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The Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (2009) was notified by the Government of India on 1 April 2010. This ground-breaking act enshrines in law the right of every child in the country to free, compulsory education of quality. The introduction of the RTE Act presented an important opportunity for UNICEF India to contribute to the effort to ensure that every child in the country goes to school by supporting and creating demand for its full implementation and by raising awareness of its provisions and the rights it enshrines.
Support to the full implementation of the RTE Act became a key priority for the UNICEF India Country Office in 2010. An advocacy strategy was developed that included multiple partners and stakeholders.
The Awaaz Do digital communications campaign was conceived as an integral element of this wider UNICEF India advocacy strategy in support of the RTE Act, adding value and scope to an already existing advocacy strategy using traditional tools and channels. The campaign was designed to reach out to the urban Indian middle class - a growing, increasingly vocal and influential target group.
The Awaaz Do campaign was the first integrated advocacy and supporter engagement campaign within UNICEF India that aimed to simultaneously raise awareness through digital communication tools and build up an electronic database of supporters and advocates for child rights.
The campaign set out with ambitious goals and a number of new techniques and strategies were tested, with varying results. Many lessons can be learned from the process of developing the campaign as well as its implementation. These need to be assessed and documented to inform future work in the use of digital communication tools and to guide further campaigns of this nature, both in India and within UNICEF globally.
This evaluation primarily looked into the two main objectives of promoting public awareness about RTE and building engagement with UNICEF. As part of the engagement element, the evaluation looked at the basis for potential fundraising created by the campaign, although it did not evaluate the amount of funds brought in as a direct result of the campaign as this would be premature at this point.
Methods included document review, consultative workshop and focused interviews, online surveys and analysis of media touch points used in the campaign.
Findings and Conclusions:
The campaign went through a rigorous conceptualisation and strategy development
process. Multiple stakeholders both internal and external were consulted to establish the
primary objectives and outcomes of the campaign and to develop an implementation
plan. Even though the planning process was comprehensive, sufficient lead time was not
budgeted to develop certain aspects of the campaign, such as media linkages and to
test certain creatives.
The key messages developed for the campaign were poignant, memorable and
action-oriented. They created awareness and enhanced the engagement with the
While the campaign assumed the target population (urban middle-class), online survey revealed that many respondents were not conversant in English and preferred Hindi over English to communicate. English alone was not the best medium to communicate the key messages in the campaign. It is interesting to note, however, the online survey indicated that more than 90% of the respondents found the website to be easily comprehensible.
Stakeholders across the board however agreed that there is a need to understand the clear
outcomes of digital campaigns for organisations such as UNICEF. Awaaz Do champions
and partners clearly wanted to do much more that what the campaign set out to do in the
Conceptualisation and design
A dedicated team for the design, management and implementation of a digital media
campaign is crucial for the success of a digital media campaign.
There is a need to assess the level of risk for each key activity planned. High risk
interventions (where the outcomes are harder to achieve for the resources invested)
should be supported by contingency plans.
Campaign management and delivery
For a national campaign of this nature, partnerships need to be localised as well.
Involving UNICEF state offices to provide knowledge and logistics support to sign-ups
would have been helpful
As part of the campaign, a support mechanism to assist individuals to create their
own local interventions (example. assign a team member to respond to requests for
additional information, pamphlets, banners etc). Define clearly to what extent UNICEF
will support such endeavours and publish this information on the website.
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