Our latest report on ‘Best practices in irregular migration awareness-raising campaigns’ is an in-depth exploration of why campaigns have not succeeded in the past in achieving their objectives, and what they can do to ensure they are achieved in the future.
The research, commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, explored 20 existing communication campaigns seeking to raise awareness of the risks of irregular migration funded by EU member states. Interviews and surveys with potential migrants, transit migrants, smugglers, returnees, donors, project implementers and external experts were carried out by our comms experts to provide insights into perceptions of campaign effectiveness, and challenges faced in the design, implementation and evaluation phases. Individuals were contacted in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Somalia, Turkey and beyond, where researchers gathered information about how campaign beneficiaries reacted to messages and what the impacts were likely to be on their behaviour and decisions to migrate.
The study found that despite high levels of investment in campaigns, empirical evidence showing their effectiveness is limited and beneficiaries were unlikely to respond as expected due to deficiencies in campaign design, delivery & working methods, and monitoring & evaluation. To improve future campaigns seeking to raise awareness about the risks of irregular migration, recommendations to ensure value for money and effectiveness were drawn up and a tool-kit for campaign designers and implementers has been included in the study.
Some of the most valuable lessons learnt were: