,” which was utilized by government leaders throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Advised the disability rights organization on government relations by drafting accessibility legislation, conducting citizen lobby days, and the creating a Parliament Disability Rights Caucus. // Income and Sales Tax Department (ISTD), Jordan: Advised tax communications staff prior to a reform roll-out. // NDI, Egypt: Conducted evaluations and trainings for civic organizations involved in issue advocacy and election monitoring. // Amman ’05 Group, Lebanon: Led planning sessions to define coalition goals and strategy after successful protest movement resulted in the removal of Syria’s presence from the country.
NDI. South Africa: Trained political parties on campaign outreach during the first democratic election and brought delegations of Malawi political parties to monitor the elections. // Organized a Southern Africa Regional Summit of political party leadership from 11 SADC countries on harmonizing election standards and process.
America Votes: Served as Campaign Director for the 2006 election cycle by coordinating 36 national organizations in seven states including labor, women and environment groups. Coordinated pre-election efforts to identify, persuade and turnout voters. // Million Mom March: Built the audience through endorsing organizations and local coalitions for the landmark 500,000-person event in Washington, D.C. // Campaign Management: Directed staff, budget, fundraising, advertising, media relations, and candidate management for campaigns in IA, GA, MD, OH, during presidential primaries, state or congressional races.
U.S. House of Representatives: Evaluated 200+ congressional websites for usability, content and disability access utilizing a scorecard with 100 critical criteria providing direction for improvement. Analyzed web trends for house.gov and housenet.gov, the United States Congress portal and intranet. // Heuristic Evaluations & Task Analysis: Performed heuristic evaluations for Council on Competitiveness, Sisters of Charity and foreign government agencies. Conducted user task analysis for Council of Competitiveness to determine click stream, time spent on tasks and task completion rates. Tested Facebook users for Catalist Inc. on voter contact applications to increase the effectiveness and adoption levels for the 2008 election cycle.