Research reflection and campaign design; a fruitful combination

  • September 17, 2018

The Impact Measurement and Knowledge team is all about understanding social change and about charting the effects that our programmes and campaigns have on people. This blog is about how we, in practice, deliver on our promise to give voice to citizens and realize that the voices of are really taken up by our programmes and campaigns.

Research formative to campaign design

In our collaboration with the Enough campaign we do not see research as a separate activity. Instead, we see research as formative for campaign design. Therefore, we combine reflection on research findings with strategic campaign design workshops – so that the voices of the citizens are directly considered at the design table. In this blog I will highlight our experience in Tunisia (2016) and Nigeria (2017) to show how this works.

The Enough campaign, aims to challenge and change social norms that perpetuate violence against women and girls, by replacing harmful norms with positive ones that promote gender equality and non-violence. Enough campaign recognises that social norms change must be evidence-based and tailored to the relevant context. To this end, it is relying on a strong research component at local and national level to ensure to ensure the campaign´s effectiveness and appropriateness from design to evaluation. As of July 2018, the campaign has launched in 14 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean, and the Pacific. Eventually over 30 countries will have launched the campaign. Regional and worldwide engagement – alliances, campaigning, influencing, and knowledge-sharing – will be developed with women rights organizations (WROs) and youth collectives. This supports national campaigning, generating a worldwide influence.

The Enough campaign is strongly rooted in local contexts, having been co-created and co-organized by Oxfam country programs working on Violence against Women and Girls, women’s rights organizations and feminist activists. Each country team and their local partner organisations design a tailor-made campaign that they consider most relevant for their context, thereby selecting the precise issues to be addressed, the exact group to target and the most relevant strategies.

The campaign strategy design workshops brought researchers and campaigners together. The rough results of the first analysis of findings were used in the campaign design workshop where Oxfam, partners, women rights organizations, journalists and academics came together to discuss how to tackle the social norms that perpetuate Violence against Women and Girls in their contexts.

Ownership of research findings

Our gender and justice colleagues in country lead the research, and ensure it is rooted in the local context. Through involvement of survivors of Violence against Women and Girls, women’s rights organizations, partners, and National gender and justice specialists at all stages of the research, the results become relevant and reliable for the people involved in the campaign design. For example, in Tunisia we involved survivors of violence in the design phase, asking them to comment on our interview guide and design principles of the research. In Nigeria one of the partners involved as enumerator commented that the research helped her to really hear the voices of the community members she was working with.

Combining different types of knowledge

The participants around the table at a campaign design workshop represent different types of knowledge; experiential knowledge, theoretical understanding, and legislative knowledge. The research brought in a new type of knowledge; representing the voice of the target audience of the campaign. This knowledge helps to frame the campaign towards the language of the audience. Ensuring it speaks to the voice of the citizens.

From research findings to a campaign message

Importantly, the research findings as such are not ‘campaignable’, often drained by jargon and theory. The influencers in the campaign design workshop helped the Enough campaign to transform research findings into campaign strategy. In both the Tunisian and the Nigerian campaign design workshop, the results of our research turned out to be very inspiring for most participants and reinforced for Oxfam the importance of continuing to work with partners and other stakeholders in a participatory way.

Find more information about the studies related to this blog:

 blog tunisia.jpg

blog nigeria.jpg


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