Who is your preferred champion of international development issues?
The answer, as you might expect, depends on who you are, and where you live.
In a recent report for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation published in March 2012, Intermedia set out to answer that question, and identify other top media sources of information for ‘interested citizens’, ‘influentials’, and ‘government decision-makers’ in China, France, Germany and the United States.
The results were revealing. Here I set out some of the research conclusions from interviews that took place with UK respondents between May and September 2011.
UK government decision-makers said their favoured champions were Bob Geldof, Bill Gates, Clare Short, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. Similarly, the influentials (‘citizens with the potential to influence decisions by government officials on development policies’) selected Bill Gates, Bob Geldof, Bono, and Jeffrey Sachs.
But UK interested citizens (members of the public who are predisposed to engagement with international development issues) had an apparently more recent political focus (and perhaps memory), favouring David Cameron, Barak Obama, Bob Geldof, William Hague and Nelson Mandela as their champions. Andrew Mitchell may be disappointed to note that he did not appear in the top five (a longer list was not available).
Intermedia also found that UK government decision-makers and influentials did not generally use Facebook and Twitter to stay informed about international development.
Nevertheless, for those that did mention social media, here are the top sources of information cited by both groups:
- Development Horizons by Lawrence Haddad
- From Poverty to Power by Duncan Green
- Chris Blattman’s Blog
- The Guardian Blogs
- Global Dashboard posts by Alex Evans
- Owen Abroad by Owen Barder
- Center for Global Development Blogs
Intermedia’s study was focused on international development and global health issues. But we at Agriculture for Impact are interested to know who your global food security and agricultural development champions are.
You can tell us in the poll below. We have inserted some suggestions to start you off, but please name anyone you choose. You will be able to see the poll results straight away.
We look forward to hearing from you: