Martin Kirk presentation


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Martin Kirk presentation

  1. 1. The Oxfam experience
  2. 2. The problem for development NGOs <ul><li>Losing public debate on global social justice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple, longitudinal measures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public “uninterested and uninformed” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media, NGOs, companies, government all in same place </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We can’t get away from statements like: </li></ul><ul><li>“ nothings changed since Live Aid” </li></ul><ul><li>“ aid is just wasted on corruption” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Frames Surface frames: words and meanings e.g. Tax relief Deep frames: worldviews e.g. Moral order
  4. 4. Moral order ? ? ? ?
  5. 5. Moral order aid development charity campaigns
  6. 6. Six things we’ve done <ul><li>“ Know thyself” research: personalising the imperative </li></ul><ul><li>Small: festivals messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Medium: engagement model + new expertise + training </li></ul><ul><li>Large: corporate approaches + model of change </li></ul><ul><li>Supersize: pan and cross-sectoral working </li></ul>
  7. 7. Research conclusion (2010 Comms) <ul><li>“ Seen through the ‘Frames and Values’ lens, the language of Oxfam communications often promotes frames and values you are trying to move away from </li></ul><ul><li>However, your comms do show – in places – ‘how it can be otherwise’” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Oxfam UK and the Moral Order Simplification : especially binary oppositions, imperatives, assertions and war metaphors Assumptions: about supporters, prospective supporters & local partners Agency: subtle suggestions about who does what, to whom, which disempower supporters and local people
  9. 9. Subtle suggestion
  10. 10. <ul><li>Despite ourselves, NGOs are telling an old, predictable story, and are pretty comfortable with it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Old’ charity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Starving African babies (usually in black and white) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distance and difference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grandiose hope over reason </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government and the media are in the same boat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are blind to some very important unintended consequences </li></ul></ul>Three uncomfortable truths
  11. 11. The four horsemen of belief <ul><li>Mass poverty is inevitable </li></ul><ul><li>The problem is primarily with the people who are poor </li></ul><ul><li>People are poor for ‘natural’ and moral reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Charity is (good) enough </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>We assume far more than we know; we are more slave than master of our language </li></ul><ul><li>We fixate on what people think and ignore the why </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t know what a credible long term vision for engaging the public looks like </li></ul><ul><li>We confuse policy prescriptions for campaigns </li></ul>Four bad habits
  13. 13. <ul><li>Five new habits? </li></ul><ul><li>Take a whole organisation/whole sector perspective. Collaborate. </li></ul><ul><li>Study your language. Use experts. Standardise e.g. discourse analysis (looks at why ) </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritise credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Evolve communications, campaigning & fundraising models in one direction: </li></ul><ul><li>deeper engagement models </li></ul><ul><li>more conversation </li></ul><ul><li>less turnover </li></ul><ul><li>Revisit models of change. Together. </li></ul>