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Development Communications

ICF combines communications and policy expertise to help clients engage diverse sets of global, national, regional, and local stakeholders for raising awareness, catalyzing action, and building consensus.

Integrating communication and engagement is critical for successful global development initiatives. Development partners need to distill the most relevant and actionable evidence from a wealth of data and use that information to build constituencies for designing and implementing evidence-based policies. 

With in-house communications and creative teams in the U.S. and Europe and a world-wide network of partners, ICF has the capability to effectively strategize, execute, and evaluate targeted communications campaigns. Our expertise in key policy domains—including climate change, health, food security and community development—along with these communications capabilities, means we are able to convey purposeful messaging across diverse cultures employing the full range of channels and tools. 

Harnessing Technology for Purpose 

Whether print media, word-of-mouth, or digital interactive technology is the right option for a given target audience, ICF can mobilize its in-house creative team and global network of partners to produce effective development communications. Expectations for communications—especially on-line and social media tools—are constantly evolving and ICF can work with clients to address more interactivity, a multi-language user experience, mobile responsiveness, and compliance issues.

Social media continues to alter people’s expectations for the timeliness and relevance of the information they receive and is a vital channel for engagement and action on global development issues. ICF demonstrated its expertise on the challenges of using social media to disseminate global health and development information—and measuring its effectiveness--through its work with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications on the Social Media for Health and Development Global Health eLearning Center Course.  

Platforms for Policy Dialogue and Building Consensus 

At the global, regional, and local levels, ICF is engaging stakeholders by facilitating conversations and decisions to lead to shared understanding and achievement of development goals. ICF’s technical assistance to support stakeholder engagement and decision-making has included organizing key initiatives including:  

  • COP21 momentum-building in Mexico City—to help develop a collective approach and increase synergies between participating groups in the fight against climate change—and in Rio de Janeiro—presenting climate solutions to the public and hosting a conference of world experts,  
  • “Together for a New Mali,” an international, high-level donor conference aimed at mobilizing and coordinating support for the country’s post-war development efforts, and 
  • The Asia Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) Partnership—a voluntary, multi-sector network active in designing, promoting, and implementing green growth in Asia 

Driving Behavior Change and Raising Awareness

ICF helps clients implement communications activities to build awareness and change behavior around health and social issues—such as fighting infectious diseases, resolving environmental issues, supporting women’s empowerment, or reducing carbon footprints. Even more importantly, we help clients monitor communications campaigns to measure their effectiveness and make adjustments. Our subject-matter and communications experts bring understanding of what works in different countries and support the global shift toward more digitally-engaging outreach. 

ICF helped the MEASURE Evaluation consortium re-imagine its website to provide easier access to information on pressing health topics, including HIV and AIDS, malaria, health systems strengthening, and health informatics. 

Campaigns in Africa demonstrate our understanding of how to work effectively across cultural and socio-economic boundaries to address topics from protection of biodiversity to building sustainable communities. In Zambia, ICF helped build the capacity of institutions—both governmental and nongovernmental—to measure the effectiveness of health promotion campaigns across such topics as HIV, family planning, maternal and child health, nutrition, and malaria. Rigorous evaluation of communications campaigns have shown a strong correlation to positive changes in behavior and attitudes.