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


Thursday 23 June 2016

A Visualised Change Strategy for Improving Resilience in Mount Elgon

In 2014 and 2015 HECT Consultancy was involved with Purple Meerkat Public Relations Inc. in an IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) mission to visit projects sites of the IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) Project ‘Implementing a resilience framework to support climate change adaptation, in Kenya and Uganda’. The purpose of the mission was to document lessons learned and produce a video and a photobook that IUCN ESARO could use for lobby and training of county level decision makers in the Mount Elgon region to engage them in upscaling the IUCN approach. After finishing the work HECT Consultancy came to the conclusion that an infographic tailored to the Mount Elgon context might be the most appropriate tool for lobby and training purposes.

Audience determines the choice of the type of infographic
With a team of web application experts and designers HECT Consultancy developed – at its own expense - a prototype of such an infographic for the local level. Most existing infographics on resilience, nature-based solutions or climate change adaptation are tailored at the needs of decision makers at the national or international level and are focused on explaining the concept. These infographics are characterised by an indirect-cognitive design and offer a comprehensive overview of all the relevant facts and figures. What local decision makers needed in the Mount Elgon region is a design they will immediately recognize, focused only on interventions needed in Mount Elgon and explaining the key elements of the process of change. The design is therefore based on a direct cognitive approach. Unlike many other infographics this type can also be printed on A4 (for lobby purposes) or as a large poster (for training purposes).

Mount Elgon prototype
In 2016 ESARO is testing the prototype in its lobby and training activities in Kenya and Uganda. The electronic form of the infographic makes adaptation to other contexts possible as changing of the type of trees, houses and other landscape elements is relatively easy. In this way the infographic can be used at the local level of projects in other countries or continents. The experience with designing this infographic can also be used for other ESARO resilience projects, e.g. in preparing for and dealing with extreme droughts (Kenya) or in community peacebuilding projects after a period of armed conflicts (Uganda).