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Screen 1 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs At the end of this lesson you will be able to: define the.

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Presentation on theme: "Screen 1 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs At the end of this lesson you will be able to: define the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Screen 1 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs At the end of this lesson you will be able to: define the purpose for a food security report; identify the target audience; analyze their information needs; appreciate the importance of timeliness in reporting; and consider resource implications in your final reporting plan. Learning Objectives

2 Screen 2 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs The challenge is to plan and produce effective reports that result in action. Introduction A Food Security Information System (FSIS) must provide information that are relevant and useful to decision makers.

3 Screen 3 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Introduction Food security analysts provide information to support action by decision makers. Therefore, effective communication of the available information is critical. Without effective communication the data and analysis are unlikely to be used.

4 Screen 4 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Introduction Why we are communicating (purpose) What decisions is the report intended to influence? How often are these decision made? Who the users are What their information requirements are How often should we communicate (appropriate frequency) Let’s see how to proceed... Effective reports should start from a clear understanding of:

5 Screen 5 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Defining the purpose of your reports A useful question to ask, when defining the purpose of your reports is: Defining your purpose involves three steps: What action do you want to inform or influence? 2. identifying what you want the reader to do; 3. clarifying what you want the report to do. 1. identifying what your objective is;

6 Screen 6 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Defining the purpose of your reports Examples of possible objectives include: To make sure that timely, adequate and appropriate resources are allocated for emergency response. To assist in the planning of a food security intervention for the chronically food-insecure. To put forward ideas to be considered as part of a Government policy review. What is your objective?

7 Screen 7 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs What do you want the reader to do? It is important to: What do you want the reader to do to achieve the objective? 1) define the action you want the decision makers to take, so that you can 2) provide the ideas and information to help them take it.

8 Screen 8 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs What do you want the reader to do? Possible actions that you might want the decision makers to take might include: Allocate or release resources Instruct subordinates to take follow-up action Advocate with colleagues Consider some ideas Provide feedback Participate in meetings What do you want the reader to do to achieve the objective?

9 Screen 9 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs What do you want the document to do? Advocacy Advocacy might involve: proposing alternative options, arguing for a particular course of action or recommending a response. What do you want the report to do? Explanation A document that explains might: update readers on the food security situation, identify or summarize problems, clarify who is affected or notify readers of future events.

10 Screen 10 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs It is important to prepare and discuss a purpose statement. It should combine in one sentence: what you want the document to do, and what action you want the reader to take. What do you want the document to do? Example: “We have agreed that we want this report to provide an update on the food security situation so that the Government and donors can allocate the necessary resources for emergency response”.

11 Screen 11 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Identifying your target audience Different readers will have different expectations, priorities and levels of knowledge. Planning the document will be easier if you understand who they are. Try to make a list of all the potential readers of your report. who the users are Who are your readers, and what do they expect?

12 Screen 12 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs It is important to categorise your readers into the primary and secondary audience. Identifying your target audience You will need to inform both of these audiences. But you must design the document for the primary readership alone. Secondary audience The secondary audience are the other readers of your report. Primary audience Your primary reader is the reader who must read the document. For more information, read the annex “Stakeholder Analysis”

13 Screen 13 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Understanding your readers’ needs & expectations Once you have identified the primary audience, you need to understand their needs and expectations. what their information requirements are Think from the perspective of your primary audience: What do they expect and need to know? What decisions do they need to make? What are the information requirements of those decisions?

14 Screen 14 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs For more information, read the annex “Interacting with your Users” Start by understanding the broad objectives and goals of the primary audience: Understanding your readers’ needs & expectations Where do the decision makers’ priorities lie? What decision do they have to make, and how often? How does your report fit into to helping them achieve these?

15 Screen 15 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Direct interaction with the primary users is very important, in order to understand these objectives. Understanding your readers’ needs & expectations Depending on your audience, you could present your analysis in terms of achieving: reduced costs or increased cost efficiency, greater public participation and popular appeal, social justice or innovative practice. A list of the objectives and goals of your primary audience is also very useful.

16 Screen 16 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs What are the existing information sources for decision makers? Additional useful questions include: Understanding your readers’ needs & expectations What level of detail is required? How does the reader like information delivered?

17 Screen 17 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Understanding your readers’ needs & expectations You can find a good example of information presented at different levels of detail in the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) website www.fews.net.www.fews.net

18 Screen 18 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs The design of regular reports is an iterative process. Adjust your reporting on the basis of this feedback. Conduct periodic evaluations to assess the effectiveness of your reports. Include both primary and secondary audiences in the survey of recipients. Understanding your readers’ needs & expectations

19 Screen 19 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Timeliness of reporting The usefulness of information is determined by its timely availability to user groups. Reports should provide information on a regular schedule. The schedule should meet user needs and be consistent with the nature of the data. Appropriate frequency for communicating

20 Screen 20 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs For each of the reporting purposes identified, consult the primary audience on the desired frequency of information. Once the frequency of reporting has been agreed, it is important to respect it. Timeliness of reporting

21 Screen 21 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Establish strong links with the users. Timeliness of reporting How can you maintain the timeliness of reporting? Do not over-promise. Do not under-deliver. If necessary, advocate for additional resources to meet your reporting requirements. Keep the design of the reporting system simple. Don’t wait for the latest data. Simplify the editing and approval process. Use new communication technologies creatively.

22 Screen 22 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Resource allocations To develop a feasible final reporting plan, you need to consider the resource implications: assemble information about proposed tasks, responsible persons and timing.

23 Screen 23 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Provide realistic estimates of the staff and financial costs. Then assess whether the proposed reporting strategy is proportionate to the overall resources available to your unit. Resource allocations Example: If the matrix indicates that the proposed expenditure on reporting is either too high or too low, then the proposed mix of products and media should be reconsidered.

24 Screen 24 of 24 Reporting Food Security Information Understanding the User’s Information Needs Start by defining the purpose of the report; what do you want to achieve, what do you want the reader to do and clarifying the role of the report. Identify your target audience and segregate into the primary audience – people who use reports to take decisions – and secondary audience – people who generally benefit from report. Examine the needs and expectations of this audience; what are their goals and objectives, what information do they already have, what decisions they have to make, what do they need to know and what format and media is most appropriate. Know when the information is needed (timing, frequency). Determine whether the proposed reporting plan is feasible. Summary


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