Irregular migration creates risks such as human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and different situations of violence and vulnerabilities. On the other hand, regular migration promotes the protection of human rights and facilitates the economic and social development of migrants, their families, and States, both of origin and destination. Access to information becomes a key component to promote regular, orderly and secure migration.
Campaigns are a tool to disseminate information or messages. However, institutional communication campaigns are usually unidirectional and without long-term impacts. Communication for Development (C4D) is proposed as an innovative methodology to achieve sustainable changes that affect the development of communities and states through evidence-based decisions and participatory processes.
C4D aims to promote behavioral changes, which goes beyond providing information, to inspire people to change the way they act. C4D is based on keeping the target audience as the basis of the solution, allowing a deeper understanding of the problem and related factors that can be used to motivate change
Based on IOMX's experience against human trafficking replicated in the Americas, we recommend 6 steps to implement a Communication for Development campaign in your initiatives related to prevention, awareness and information:
- Step 1: Know your audience:
The starting point of a C4D campaign should not be the interests of an organization, but the needs of the target audience. To promote change, it is necessary to understand the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the population, as well as their habits, needs, concerns and motivations.
Keep in mind that there is a primary audience (the one that is expected to change attitude or behavior), a secondary (who can affect the attitude or behavior of the primary audience) and a tertiary (who can shape the attitudes and values of a community more broadly).
Take for example, the case of women originating from a community of domestic workers who migrate irregularly. The campaign that seeks to prevent this situation should consider as a primary audience the workers who potentially wish to migrate, their relatives and friends as a secondary audience, and the tertiary audience as the local leaders and government or, the target communities that need to raise awareness about their role in this problem. This will make the execution of specific and personalized actions for each audience possible.
- Step 2: Know how to best reach your audience:
Identify the channels and strategies that can best appeal to your audience. One of the first steps to achieve this point is to create ‘SMART’ goals, that is, goals that are 1) specific; 2) measurable; 3) attainable; 4) relevant; and 5) timely.
Returning to the example of potential migrant women workers, if the broadcast budget is limited, the use of community radio and television channels, local face-to-face information activities and networks of organizations could be considered.
- Step 3: Revise and adjust the strategy:
At this stage the messages and products that will be disseminated will be developed later. But it is always necessary to validate them before launching them. This way it is possible to ensure that the messages are well understood and accepted by the target audience. The messages should always be clear, direct, positive and contain “calls for action”.
If it is about the potential women migrant workers, check with them that the correct language is being used, if the message is clear or if there are elements that are offensive or outside their context.
- Step 4: Implement the campaign:
Once the messages have been validated with your target audience, it is time to launch the campaign. Try to keep all the actors who contributed to the process involved, from donors to community leaders and government, in order to establish bonds of trust and transparency.
It is necessary that you register the campaign implementation activities, as they will be useful for the next point.
- Step 5: Monitor y evaluate the campaign's success:
As in any project that aims to be sustainable and successful over time, Communication for Development requires monitoring and evaluation to identify possible corrections in the strategy to help achieve its objectives within the previously established parameters of time and resources.
If your organization requires the implementation of a Communication for Development campaign, feel free to contact email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the communication services offered by the regional office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean here.