When American India Foundation, came to us for strategic communication support for the 2017-18 Fellowship, the key question this collaboration sought to address was, “How do we communicate the impact of a fellowship to audiences who have not been part of the fellowship journey?” A deep dive into the fellowship journey of AIF and the year’s cohort provided insights which informed this three-pronged strategy for curating the year’s achievement. The gains of the fellowship were mapped and presented at the following levels –
Nurturing young professionals to work in diverse contexts: Growing investment in development programming has over the years attracted diverse talents and multidisciplinary teams to join forces to find solutions for complex and layered challenges. A reality that organisations now face is one where young professionals that join the workforce are not trained or exposed to the ‘sector’ as part of their education. These young people very often work for programmes that are designed for a context but they have very little familiarity with, and in most instances are rank outsiders. At the same time, growing expectations on the outcomes and scalability of programmes places pressure on young professionals to perform at par, often in the absence of mentorship. The fellowship addresses this by placing these professionals in culturally diverse contexts to put their skills to use and learn about working, keeping cultural sensitivities in mind. In order to highlight this outcome, we drew stories of the professional and personal journeys of fellows and sketched these narratives in the year book and presentations during the event.
A little support goes a long way: Development organisations benefit from intensive and specialised support to the programme. Important initiatives that have been falling through the cracks because of resource and time constraints are picked up by fellows and seen through during a span of 10 months. They often are able to plug-in critical specialist skill gaps for hosts and work out solutions for persistent challenges, which existing teams are unable to handle. To bring visibility to this aspect we gathered host testimonials and organized a panel discussion at the event to speak about the tangible value of this work.
Steps to achieving SDGS: At the larger sectoral level, there are strong linkages between the contribution of fellows in host organisations and the larger sustainable development agenda. A careful case by case examination as well as cumulative analysis helped bring to fore these connections. Alignment to the SDGs was built as the central theme for the fellowship dissemination event, where presentations, posters, infographics all highlighted this link between the individual fellow’s work and the SDGs. A publication edited and designed by us “People Powered Partnerships” was launched at the event. It delves into the thematic contributions of the fellows and SDG linkages.
The strategy for the 2018 AIF Clinton Fellowship Dissemination event rested on highlighting these three pillars. We consequently developed a design identity for the event and designed interactions that allowed the fellows’ work to take centre stage. We conceptualised and developed three publications that were launched at the summit – AIF Yearbook 2017-18; Impact showcase – A set of 27 impact posters; and People Powered Partnerships Vol. 1 - Essays on the impact of the fellowship.
At the event, StratComm’s Founder and Director Roshni Subhash was a panellist for the session titled “Crossing Cultures, Sharing Solutions” where she highlighted the unique feature of the Fellowship, which allows passionate change agents to question and rebuild perspectives in a cross-cultural context.
We continued to partner with AIF for the dissemination event for the 2018-19 cohort too and developed a range of print and digital collaterals for the event. To download the publications, please click here.