Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Wednesday 24 August 2011

Communicating Climate Change

In The psychology of Climate Change Communication the researchers of the Center of Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) formulate - in eight steps - guidance for effective communication:
1. Know your audience
2. Get your audience's attention
3. Translate scientific data into concrete experience
4. Beware of the overuse of emotional appeals
5. Address scientific and climate uncertainties
6. Tap into social identities and affiliations
7. Encourage group participation
8. Make behaviour change easier.
See also:
Sell the Sizzle;
Communicating Science;
Behaviour barriers to mitigate climate change;
Why isn't the brain green?
The problem with global warming is global warming.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Communicating forests

To communicate forests in a meaningful way one has to tailor the messages, their language and the media to each different audience. In general we need to appeal to positive emotions when addressing the general public and provide them with a clear action perspective. Only when addressing policy makers and the private sector we can use more rational arguments of costs and benefits. However we need to tell each audience always clearly what they can do tomorrow to contribute. This means careful target group research. Surch research always implies further segmentation of the audience. For a campaign towards whe general public we can need to look at different segments, e.g.:

A local villager looks at the forest and may think of fruits, nuts, fodder, meat; he can be more careful to use resources sustainably.
A traveler looks at a forest and may think of the shadow of the trees to rest under; he can contribute by being careful with fire.
A teenager looks at a forest and may think of the excitement of an adventure tour; they can contribute by not disturbing wildlife.
A married couple looks at a forest and may think of their first kiss there; they can contribute by joining a conservation group.
A young kid looks at a forest and may think what an amazing experience; he can contribute by learning more about nature.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Pleasing the client

A good project does not necessary please the client. Making a real impact on the ground in the sense that project beneficiaries really benefit directly from the project, is not enough to please a client. Neither is delivering value for money and satisfying all the elements of the ToR. Nor is it enough to please a client that the project becomes the talk of town in their community and beyond. To please a client - especially in international development projects - the consultant has to think beyond the client. And think how to satisfy and please the clients of his client. In the end funding for development cooperation comes from national tax payers, it might be channeled through international organizations and a national ministry.

To please the client it is important to realize their interest and that of their clients. The project management unit may like the project to contribute to the continuity of their office, or at least provide credits for their careers. The Ministry where the management unit is placed may like to see explicit added value or extra support to their policies and priorities. The international organization involved wants the project to deliver proof of the viability of its approaches and wants templates for reusability of the project results in other countries. Finally the donor country wants concrete proof of money well spent that satisfies their taxpayers. So pleasing a client means going far beyond the ToR, while staying within the budget. A matter of project planning!