Antonio Di Muro
Protection Associate
Duty Station: Bari, Italy

I’m addressing the challenge of how UNHCR Italy’s RSD Team can generate a more energetic and creative communication culture, while also presenting coherence and consistency in the external representation of UNHCR’s positions and views.

Under the current legal framework and until a reform of the system, UNHCR Italy is engaged in the government-led RSD procedure by ensuring the participation of designated representing persons in the various eligibility panels (named “Territorial Commissions”) distributed throughout the territory. As a consequence of a quick increase of the Territorial Commissions number, the RSD Team has dramatically grown, in the last year, both in size and in internal complexity. The particularly high number of colleagues involved in the RSD operation, the fact that the wide majority of them work out of the office (both in a physical and psychological sense), and the increased complexity of the group’s internal structure and dynamics are posing clear communication challenges.

Those challenges are complex and multi-faceted, and include aspects such as: preservation and strengthening of a regular, two-way communication with each member of the team; harmonization of coordination practices and tools; appropriate generation, preservation, and transmission of institutional memory; counterbalancing the sense of isolation caused by the geographical distance between team members, and strengthening their sense of belonging. The most important communication challenge, however, is finding a way to conciliate two apparently contradictory objectives: the promotion of a more dynamic communication culture, encouraging all team members to freely and safely share their thoughts, ideas and views, and a more coherent and consistent representation of the UNHCR’s position in the various territorial commissions.

I want to find a solution to this challenge because communication, coordination and exchange of information are crucial to UNHCR Italy.

All colleagues agreed that it would be highly desirable to develop a communication culture that fosters creativity and enhances the multiple and diverse skills of the RSD team members. Yet, it is equally important to preserve, and possibly increase, the degree of consistency and coherence in the external representation of UNHCR’s position and views.