26 July 2019

Feature: Advocacy & Communication Strategies

Blog posts & essays:

Can You Prove That? Evaluating Communications in Humanitarian Aid (Social Media for Good Blog, Jan. 2019) [text]
- Provides link to the ALNAP guide on "Evaluation of Protection in Humanitarian Action."

Fighting Myths about Immigration? Facts and Evidence are not Enough (MPC Blog, April 2019) [text]

"Highlighting Shared Humanity and Prosperity to Advance Immigration Solutions," Stanford Social Innovation Review, 15 May 2018 [full-text]

On Message: UNHCR's Melissa Fleming on Changing the Refugee Narrative (Devex, March 2019) [text]

Why Anti-Xenophobia Campaigns May Backfire (Refugees Deeply, Nov. 2018) [text]
- Adapted from a longer research paper on xenophobia towards refugees and forced migrants.

Reports & journal articles:

"Communicating Migration: Pope Francis’ Strategy of Reframing Refugee Issues," Church, Communication and Culture, vol. 3 no. 2 (2018) [open access]
- " This article aims to describe the communication strategy of Pope Francis on migrants and refugees; to show how his efforts are reframing this issue; and, finally, to illustrate with examples how those working closely with the Pope are implementing it."

Communicating Strategically about Immigrant Integration: Policymaker Perspectives (Migration Policy Institute, Jan. 2019) [text]
- "This report takes stock of the communication strategies and common narratives employed by integration policymakers, as well as the slew of obstacles that can lead messages to be misremembered, ignored, or inadvertently inflame tensions. ...Among the key lessons of this analysis: messages that are overly positive may be perceived as disingenuous or out of sync with on-the-ground realities, while those that fail to tap into an audience’s lived experiences or that do not come from a trusted messenger are likely to be dismissed."

Evaluating the Impact of Information Campaigns in the Field of Migration: A Systematic Review of the Evidence, and Practical Guidance, Central Mediterranean Route Thematic Report Series, no. 1 (IOM, 2018) [text]
- "Studies have repeatedly shown that many migrants start their journeys with limited or biased information and end up in vulnerable situations. In response, information campaigns have increased in number and the type, format, messages and strategy of such campaigns have diversified. This report presents the results from a systematic literature review of evaluations of such information campaigns in the field of migration."

Evaluation of Effectiveness and Relevance of Advocacy Approaches with the EU and in EU/EFTA Countries (2015-2017) (UNHCR, May 2019) [text]
- Among the conclusions: "The ability of UNHCR to influence European public opinions towards refugees needs further reflection. Activities aimed at influencing public opinions were designed and implemented in a manner where it was not possible to measure their effects. UNHCR should consider further what the aim is of its public opinion influencing activities in Europe, given its limited advocacy capacity and resources, the challenges to influence attitudes and the positive trend seen in polling of Europeans’ attitudes towards refugees."

"Norm Contestation in the Digital Era: Campaigning for Refugee Rights," International Affairs, vol. 95, no. 3 (May 2019) [free full-text]
- "The article suggests that digital advocacy organizations can mobilize people online and offline, and IR scholars should examine this important source of power."

"Refugee Organizations’ Public Communication: Conceptualizing and Exploring New Avenues for an Underdeveloped Research Subject," Media and Communication, vol. 7, no. 2 (2019) [open access]

"Selling Displaced People? A Multi‐method Study of the Public Communication Strategies of International Refugee Organisations," Disasters, vol. 43, no. 3 (July 2019) [free full-text]
- "The study found that the medium characteristics of press releases and the importance of media attention result in a depersonalising humanitarian discourse. In addition, there were indications of a post‐humanitarian discourse that reproduced the humanitarian sector's ‘marketisation’. Finally, the examined organisations use the political realist cross‐issue persuasion strategy, displaying displaced people as resettlement objects."

When Facts Don’t Matter: How to Communicate More Effectively about Immigration’s Costs and Benefits (Migration Policy Institute, Nov. 2018) [text]
- "This report explores why there is often a pronounced gap between what research has shown about migration trends and immigration policy outcomes and what the public believes. To do so, it explores the social psychological literature on why people embrace or reject information, as well as recent changes in the media landscape. The report concludes with a reexamination of what it takes to make the “expert consensus” on these issues resonate with skeptical publics, including recommendations for policymakers and researchers seeking to communicate more effectively the costs and benefits of immigration."


Advocacy: Innovative Ways to Influence Public Policy, Stanford Social Innovation Review [access]
- Series of essays and articles on successful communication for social advocacy organizations. Some are behind a paywall, others are freely available.

The Arc: How Science Can Improve Communications about Refugees and Humanitarian Innovation (UNHCR Innovation Service & University of Florida Center for Public Interest Communication) [access]
- Follow link for research/editorials/stories on thinking more strategically about communications.

Related post:
- Feature: Assessing Impact of Media Campaigns (3 March 2015)

Tagged Publications.

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