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Crafting effective messages

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This presentation is about how to best craft messages out of research. It highlights the importance of effective messages in the research informing policy process.
Manilla, Philippines
17-18 June, 2013

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Crafting effective messages

  1. 1. The art of creating an effective message
  2. 2. Good research merits good communicationQualityofresearchQuality of communicationCommunicating Food Policy Research, IFPRI (March 2005)
  3. 3. Developing effective messagesWhen communicating your research, you need to respond to thefollowing questions:• Who?• Why?• How?• What? But what does “key messages” stand for?
  4. 4. How to best craft your messages?• If you have a completed research, list your key findings and policyrecommendations• If you have a research proposal, list its objective(s)• If you have a development project, list its achievement(s)Now, think about the following questions:1. What is the objective of your message?2. Why is this important?3. Who are your target audiences?4. What do you want them to do?5. How exactly should they do it?
  5. 5. What does an effective message look like?“The 4Cs model is auseful tool forobjectively evaluatingthe effectiveness ofmany forms ofcommunication: what’sworking, what isn’tworking, and why.”The 4Cs model:1. Comprehension2. Connection3. Credibility4. Contagiousness
  6. 6. What does it take to make a message memorable?• What do you want to say, how and to whom? Messages should be designed with audiences in mind andtailored to fit their needs – identify your audience Messages should be memorable, engaging and limited innumber – KISS!! Messages should be simple – avoid jargon and scientificterminologies Messages may need to answer the question: ‘why do I care?’
  7. 7. • A Attract the attention of the audience• I Raise the interest in the message or evidence• D Encourage a desire to act or to know more• A Prompt action and present a solutionMake your messages pass the ‘Grandma Test’
  8. 8. Message pyramidCommunicating Food Policy Research, IFPRI (March 2005)
  9. 9. Policy Implications Key recommendations•What policy changes or actions do theresults point to?•Supported by evidence•Must be actionable•Less direct than recommendations•Useful when advice not requested or notwelcome•What does the researcher think shouldhappen?•Supported by evidence•Must be actionable•Describe clearly what should happennext•State as precise steps
  10. 10. Remember!All great ideas are simple at heart!
  11. 11. Example 1 – MIDP 2012Title of Project: Cloth for Work turning old material into resources for poor in ruralareas of India.
  12. 12. Example 1 – ORD 2012Title of Project: Economic incentives for discouraging urban sprawl inMexico CityMethodology and/or TerminologyThe study will be based on a cost-benefit analysis and on microeconomic theory to determine a cost-effective alternative todiscourage urban sprawl. First, the institutional framework of urban planning, housing policy and urban land policy, will bedescribed to understand the phenomenon of urban sprawl in Mexico. Then, the problem will be described on the grounds ofmicroeconomic theory, from the perspective of public goods provision and internalization of negative externalities. Next, we willdescribe a set of policy alternatives to solve the problem. For this, a cost-benefit analysis will be developed, assigning economicvalues of benefits and costs for each alternative and comparing the net benefit with a base alternative (current situation). Forinstance, individual costs of transportation will be estimated as a function of distance, time travel and households’ revenue, whileenvironmental costs will be estimated by assigning an economic value of the emissions generated by transport. Based on thisanalysis, a set of policy recommendations will be assessed in order to find the must cost-effective alternative. Additionally, a casestudy will be conducted. A sample of households in a social housing development in the outer area of Mexico City MetropolitanArea, will be selected to collect quantitative and qualitative data, which will help to validate the results and generate additionalinformation not available in the data sources (e.g. household location decisions). Interviews to stakeholders and key actors areconsidered, in particular to the housing federal institutions, national authorities of urban and regional planning and transportsector..The research will rely on the use of public access databases containing information about: population (census);transportation (travel patterns in Metropolitan Area); income and expenses of the households; greenhouse gases emissions;finance reports for the three levels of government; housing credits given by National Housing Agencies; investments oninfrastructure provision by the three levels of government.Policy ImplicationsThe team is expecting to produce cost-efficient policy recommendations consisting on a set of suitable economic instruments thatencourage inner-city social housing projects.

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