So you've got great data. Now what? Tactical Tech's Reveal Programme helps rights advocates make sense of data, focus its use on their issue, and produce clear, compelling and accurate visualisations which actually strengthen their campaigning.


Modern life is saturated with ever increasing amounts of data, information, advertising and media. People have ever less time to read, let alone to digest what is being said. Against this background, NGOs and rights advocates too often find that the information they want to communicate is buried in long reports full of professional jargon and statistics, overlooked in an endless stream of media releases or over-simplified in advertising-style campaigns. The challenge they face is how to give the right people the right information in the best possible way.


Whether talking to the public, staff, donors or government officials, visual techniques such as mapping, information design, photography, film and animation are powerful ways to communicate campaign messages and support advocacy. However, the reality is that very few advocates are yet able to make systematic, effective and strategic use of visual techniques. This is because the challenge is broader than learning how to draw or work with designers and techies; it is about learning how to make information and data central to campaigning, and to do it well.


Key questions for this programme


  • Pretty data isn't better data. How do we ensure that data is well collected, interpreted correctly, and not distorted by visual representations? How do we make the valuable lessons of rights violation monitoring, documentation and statistical analysis more accessible to rights advocate?
  • Visualisation won't always work. How do rights advocates assess when visualisation is the best option in their situation? How to they then track its impact and value for money in comparison with other advocacy techniques? 
  • Visualisation is a creative process that requires hard skills and imagination. How can we build rights advocates' confidence in thinking visually, and help them collaborate productively with creative professionals and technical people? 
  • Without a clear, focussed message that is part of a larger campaign, visualisations will have limited impact. Visual techniques enable rights advocates to communicate with a wide variety of audiences, but how do they identify what these audiences need to know?


The Reveal Programme will:


  • Establish visualisation as a well understood, effective, legitimate and accessible communication option, on a wide range of issues, for rights advocacy groups globally.
  • Help right advocates improve their information handling habits and data analysis skills through direct training on techniques and tools, and publication of guides, toolkits and other media.
  • Focus on the use of information design - a particular visualisation technique - to help rights advocates produce high quality visual products that strengthen their campaigning strategies and ultimately, their results.
  • Build up a global pool of experienced data analysts, professional artists, designers, and campaigners that can work with NGOS and rights advocates to create high quality examples of visual advocacy that are effective and inspiring. 
  • Work directly with NGOs and rights groups around the world to help them leverage data for advocacy, and implement visualisations successfully in their work.


Images: (1) Needles and Haystacks and Such by Jessica Hagy from Indexed. (2) Tactical Tech's formula for good campaigning.