MOTIVE: WHY THE AID SECTOR?
At Ibex, we work exclusively with the aid sector – but what does this mean exactly? How does humanitarian aid differ from development for instance?
Generally, humanitarian assistance is required to save lives and alleviate suffering. It is aid that is called for when communities face a crisis – be it man-made or caused by natural disaster – including war, mass displacement or earthquakes. Development aid responds to systemic problems (such as ongoing structural issues or poverty) and is aimed at longer term objectives. Development actors come into play many months after the onset of the emergency itself, but there are now increasing efforts to coordinate more effectively and bridge the gaps between the two types of aid.
Our years working within the sector have taught us three key things:
- EMERGENCIES ARE CHAOTIC AND COMPLEX. Time is short, resources are limited, manpower is frazzled and scarce. If ever there was a need to communicate clearly, concisely and effectively, this would be it. However, translating theory into action in the field is challenging and with a heavy reliance on email and dense technical briefs, communications tools do not always inform or motivate in the way they intend.
- POOR COMMUNICATION IS AN AVOIDABLE BARRIER TO EFFECTIVE AID. A lack of capacity and resources means that communications strategies are often poorly thought through, resulting in materials that are perhaps not always the most appropriate for the target audience. Where there is budget to create improved tools, the tendency is to produce something quickly, without considered thought for the intended audience.
- MISCONCEPTION THAT QUALITY COMMUNICATIONS TOOLS ARE COSTLY. Whilst this is sometimes true, our firm belief (and experience) is that where there’s a will there’s a way! There are so many creative brains out there who are excited to give back and lend their skills for greater purpose. It’s just about knowing who they are and connecting the dots…
IBEX WAS THEREFORE FOUNDED AS A BRIDGE BETWEEN TWO WORLDS THAT NEEDED TO MEET.
Our aim is to help the sector do things differently, by providing guidance and skills to create communications materials that have the desired effect.
We recognise that capacity and resources are at an all-time low and seek to alleviate the burden of producing persuasive tools, so that the sector in turn can focus on alleviating suffering. Creating effective materials is not always costly, but it is time-consuming – and this is where we come in. How can we help facilitate the flow of communication in a way that improves the system and enables aid workers to have greater impact?
We are London-based but fully international in reach. Our network of creatives stems from all backgrounds and cultures, giving us flexibility and a varied cultural understanding to suit the needs of our clients. We also have zero qualms about working across multiple time zones simultaneously – we understand the urgency and will adapt accordingly.
Working with creatives who understand the industry removes a plethora of time-intensive barriers – they recognise that funds are often tight, and time is limited. There’s no need to waste valuable time explaining the intricacies of an emergency response – they get it, they respect it, and more than anything, they are passionate about facilitating life-saving work. That’s how dream teams are created 😊
MOTIF: THE IBEX
Last but certainly not least, why the ‘ibex’ we hear you ask?
If you’ve ever seen a mountain goat in action (if not, we encourage you to watch The Incredible Ibex and prepare to be captivated*), you’ll know exactly what we mean – agile, solutions-focused, persistently aiming high. Simply put: our work is all about dreaming big and conquering abstract problems.
Our hope is that in our own small and unique way, we can help lighten the load and bring clarity – and creativity – where it is needed most.
*Discouraged if you’re afraid of heights!