The team used a public ‘Call for Evidence’ from citizens and people working across, and interested in, the food system. The most challenging ideas within the responses were then discussed in focus groups and with citizens at the “deliberative dialogues” held around the country. Focus groups are one of the most effective methods of data collection, partly because they enable in-depth insights and can be used to clarify and test pre-conceived notions.
For many clients we interview experts in the sector as it’s a very useful way of gathering information on first-hand experience and in-depth knowledge. We also conduct literature reviews of research and academic sources to provide a foundation for knowledge on a topic, prevent duplication of work and ensure the need for inconsistencies and the need for additional research are identified. The National Food Strategy team undertook a literature review whereby policy ideas from around the world were reviewed and assessed.
Presentation is key
The execution of a whitepaper or report should not be overlooked as a mere vehicle for information. Crafting the message in the right way will significantly influence engagement and action. Especially because people’s average attention span is reported to amount to just eight seconds – to put it in perspective, the attention span of your average goldfish is nine seconds!
The copywriting and design skills used to disseminate information in the National Food Strategy make it engaging to read. It’s been broken down into colour coded sections to make it easier to navigate, plus graphics and infographics have been used in the form of tables, graphs and maps to grab the reader’s attention.
The fact the National Food Strategy was created as an interactive PDF that can be viewed online, anywhere, anytime alongside ‘bitesize’ animations will help with accessibility and therefore reach.