Public support

NGOs have long recognised the importance of building wider public support for international development, but continue to face the challenge of low public trust of, and engagement in, their causes. Public support is vital for increasing pressure on governments and the private sector to enact change, to create stronger civil society organisations, and to sustain lifestyle changes that halt excessive consumption.

There is a wealth of insight on public attitudes and effective messaging available to the sector, but this is often difficult to distil and apply to a specific cause or campaign. Bond’s Public Support project aims to support NGOs to access the key takeaways from this insight and embed best-practice approaches across all areas of public engagement.

Public support essentials

  • Public Attitudes towards development: this guide draws learning from the Aid Attitude Tracker to support NGOs to be more effective in making the case for aid and development
  • The Narrative Project: this piece of research highlights how our narrative approach to international development can change public attitudes
  • DevCommsLab: this website can help you find insights to help you understand audiences, motivate public action and influence attitudes

Listen to our podcast episode where we discuss media attitudes and the erosion of public trust in NGOs.

Public support news and views

Stack of newspapers in a Kiosk, London, United Kingdom
4 February 2021
In the context of growing challenges to the sector, it is perhaps worth returning to the basic rules and tips around how to use media and comms to advance our causes and make the world a better place.
General public in covid masks
16 December 2020
Is the general public aware of the inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic? Which types of inequality receive the most attention and support? And does increased awareness around inequalities mean anything for how the public engage with these issues?
The British public
18 November 2020
Research from the Development Engagement Lab suggests that the public don’t move in a straight line from low to more meaningful engagement. People jump around the various engagement categories, and often stick to certain categories more than others.

Latest public support resources

Two Guatemalan women walking back to the village to bring the wood collected to cook dinner for the family.
The Aid Attitude Tracker (AAT) is a long-term study of UK public attitudes and engagement with global poverty, aid and development.
15 November 2016
Jenny Ross introduces the four simple questions that could transform your advocacy strategy and increase your impact.
Friends of the Earth campaigners in Paris
Friends of the Earth have put together an extensive online bank of resources to help with local campaigning on a variety of issues, from environmental justice to sustainable waste management.

Share your learning

Explore ways of building long-term public support for development with others in the sector in our working group. Bond members can join working groups for free.

Join the group 

Get in touch to share your public support success stories: perhaps you have come across some helpful new insight, or your organisation has tested a messaging approach that works well with your audience. We’d love to hear about this and share what you’ve learned.

Email us