WaterAid Appoints Blue State To Put Digital Advocacy At The Forefront Of Its Global Agenda

WaterAid, the world’s leading NGO on water, sanitation and hygiene has hired Blue State to develop a bold global strategy for its digital advocacy to help the organisation reach decision makers and influence behaviour around the world.

WAI_UK_LUCKNOW Babulal who cycled three kilometres to reach Maswasi village to fill water for his family at Maswasi in Unnao in Lucknow, UP, India on 08 June 2021.

Traditional advocacy – where organisations were able to engage decision makers such as politicians and businesses directly – became extremely limited when the pandemic began.

Charities, but also policy-makers and governments made an urgent switch to digital outreach to continue communications. Digital advocacy – such as outreach on social channels, emails encouraging interaction, activism and more, from likes and interactions to signing petitions and taking direct action – remains at pre-pandemic levels. 

As such, WaterAid is now considering the long-term implications of this, and how it can be more strategic in its long-term digital approach.

Blue State will help WaterAid develop a strategy for its WASH Matters programme – its technical and field operations arm, working with WaterAid’s head office as well as with the countries where WaterAid works.

The agency will help WaterAid to understand how it can help shape its global digital advocacy around water, sanitation and hygiene access, and the tools, techniques and messages that will resonate with governments, policy-makers and influencers to bring WASH to the forefront of the policy making agenda

Claire Seaward, campaigns director at WaterAid, said:

“The pandemic deeply impacted how we, and many other charities, operate online when it comes to raising awareness, driving fundraising and  reaching our advocacy goals. We saw a shift in how we could ensure our messaging was at the forefront for the right audiences from in-person to online. 

“With people continuing to work from home in the future, this digital way of influencing will be an important new tool in our advocacy toolkit even as other pandemic behaviours begin to change back again for many. Blue State’s in-depth understanding of mobilising people online means they really know how to solve this challenge for us as we head into 2022, and beyond.”

WAI_UK_LUCKNOW Babulal who cycled three kilometres to reach Maswasi village to fill water for his family at Maswasi in Unnao in Lucknow, UP, India on 08 June 2021.

 Hannah Johnson, managing director at Blue State, said:

 “The pandemic accelerated the shift to digital in the sector and beyond. Within the advocacy realm, people could no longer meet in certain spaces to have conversations behind closed doors and so digital advocacy engagement and actions increased.

“This has given charities and organisations looking to speak to government audiences a new way to reach out, and though in-person advocacy is becoming an option again in many places around the world, charities can’t afford to lose the momentum and value that they have built online during this time. Particularly when this environment provides the potential for activities to be more easily optimised and trackable.

 “Blue State used to work with WaterAid back in 2015 – we helped them create their Quiz of unbelievable shit about water sanitation and advised on social media strategy and content. We’re excited to reignite this relationship and work with them on a global scale for the first time.”

Source: Blue State

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