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Visualizing Information for Advocacy

Visualizing Information for Advocacy


Advocacy organizations tend to collect a lot of information. They often package this information into detailed written reports. While these reports support policy recommendations and are valuable reference tools, they may not be the most effective way to make an impact within a campaign.
We live in an information-rich environment and in our daily lives constantly receive messages conveyed through design. Many of these messages seek to influence as well as inform, serving a variety of commercial and non-commercial interests. How do you make your message heard? Your campaign has vital information on an urgent issue.

How do you tell your story effectively?
How can NGOs make their messages as attractive and compelling as other, competing, information?
By using information design.
John Emerson, Principal at Apperceptive LLC, just released a great pamphlet about it which is free to download.

Information design can help tell your story to a variety of constituencies. You can use it as an advocacy tool, for outreach or for education. You can facilitate strategic planning by making a visual map of a given situation.
This pamphlet is divided in two parts: first an overview of information design, what it is and how it can be used for social change, followed by some basic principles, tips and advice to help you get started.
The examples included in this pamphlet were made by advocacy organizations, media companies and individuals around the world. The graphics show some of the many ways information can be designed and how information design can be used in your campaign.

John Emerson worked with the Tactical Tech collective who provided editorial feedback and helped track down reproduction rights for the images. They’re also coordinating printing and distribution to NGOs. The project was funded by the OSI Information Program. The booklet is Creative Commons licensed.

Download the full booklet at (6.9 Mb)

Social Design Notes

Founder of Osocio. It all started with collecting election posters in 1973. And that's never stopped. Read more.