DfID revamps comms as Hutcheon takes new role

The Department for International Development has restructured the top tier of its PR team. The move comes as director of knowledge, comms and information Joy Hutcheon prepares to take a new role.

Her role will be renamed director of communications when her successor takes over next August. Hutcheon, who will become head of DfID Zambia, has held her existing role for two-and-a-half years and reports to director-general for corporate performance, Sue Owen (PRWeek, 21 Jan 2005).

The restructure will see responsibility for research move to the yet-to-be-formed policy and research directorate; evaluation will shift to the finance and corporate performance team.

Hutcheon's existing team will be cut from 130 to 80 people, but she insisted this would allow ‘­a greater focus' on comms.

‘DfID is not very well known in respect of its ongoing work to eradicate poverty. People tend to only think of us when there is a disaster,' she told PRWeek.

She added that the department is benefiting from an increase in resources as it tries to meet its target of providing 0.7 per cent of the UK's GDP in overseas aid by 2013. It is also tasked with promoting sustainable development.

Head of information and civil society Mike Green, who is effectively one of Hutcheon's deputies, has also quit after four years with DfID. His post was one of three reporting to Hutcheon - the others being head of research and head of evaluation.

They will be moved to different directorates and replaced with two posts: deputy director of strategic comms and deputy director of civil society and development. The latter focuses on raising awareness of DfID's work throughout the educational system, said Hutcheon.

The department employs around 3,000 staff, half of whom are in 80 offices across the globe.

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