Research for Global Development

Building Support for International Development


Countries: China, France, Germany, U.K., U.S.

Challenge

The communications team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wanted to understand why and how citizens, policy-makers, and influentials in top donor countries (U.K., U.S., France, and Germany) and in China (as an emerging donor) engage in development issues, and identify the barriers and facilitators of this engagement. InterMedia was hired to provide a roadmap for development advocates who want to connect more meaningfully with key constituencies in donor country discussions about policy priorities.  The broader goal was to to raise awareness of, and increase levels of engagement with, development policy issues. The underlying assumption was that successful engagement with key audiences can steer development policies in a desired direction and help to sustain aid flows.

Approach

InterMedia engaged in research among three target groups:

  • Interested citizens – Members of the public who are predisposed to engagement with international development issues, based on their self-reported interest in global health and international development, and their previous participation in activities (such as donating to a cause or writing to a public official);
  • Influentials – Citizens with the potential to influence decisions by government officials on development policies; and
  • Government decision–makers – Elected and appointed officials who are engaged in forming and implementing national policies on international development and global health.

The study included a survey, focus groups and in-depth interviews in the five countries listed above, and built on previous research on the relationship between public opinion and levels of support for development aid conducted by bilateral and multilateral agencies.

Insight

The study, Building Support for International Development, provided insights into citizens’ perceptions of key development challenges; their attitudes towards their government’s engagement in development and support for foreign aid; and the role of other organizations in achieving development goals. The research also explored the role of media and new technologies as sources of information on international development for different constituencies, and provided guidelines for the development community on how to optimize the use of these sources for development purposes.

InterMedia

Building Support for International Development


Countries: China, France, Germany, U.K., U.S.

Challenge

The communications team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wanted to understand why and how citizens, policy-makers, and influentials in top donor countries (U.K., U.S., France, and Germany) and in China (as an emerging donor) engage in development issues, and identify the barriers and facilitators of this engagement. InterMedia was hired to provide a roadmap for development advocates who want to connect more meaningfully with key constituencies in donor country discussions about policy priorities.  The broader goal was to to raise awareness of, and increase levels of engagement with, development policy issues. The underlying assumption was that successful engagement with key audiences can steer development policies in a desired direction and help to sustain aid flows.

Approach

InterMedia engaged in research among three target groups:

  • Interested citizens – Members of the public who are predisposed to engagement with international development issues, based on their self-reported interest in global health and international development, and their previous participation in activities (such as donating to a cause or writing to a public official);
  • Influentials – Citizens with the potential to influence decisions by government officials on development policies; and
  • Government decision–makers – Elected and appointed officials who are engaged in forming and implementing national policies on international development and global health.

The study included a survey, focus groups and in-depth interviews in the five countries listed above, and built on previous research on the relationship between public opinion and levels of support for development aid conducted by bilateral and multilateral agencies.

Insight

The study, Building Support for International Development, provided insights into citizens’ perceptions of key development challenges; their attitudes towards their government’s engagement in development and support for foreign aid; and the role of other organizations in achieving development goals. The research also explored the role of media and new technologies as sources of information on international development for different constituencies, and provided guidelines for the development community on how to optimize the use of these sources for development purposes.

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