Wednesday 6 February 2019
Congratulations to DFID for winning Campaign of the Month with the Global Disability Summit. The summit took place on 24 July 2018 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London and brought together more than 1000 delegates from governments, donors, private sector organisations, charities and organisations of persons with disabilities.
Globally, 1 in 8 people have a disability, yet for too long people with disabilities in the world’s poorest countries have not been able to fulfil their potential due to stigma or lack of practical support. Until now, it has been a neglected issue in international development. The summit brought together governments and organisations from around the world, with the aim of transforming the lives of people with disabilities.
DFID ran an integrated influencing and communications campaign building up to the London summit. This included holding satellite events in target countries around the world to highlight the importance of tackling stigma and discrimination around disability and encourage those governments to make commitments at the summit.
DFID harnessed its international network to hold satellite events in targeted countries in the run up to the summit to motivate governments to make commitments.
In the UK, DFID delivered a series of communications activities using individual stories of people with disabilities around the world to create relatable and engaging content to show the UK’s leadership in driving global change. This activity was kick-started with a planned media moment with the Secretary of State when she became the first ever Minister to make a statement in Parliament in sign language. This galvanised media and public interest in the summit.
No-cost evaluation was carried out using qualitative and quantitative data from in-house media and social media monitoring, assessing sentiment and determining whether coverage had carried DFID messaging.
Objective 1: Securing commitments
Communications activity ahead of the summit supported DFID’s country offices to influence international policy makers which, as a result, led to:
Objective 2: Build momentum
The use of sign language in Parliament received 16 pieces of major coverage, featuring on ITV and Channel 4 News, reaching the marginally engaged. The clip of the Secretary of State using sign language became DFID’s best-ever performing social media post, reaching over 500K people.
We also secured approximately 50 additional pieces of coverage in the run up to and around the summit across national, specialist, online and international media, including BBC World Service and the East African. Working with the BBC, we supplied images and content to create DFID’s first photo gallery on the BBC website, which has a monthly readership of 561.9m people. Coverage was overwhelmingly positive and reflected DFID messaging.
Objective 3: Increase awareness and public support
The Secretary of State’s use of sign language and our wider targeted communications enabled us to reach audiences we have never reached before and illustrate the impact aid is having in supporting people with disabilities.
For example, a comment on Reddit where we posted the clip of the Secretary of State, said: “My mum actually rang me. She works for a disability charity. She told me she was with a deaf woman when they saw it and she busted out crying. I think it’s safe to say this might seem a little thing but to a few it’s engagement with government they’ve never had”.
The campaign was a whole Communications Division effort, led by: