During the Partnership and Communication meeting 2012, one of the key activities to work on that was highlighted was 'internal communication'. A task force was set up to organise this. The task force held a virtual meeting, leading to a list of priorities - to be worked out in more detail.
This page looks at the details of 'improving the Town hall'


  • The Town Halls are already decided upon by the DG as a way to share interesting information in relation with existing events, seminars, visitors etc.
  • Being already agreed from the top, this seemed a fairly high impact activity to the task force and it does not seem too difficult to set in shape.
  • The reason why there might be some tweaking is that these events could a) be made even more interactive (with buzz groups to provide inputs from the group to the main presenter) and b) planned more structurally, so that there is a rolling list of Town Halls that are topical (either in relation with specific celebration, event, visitor etc.).
  • Finally, the reason why this was shortlisted is that Peter and Ewen have been working on a note to improve Town Halls.

What steps to follow

  • There are 2 Town Halls planned soon: 8 March (around World Women's Day) and 28 March (Board meeting). Peter and Ewen are working on them.
  • A small generic process is sketched at the bottom of this page. It can (and should) be tweaked for each Town Hall according to the specific occasion and speaker.
  • The next steps are to organise these two Town Halls, to ensure good content (presentations), good interactions, good logistics;
  • Beyond those 2 planned Town Halls, a small team (at minimum Peter, Ewen and Jimmy) need to discuss how these Town Halls are unfolding and how to proceed forward;
  • Pending on the previous point, a list of tentative Town Halls should be issued to plan in advance and contact speakers etc.

Who does what when

  • Ewen and Peter are organising the generic process and planning the next 2 Town Halls.
  • Beyond that date it remains to be decided who takes care of the Town Hall organisation;
  • Ian Moore and his IT team in Nairobi and Addis are in charge of the logistical side of things (ensuring good microphone and video liaison);
  • Specific speakers are in charge of giving a short presentation or providing other inputs - they are briefed as and when relevant.

What might we need

  • Someone to document the Town Halls;
  • Reflection with the DG and a small group as to the results of the planned Town Halls;
  • A rolling list of events and discussions for the Town Halls to run them on a regular basis (scheduled on the calendar);
  • Someone to manage the Town Halls list on a regular basis and 'see to the process' (chase all parties to ensure all is ready on time.
Suggested (generic) Town Hall process:

As Peter and I were preparing the Board meeting-related Town Hall (28 March) with Jimmy and Bruce, we have come up with the following process which can be used (and possibly adapted) to this Town Hall:

  • Ensuring good technical provision (microphones and cameras) – we’re dealing with Ian on this;
  • Stimulate a light online (Yammer) discussion 2-3 days prior to the Town Hall – for this we would need your inputs with 1-2 questions for the gender in ILRI’s work and the gender in the ILRI workplace strands. We’ll also invite staff to come up with their own questions (to be channelled into the Town Hall conversation)

During the Town Hall,

  • Have perhaps each of you (or whoever) present something about a) gender in work (based on the new strategy?) and b) gender in the workplace - and end up with any questions from the online element;
  • Facilitate a little buzz group so participants from all around the world (in all ILRI offices) can reflect together and come back with reflections and other questions
  • Properly document the discussion so there is a record that people can check and come back to afterwards.