The Communication and Public Relations Division was created in September, 2019, to undertake Social Mobilization, Community Engagement, External Relations, Library and printing services at Stats SL. The Division is headed by a Director, assisted by the Senior Communication and PR Officer and the head of the resource centre.
The Communication and PR Division will also serve as the image maker of STATS SL. The division will popularize the work of STATS SL, put out press releases, create visibility signage in all STATS SL premises countrywide; ensure quality printing of reports and journals and maintain standard library services including e-library and a well-managed website
The Communication and Public Relations unit comprises the Assistant Communication Officer, Media Relations Officer, the Digital Media Officer and the Senior Website and Portal Officer; these four units, within the division are supervised by the Senior Communication and Public Relations Officer.
At the same level with the Communications and Public Relations unit, is the Resource Centre. The resource centre is headed also by one supervisor and it comprises the Library and the printing services.
The Communication and Public Relations unit undertakes partnership building and consolidation with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), development partners, NGOs including civil society, communities and relevant groups ie youth groups, religious groups, District social mobilization committees and Village Development Committees (VDC).
Partnership with the Primary Health Care division of the Ministry of Health & Sanitation will strengthen linkages and help Stats SL to permeate all households in each and every community throughout Sierra Leone. The primary Health Care division has a network of Social Mobilisation committees in all sixteen districts, coordinating over 370 Peripheral Health Units (PHUs), which could be found in each chiefdom and political ward, in the country. Each PHU has a big catchment area constituting the attending population clientele of that PHU. Each PHU also has Community Health Workers (CHW) who transmit information and interact with each and every household and individual within their catchment area.
The VDCs are coordinated by the peripheral units (PHU) ie all the catchment villages and population seeking health services from that PHU, belong to that particular Village development committee and all messages relating to that committee are disseminated through their community health workers, being the channels of communication in the lowest administrative unit.
The Communication and Public Relations Division will identify key media partners within the network of commercial and community radios, TV and newspapers and give them orientation from time-to-time on the STATS SL website, how to access credible data and encourage them to disseminate research and survey results on a regular basis and keep the public fully informed about available data that could be used for economic and development planning, base line needs of development partners and also for monitoring and evaluation of programmes.
Information is like a piece of bread and it is always more appetizing when it is eaten fresh. STATS SL has noted, with interest, that sometimes sero-prevalence surveys are to be undertaken, which may require the collection of dried- blood sampling, if the communities are not informed, the results will not be as accurate as may be required. Therefore, the Communications and PR Division will be required to conduct sustained engagement with relevant partners, through multimedia and interpersonal means and drench the public with relevant and accurate reliable information at all times. The media are also partners that are always hungry for correct and reliable information, if their wish to access the correct information is not fulfilled; they will revert to speculations, which will not augur well for STATS SL, by extension the growth and development of the country and for the effective functioning of our development partners. The objective of the Communication and Public relations Division is to ensure effective information dissemination, through trustworthy partnership and appropriate inclusiveness, by all relevant entities and individuals.
The division also works to enhance Stats SL’s reputation and correct miss understanding about STATS SL’s work in the eyes of public, stakeholders, employees and all others associated with it through writing press releases and other content for news, working with the press, arranging interviews , acting as the institution's spokesperson, preparing for press conferences, media interviews and speeches, writing website and social media content, managing Stats SL’s reputation (crisis management), as well as managing internal communications.