End COVID For All with MICAH and ACFID

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Building a campaign for government aid to support vulnerable nations during global COVID pandemic

As the COVID crisis disrupted economies and local health care systems across the world, millions of people from lower-middle income countries faced significantly higher barriers to accessing necessary health care. With foreign aid commitments decreasing year on year, the sector in Australia needed to build the political cover necessary for the government to provide support for lower-middle-income-countries in response to COVID-19.

In collaboration with MICAH and many sector partners, Purpose built the #EndCOVIDForAll campaign with an array of actions and campaign content shared by influencers and prominent Australians to drive awareness and demonstrate support for political action. 

02. Challenge

As the COVID crisis disrupted economies and local health care systems across the world, millions of people from lower-middle income countries faced significantly higher barriers to accessing necessary health care. 

The World Health Organisation suggested that, with no additional assistance, more than 40 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty. 

The Australian government has a long history of supporting our vulnerable neighbours in times of crisis – but, in the lead up to the COVID crisis, the Australian public saw investment in foreign aid as a trade off to our domestic recovery. 

This was an attitude that we needed to change, subsequently building the political cover to ensure that the government would act.

03. Approach

The mission of #EndCOVIDForAll was to demonstrate a vision for how Australia can support and resource low to middle income countries and their vulnerable communities and healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis. 

This would be achieved by mobilising members of the public and selected influencers to build political cover for Australian leadership and action, culminating on a single day-of-action on August 19th to emphasise mass public support.

04. Theory of Change

If we:
Illustrate the disparities between the experience of Australians with vulnerable communities in LMICs during the COVID crisis

We can:
Drive awareness, conversation and push the public audience to pledge their support for government aid

Resulting in:
The political cover necessary for the government to provide support for LMICs in response to COVID-19

05. Action

In order to achieve our theory of change, the campaign was broken down into three key phases.

Educate 
Seed early awareness and understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on LMICs using a small number of reputable ambassadors to write op-eds in major publications alongside the development and distribution of engaging educational videos across social media, TV and sector channels.

Mobilise
Increase awareness across the nation, driving further attention and engagement in the issue, driven by a growing number of campaign influencers, sectors partners and owned digital channels, all sharing the key messages and signing on to participate in the major campaign event.

Activate
Drive earned conversation around the issue by providing Australians the opportunity to get involved and demonstrate their support with a personal photo petition, supported by shareable social media and a push for the new audiences reached by influencers. Provide opportunities for respectful constituent lobbying of Federal MPs.

Throughout these phases of the campaign, each tactic sought to reach our identified audiences and encourage them to take a specific action. This was done in tandem with a government relations and media strategy that sought to amplify our message to the decision makers in Canberra.

06. Campaign Action: Mask Up on August 19

We developed and rolled out a photo petition style activation to demonstrate the mass public support for the campaign.

We conducted outreach to sector organisations, influential media personalities, bands and religious institutions to get them on board.

1000 “End COVID For All” masks were distributed across Australia, and an AR filter was developed and shared to our existing supports that allowed anybody to take part without the need to coordinate postage. There were over 2.2k mask AR photos taken using the filter, and 240 influential people participated. 

 

 

07. Key Influencer Content

We engaged influencers from all different sectors to be trusted voices on this message. Through these spokespeople, #EndCOVIDForAll reached a combined following of over 1.4 million people. 

08. Video / TV Ad

To help explain the issue we were facing, we created an animated video that was focused on educating the general public about the issue using real world photos and practical solutions to the problem. 

It was aired on local TV stations across Australia on Peach, Bold, 11, One, Ten and used as social content.

09. Website

The website served as the campaign hub for engaged supporters.

On the Help Out and Solutions page we provided more details about what we were campaigning for, and how we were going to achieve it. 

We also provided individuals and organisations with the ability to publicly add their support to the campaign, and worked with partners to embed the petition on their own sites.

10. Toolkits

To help the campaign working group and partner organisations create and produce their own #EndCOVIDForAll content, we produced a series of Canva templates and toolkits to help them produce their own material.

The provided social content proved successful with brands like Oxfam, Hillsong, and celebrities like Hugh Jackman posting the content to their channels.

11. Press

The campaign launched on Sunrise (Australia’s largest breakfast TV Show) and was featured in media publications such as News.com.au, Sydney Morning Herald, Herald Sun, The West Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Age, ABC RN, The Guardian, and more. 

Coordinated by the campaign media team, an earned media strategy was adopted that sought to frame the national conversation in line with our key campaign messaging. By using respected voices, such as Dr. Fiona Stanley and Julia Gillard, legitimacy was given to the campaign in its early stages.

12. Impact
People reached 8 million
Pledges signed 22,000+
Organisations pledged 190+
AR Filter used 2.2K times
Aid provided by federal government to support Asian Pacific neighbours $305 million

The #EndCOVIDForAll campaign saw significant engagement in the form of participation and budget wins. 22,000+ people and more than 190 organisations signed on the pledge to support government action, including many high profile Australians like Julia Gillard and Dr Fiona Stanley. 

“#EndCOVIDForAll” was a trending topic on twitter twice during the campaign – once for the Julia Gillard opinion piece, and once on August 19th.

On August 20th, a day after our masks up action, the Australian federal government committed to funding any future vaccination programs for neighbours in the Pacific region. 4,000+ organic posts were made, reaching 8 million people. The AR filter was used more than 2.2k times, reaching more than 119k people in the week of August 19th.

The mask activation saw a 19x increase in website traffic from the rolling daily average in the previous 7 days. More than half of the total pledges generated over the course of the active campaign period were driven by sector partners.

The Federal Government provided $305 million in aid funding to support the COVID response of our neighbours in the Asia Pacific region. The Federal Government committed $123 million in funding to help vulnerable nations in the Asia Pacific Region access a future COVID vaccine. $60 Million in funding was pledged by the Australian Government to assist Southeast Asian countries recover from the COVID crisis.

Resource:
Exploring Racial Equity Impact