Whatever rubric the Minsitry has existed under, its mission has always been to play the key role of communcationg government development policies and programmes to the people.
No matter how impressive the development policies or programmes might be, it is imperative for government and its development partners to "carry along" with them the target beneficiaries and all other stakeholders of the programmes.
In our part of the world, the mass media of communication are not countrywide although the situation in Ghana has been considerably enhanced.
With the liberalization of the airwaves and print media, private radio stations and newspapers, which are situated in urban communities, have become rather choosy in message development, serving various political and commercialised interests.
The rest of the country is left for the Ministry of Information to cover, mainly through its implementing agency, the Information Services Department.
To enable the Ministry on Information play the role of lead communicator for government, it has identified the need to develop a coherent outreach strategy for urgent implementation.
Information Services Department (ISD)
ISD was set up as the Ministry's main public information and outreach arm. Information Services Department is mandated to:
Create awareness of government policies, programs and activities.
Promote Ghana's international marketing agenda.
Provide Public Relations support to government Ministries, departments, agencies and Ghana's missions abroad.
Get feedback from the public to government for policy reinforcement or redirection.
Information Services Department performed most creditably in the beginning, using a combination od visual, audio, print and face-to-face interaction trhough drama, films and talk shows, mounted on the ubiquitous cinema vans which criss-crossed the whole country.
Regular professional and on-the-job training, coupled with the availability of logistical support from the government, resulted in high morale and job satisfaction, and therefore, high productivity among staff.
However, with the advent of the new liberalized economy, with it's related liberalized media, culminating in the insulation of the media form government control and severe competition from the private media houses; ISD was relegated to the background.
Information Services Department's ineffectiveness and absence from the field have ended up creating a yawning gap and missing link in government's outreach to people, especially in the rural areas, where the department's presence and impact were most felt.