Our first full year at Comms Hub has been a year of shaping our identity, mission, and strategy. Comms Hub was officially born in October 2022, and in the months that followed, we embarked on a journey that would see us working together with our global network of strategic communications groups and social justice organizations.
Together, we share a common commitment to harness the power of data-driven communications to shape and shift public discourse through data-driven communications strategies.
In this end-of-year impact report, we will share with you not only the highlights of our year but also the deeper insights we have gained in key areas of our work. As we stand on the cusp of a new year, we are more committed than ever to building a world where democracy and social justice flourish, where public discourse is shaped by compassion, data, and the voices of those who strive for change.
Thank you for being part of this journey with us!
Our vision is bold: "A world where everyone can actively engage in constructive public dialogue, fostering diverse perspectives and nurturing pluralistic, equitable, and democratic societies."
Within the Strategy, you will witness our roadmap toward this vision. We'll leverage our guiding values, extensive network, data-driven collective communications model, and three strategic pillars to shape our journey in the coming years.
Worked with Member Hubs and Key Partners in 10 countries across Europe and Eurasia.
Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Slovakia, Poland, Spain, and Ukraine
Formed two new coalitions, uniting 25+ grassroots organizations
Launched two collective campaigns in Armenia and Germany
Conducted six focus groups in Armenia, Germany, and Poland to identify actionable insights
Produced nine digital research reports and initiated seven more on climate justice and gender-based violence
Hosted three peer learning events for civil society stakeholders
Published seven articles, four videos, two case studies, and five reports
Provided capacity building and mentorship to organizations in ten countries
In collaboration with the Liberté! Foundation, we undertook a significant project that combined digital and public opinion research with the goal of activating civil society supporters and boosting voter turnout during the national elections. Our research targeted Polish citizens who consistently support democratic values, focusing on a demographic that is predominantly young, educated, and engaged in social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.Read More
This year, Comms Hub, in collaboration with the Democracy Development Foundation, worked with nine civil society groups to enhance public awareness and understanding of civil society's crucial role in Armenia. These organizations, working on various issues, including police reforms, youth participation in decision-making in their communities, supporting displaced women, domestic violence, and corruption (especially nepotism) in military and preschool education, came together to build a Civil Society 4 You collective platform. In this significant endeavor, we employed a full spectrum of our data-driven collective communication model.Read More
Laintersección.net, our Member Hub in Spain, partnered with LGBTI+ groups to run a collective, evidence-based campaign to foster new narratives for the trans communities in Spain. It concluded at the end of 2022, and this year Laintersección.net has been engaged in sharing our learnings from this campaign. The campaign's dual focus on enhancing online communication and strengthening the capacity of NGOs aimed to catalyze a shift in the cultural conversation around trans rights and representation.Read More
In the face of ongoing challenges in Ukraine, Comms Hub, alongside our Ukrainian Member Hub, Common Sense Communication (CSC), has made significant strides in amplifying the voices and priorities of Ukrainian civil society within Ukraine and Germany. Throughout 2023, our collaborative efforts have been pivotal in establishing CSC as a legally recognized entity, solidifying the foundation to drive its mission of working with Ukrainian civil society organizations and activists to strengthen their impact through strategic communications.
In 2023, Comms Hub and CSC teams worked together to bolster public support for Ukraine in Germany by developing a nuanced advocacy and collective communication campaign targeting civil society audience in Germany.Read More
At Comms Hub, our data-driven, collective communications model comes together in the form of a compelling illustration included in our strategy document. However, applying that model has been a journey of deep reflections, challenges, adaptations and, of course, an endless stream of conversations and emails.
My wonderful and talented colleagues produce insightful reports based on the rigorous research they do on digital conversations, polling, and public opinion. My role is to take those insights, work closely with our Member Hubs and Key Partners on the ground and transform those findings into impactful campaigns. And, staying true to the economies of scale, we do it in collaboration with coalitions of other civil society organizations (CSOs) and relevant groups and individuals.
Reflecting on our work in the past year or so, there are many clear learnings.
Bringing people and groups together for a common cause (or a collective campaign) is like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle. It's not easy, and sometimes the pieces don't seem to fit. But the trick is to keep looking for common values among the coalition members, to keep listening to what CSOs and groups need, and to keep our eye on the bigger picture. We recommend early engagement with coalitions to identify a common goal or call to action and keep shared values front and centre.Read More
If consistent support for democracy is actually falling among youth in Europe and the United States and is already lower than their parents and grandparents, what are the odds democracy will continue into the future?
What does the future hold for democratic governance? If democracy is not reborn with each new generation, democracy will be hollowed out or die off in the next few decades, no matter the outcomes of the 2024 elections in Europe and the United States. The clear, present, and immediate threats to democracy around the globe, growing since Francis Fukuyama prematurely declared that democracy was triumphant in 1992, have finally been recognized.
Political and other elites who flaunt the guardrails of democracy are dismantling them without concern for the consequence. The endless river of disinformation floods public discourse until the truth is obscured and facts are uncertain. The unfettered polarization divides citizens into warring, tribal teams. Additionally, a tide of authoritarianism and obedience to majoritarian norms is gaining momentum, appealing to those who favor decisive rule over the democratic ideals of compromise and shared responsibility.Read More
In the digital era, social media and online platforms significantly influence politics and democracy. They offer new ways for public engagement in politics but also pose challenges by spreading propaganda and misinformation, threatening democratic values. This case study highlights the importance of digital research in defending democracy and countering disinformation. As the Digital Lead Researcher, I worked closely with a team member from the Liberté! Foundation in Poland. We explored how digital research can underpin successful campaigns to protect democratic values.
In February 2023, Comms Hub joined forces with the Liberté! Foundation, a pro-democracy think tank in Poland, with a clear goal in mind: to identify digital patterns that would empower the Liberté! Foundation to design an effective digital campaign for the upcoming Parliamentary Elections in Poland. The overarching objective was to mobilize democracy advocates to vote and effect change in the government.
One of the primary challenges faced by the Liberté! Foundation was identifying which key topics would resonate most strongly with the audience and evoke strong emotions. It was not merely about identifying these topics. It also involved selecting those that were well-received by the audience and whose narratives proved effective.
Our research with Liberté! began with a quest to identify the issues and topics that concerned Polish citizens the most and that they actively engaged with on social media. We translated emotions into reactions, and out of the 15 topics given by Liberté!, Abortion, Immigration and refugees, Green Energy, Mortgage loans, public funds for the church, and euro adoption were the critical topics for Polish citizens with a solid potential to mobilize voters.Read More
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