Testing aid messages with regional audiences

Insights from DFID’s AidWorks campaign.


Hear results and insights from the Department for International Development’s (DFID) regional communications campaign to test the public’s support for aid and development in the West Midlands.

The AidWorks pilot campaign was run to build public support for aid by explaining what DFID does and what UK Aid achieves. Run from 5 February to 17 March 2018, the pilot involved regional media, civil society organisations, and individuals such as volunteers and dignitaries. 

The pilot aimed to test: 

  1. different messages about how UK aid is spent and what it achieves 
  2. different communications channels and messengers at a local/regional level, and 
  3. whether a concerted communications effort creates a positive/neutral/negative effect on people’s attitudes and behaviours in the West Midlands versus the East of England. 

At this event, DFID will share results, evidence and experiences from the campaign and the accompanying impact evaluation by the University of Birmingham. You will then hear from two organisations, Tearfund and Street Child who have been applying some of these findings in their recent UK Aid Match appeals. 

This is your opportunity to help develop a collective plan for aligning different organisations’ communications efforts to build public support for international development. 

You’ll find out about similar efforts happening in the sector and draw out the implications and actions for your organisation. You’ll also hear what isn’t working, and experiences of running and managing the different campaign efforts. 

Please note this event is for Bond members only. 


The event will start at 13:15 and end at 17:00.

  • Introduction to Aid Works campaign
    Zoe Paxton from DFID and David Hudson from the University of Birmingham, will set the scene for the day. They will explain the Aid Works campaign, their roles in the campaign and what they found. 
  • Implementing the Aid Works approach - practical case studies
    1)    Hannah Roberts from Tearfund will talk about how they put the Aid Works findings into practice
    2)    Carol Flint from Street Child will focus on how they have integrated the Aid Works findings into their work and she will draw out some of the challenges that they came across
  • Learnings for DFID
    TIm Singleton will discuss how DFID has applied the findings from Aid Works and how this has updated future approaches.
  • How can you apply the Aid Works findings?
    There will be a chance for you to identify how you can apply the findings to your own work.


David Hudson
University of Birmingham

David Hudson is Professor of Politics and Development in the University of Birmingham’s International Development Department.

Tim Singleton
Department for International Development

Tim Singleton is director of communications at DFID and previously spent 18 years at ITN.

Carol Flint
Street Child

Carol is head of marketing at Street Child where her remit includes communications and brand development across the organisation including the Sierra Leone Marathon and the Street Child Craft Half.  

Hannah Roberts

Hannah joined Tearfund, a Christian international development charity, in June 2016 having spent the first 6 years of her fundraising career at Cancer Research UK.


Regent's Wharf, 8 All Saints Street
N1 9RL
United Kingdom