Crucial conversations: our favourite five
Communications highlights from our 2019 Annual Review show how we’ve explored new, and refined existing, ways to engage, listen and learn.
Listening, learning and exchange are ingrained in IIED’s organisational DNA. Our partnership approach, expertise in difficult dialogues and commitment to lifting up under-represented voices informs and strengthens our approach to communications.
In our 2019 Annual Review we looked back at ways we explored new channels and connected with new audiences. From filmmaking to Facebook content and innovative event design, these five highlights show that open minds and ears achieve impact.
1. New blogging platform targets Africa’s youth
We sought to hear and promote the powerful ideas coming out of youth movements and kicked off a monthly Facebook blog series. We focused calls for blogs on the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania where young people’s engagement with Facebook is particularly strong.
In his blog, Ridwan Bello, of Jigawa State College of Education in Nigeria, called on young people in his country to build up their knowledge about the causes and impacts of climate change so they can fully engage in the youth-led climate action across the globe. In another contribution Joanes Ooko Odero, of Kenyatta University, Kenya, blogged about his vision to expand a new tree-planting initiative.
2. Diverse dialogues
In one of our biggest communications programmes yet, we hosted discussion and debate around the world on how to develop a fair, sustainable marine economy. The programme – including workshops, think dinners and an international event – was built around listening to the evidence of others, ranging from fisher folk in Costa Rica, to technical specialists in Edinburgh, to government staff in New York.
3. Capturing content from the grassroots
The 13th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation to climate change (CBA13) brought together more than 300 participants from 42 countries to exchange knowledge about community-based adaptation. This year, the conference welcomed more indigenous voices than ever before.
We shared their insights globally by live tweeting and real-time web posting of session highlights. Over the four-day event we captured practitioners’ voices through videos and blogs, and promoted their perspectives in the run-up to the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit.
4. Long read makes women’s voices count
Listening was fundamental to our gender and land governance work. IIED’s Communications Group guided partner organisations in Ghana, Senegal and Tanzania to carry out in-depth journalistic interviews, forming the basis of a long read.
The project focused on helping African women find space for their voices in land rights and governance decisions; many are now community members whose voices are fully heard in community meetings.
5. Global exchange
Our Communications Learning Week was one of 2019’s highlights. Alongside partner organisations from Africa, Latin America and Asia, we explored opportunities, barriers and tactics for connecting with different audiences in different regions.
Popular training sessions in video making, social media and writing skills met participant and staff learning goals and were shaped by 2018 feedback. Our ‘alumni’ Facebook group grows every year, building a supportive global network of communicators.
In our five-year strategy, 'Make Change Happen', we recognise that loud, bold communication starts with active listening; throughout 2020 we will continue to challenge ourselves to find new, and refine existing, ways to engage, listen and learn.