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Spotlight on CDIA’s Communications Specialist, An Rubenecia

June 26, 2020
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CDIA’s project reports can be long and highly technical, and they need to be distilled into stories that are engaging and easy-to-understand. That’s where CDIA’s Communications and Outreach Specialist An Rubenecia comes in.

An has over 12 years’ experience leading communication projects for urban development, healthcare and the environment. She joined CDIA in 2016 and has since worked to revitalize CDIA’s external communications, networking and public relations efforts.

“A big part of my mission is telling the story of CDIA’s work. We blend art and science in our narratives to unpack the technical details and make them understandable for a broader audience. We hope that through this, we can inspire people to use such knowledge to promote sustainable development,” An says.

One of An’s major projects at CDIA has been creating a strategic communication plan that now directs the group’s communication efforts.

She has also collaborated with her colleagues to publish content across several channels including two institutional publications, five documentary-style videos that show the results and impacts of CDIA’s work, hundreds of articles covering CDIA projects, and various knowledge products.

“An reads our technical reports and stays in close communication with the team in the field so she can carefully document every milestone of project progress,” says Zhang Yu, CDIA’s Senior Urban Infrastructure Specialist for China. “She’s an invaluable part of the team, because she brings our work to life and helps put the spotlight on these projects.”

An also updates CDIA’s website and digital media platforms with real-time accounts of the team’s activities and projects. She also coordinates networking and partnership building with regional institutions, and this helps CDIA communicate with more cities and allows them to hear about CDIA’s development work.

“We always make it a point to highlight not just the contributions of CDIA, but also the work of our city partners,” adds An. “They are the drivers of development reforms and without their project ownership and commitment, the project won’t bear fruit.”

An works on communications across many mediums, but she says that it’s the video documentary projects that have a special place in her heart.

“One material I found most rewarding to develop was our video on improving urban mobility in Tbilisi, Georgia,” she says. “It’s just amazing how the various stakeholders were able to form a strong partnership and pool their resources together to get this project off the ground.”

With support from Agence Française de Développement and the European Union, CDIA and the Hanoi-based communications firm Clickable Vietnam have begun developing targeted products including videos, publications, feature articles and social media campaigns that underscore the role of mainstreaming climate change in CDIA’s work.

“We’ve had a smooth and productive partnership with CDIA so far,” says Vinh Prag, Senior Associate at Clickable Vietnam. “An and her colleagues are very driven and have decades of collective experience in the infrastructure development world. Especially An’s experience with outreach has made it easy for us to communicate with and for CDIA.”

An next looks forward to implementing a new communications roadmap for CDIA. It will raise awareness on the challenges of climate change and urbanization, and share CDIA’s experiences with preparing climate-compatible, low carbon and resilient investments.

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