Build a convincing case and present clear policy options

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The key strategies are:

Strategy: Gather online support for the issue.

Tools and Usage Potentials Limitations Examples
Social networking tools

Use Facebook pages to gather supporters for the issue.

Facebook pages allow users to follow specific issues quite easily.

You can also get a sense of how many people are interested in your issue.

Limited to Facebook users.

Strategy: Have key findings and policy implications ready to be presented in a schematic, yet understandable and credible manner

Tools and Usage Potentials Limitations Examples
Visualization tools

Dynamic graphs and maps showing possible future scenarios. See Section 4: Data visualization tools for a comprehensive listing of available tools.

Animated maps can demonstrate scenarios and trends in a glimpse with more power than pages of text can ever achieve. See dedicated section Requires complex statistical data over a timeline in formats compatible with available tools A map showing different climate change scenarios

Online maps

Using Google Maps , Google Earth or OpenStreetMaps[1] can be used to present geographical data.

The geographical information can be completed with data relevant to specific policy (e.g. statistics of people with access to internet, healthcare, etc). Maps can provide a good visual representation of statistical data and they can be often used as a powerful evidence (e.g, map of how access to a specific public service is distributed in different districts). Simplification

Common online maps don't capture evolution over time

BBC's map of internet access across the world:

The Global Voices Advocacy Project data on internet censorship and activists against censorship in different countries. In one look, you can see where there are threats to freedom of expression in the world.

Mobile Active has a map of mobile telephony use and providers in different countries:

Graphs & Diagrams

Google Chart Tools[2] or any of the many existing online services for Graphs and charts (depends on aesthetic preferences)

Online Charts can visualize statistical information in an understandable and powerful way.

Video interviews and short video documents

Short video interviews with people who understand implications of planned policies or are directly impacted by them is a powerful tool to draw attention of public/media to specific issues.

Vimeo, EngageMedia,, Youtube and other free online services make it easy to upload videos and share them in number of formats across blogs, websites, videocasts, etc.

Video-enabled mobile phones and cheap cameras can be often used as they are sufficient for common online video quality and the content and timeliness of video contributions are usually more important than image quality.

Real people talking about an issue from their perspective can make even complex issues and their consequences understandable to a layperson. Steep learning curve in capacity to turn raw video material into a short and consistent video message. Witness' The Hub features videos from activist film-makers on different human rights issues.

EngageMedia has videos from Asia Pacific that focuses on environmental rights.

Both communities are great at abstracting and summarising content.

Strategy: Have layered information available online, from a very schematic form to an in-depth analysis.

Tools and Usage Potentials Limitations Examples
Google Sites Google Sites is a convenient tool to organize research findings in such a way that the frontpage shows a schematic glimpse of key research findings (including maps, charts, etc) while other sections and links contain detailed analysis, supporting evidence, statistics, references to other resources, etc.

  1. – OpenStreetMaps (OSM) - open alternative to Google maps. Using OSM where possible should be preferred over Google Maps because in the long term perspective it offers more possibilities in terms of what one can do with geographical data one produces. However, for many regions OpenStreetMaps are currently less detailed than Google Maps.


Table of Contents of the iGuide

1. Introduction

2. Basic Communication Strategy and use of Web 2.0 Tools for Evidence Based Policy

3. Section 1: Political Context

4. Section 2: Evidence

5. Section 3: Links

This iGuide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.

Impact 2.0 is a project of the Fundación Comunica with funding provided by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), IDRC.jpg Ottawa, Canada.

Consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software.