Communication Strategies and Practices

“Gleiches Recht. Jedes Geschlecht.” – Day of Action against Gender Discrimination

Action Timeframe


Geographic Area


Languages Used



As part of our ‘Year against Gender Discrimination’ the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (FADA) organized the Day of Action in Berlin to raise awareness for gender discrimination. 20 national organizations which actively work for the equal treatment of all gender took part in this event – among them were trade unions, LGBTIQ-organizations and women’s associations. The motto of the year “Equal Rights. Every Gender” was also the theme of the day. Some nationwide well-known personalities followed the invitation to be part of the Day of Action against gender discrimination, including the former mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, the former president of the German Bundestag Rita Süssmuth, the entrepreneur Bea Knecht, the musician Sookee and the international artist Ennio Marchetto.

Parts of the official programme were a discussion between prominent guests about the steps to equal treatment of all gender, musical acts and a theater performance. Key topics were the gender pay gap, sexual harassment and the rights of inter* and trans* gender people. The guests of the Day of Action were able to gather information and engage in talks with the above mentioned national organizations. These were present with booths in a ‘market of ideas’ around the main stage. The exchange between the organizations and the public visitors was an essential part of the event.

Social context

The event was necessary to raise awareness about gender discrimination and to showcase that FADA is actively working for the equal treatment of all gender.

Target audience

Residents/visitors of Berlin and surrounding areas, NGOs dealing with gender topics, politicians and media.

Sources of funding

Approximately three months were needed for the planning and implementation of the event. Costs were covered by our own Budget – no external funding.

Dissemination Channels

Before the event, FADA started a Facebook campaign with a video foreshadowing the Day of Action. In the video with the title ‘How feminine, how masculine do you feel?’ 100 persons reveal their feelings and opinions about their gender identity by creating a conjoint wall painting. With the conclusion “We are as feminine and as masculine as we feel”, follows an invitation to fight against gender discrimination and to participate in the Day of Action in Berlin. The total views of the video amounted to more than 153.000 until November 2015.

During the event a video with the title ‘12 things you didn’t know about gender discrimination’ was produced. In this video the participants of the Day of Action – among them some well-known personalities – were asked to read some facts about gender discrimination and to comment on them. This video was well-received and was a huge success on Facebook. It resulted in more Facebook followers and the video gathered a total of 259.000 views in November 2015.

Furthermore, FADA organized a major media campaign with posters that showed prominent personalities with a sign for equal rights for every gender. These were not only distributed on the internet but all over the city as well.

Major Challenges

It was an extensive effort to get an official permit for the event location due to the highly prominent status of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Moreover it was necessary to contact the neighborhood (including embassies) with further information about the occasion and stay in close contact with the police before and during the event.

Public perception

While there was no notable media coverage of the event, approximately 1.500 people visited the Day of Action.

Perception of the target audience

In general, it was a huge success for FADA, especially when taking into consideration that it was the first event of this kind. Positive feedback was given by the participating organizations and the public visitors. It was also possible to create a space for dialogue among the participating organizations and to build a closer network between them.

Internal impact

As there were many staff members present on this day, it was possible for them to get in touch with the guests and share experiences as well as knowledge about the topic of gender discrimination.

Policy impact

Relevant topics regarding inter* and trans* gender people were successfully implemented in a political framework due to the presence of former and current politicians.


Olaf Bruhn (Tel. +49 3018 555 1818, email:

Further Information

The Day of Action was the climax of the ‘Year against Gender Discrimination’ of FADA, and had the intention to raise awareness about many forms of gender discrimination.

Follow the following links for videos and posters linked to the event:

  • Video Link 1:
  • Video Link 2:
Communication Strategies and Practices

Germany: Survey about Discrimination


Action Timeframe

01.09.2015 – 30.11.2015

Geographic Area


Languages Used

German, English, French, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish (languages available for the survey)

Campaign Co-organisers

Berlin Institute for Empirical Research in Integration and Migration (BIM)


The aim of the survey is to disclose discriminating behavior in Germany. The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (FADA) would like to know, based on which discrimination grounds and in which areas persons are experiencing discrimination. Furthermore the survey asks how people are affected by discrimination and how they cope with it. The results of this survey will provide FADA with quantitative and qualitative data regarding discrimination in Germany. Over 16.000 persons participated in the online and paper version of the survey.

First results are expected in March 2016. The full analysis of the data will be published in 2017.

Based on the results of the survey, FADA will draw up recommendations to prevent future discrimination.

Background: Systematic data on discrimination concerning all discrimination grounds are missing in Germany. The FADA is therefore working on establishing a Discrimination Barometer. The survey is the first step towards establishing such a Barometer. Central results of the survey will be published in the next report of FADA to the German Bundestag (2017).

The communications work around this Project aimed to raise awareness about the Survey and get as many poeple to participate as possible, preferably from diverse Backgrounds.

Social context

The results are supposed to provide relevant data about discrimination in Germany. Based on the survey’s results, FADA and other federal agencies will be able to take important further steps in order to both prevent and fight discrimination in Germany. One of the steps will include voicing recommendations to the German Parlament.

Target audience

All German residents aged 14 years or older.

Technical Requirements

It was possible to take part in the survey online. Here participants could choose different foreign languages and easy language for people with learning difficulties. Paper questionnaires were also provided and disseminated via NGOs and other civil society actors. Furthermore, NGOs were contracted to integrate groups that are hard to reach (e.g. older people, refugees, and persons with disabilities).

Sources of funding

The survey and data analysis is financed by FADA. Overall costs amount to around 250.000 Euro. FADA spent so far around 60 working days on the survey (December 2015. Work still ongoing).

Dissemination Channels

The FADA started a social media campaign to inform about the survey by creating videos. These videos showed a known personality talking about their experience of discrimination. While telling their story, they have their eyes closed. The video finishes when they open their eyes and say “I have experienced discrimination. And you?” Then there is the call to tell your own experience of being discriminated against and to take part in the survey. The persons who took part in the videos were: Karoline Herfurth (actress), Kübra Gümüsay (journalist), Marius Broening (athlete), Raul Krauthausen (activist) and Wolfgang Appenzeller (police officer).

The videos were watched altogether more than 300.000 times by November 2015. They were promoted via Facebook ads, trying to reach certain focus groups such as LGBTI, religious minorities etc.

Many partner organizations of FADA placed a banner of the survey on their website or advertised on Facebook by sharing the link to the survey.

There were flyers, postcards and posters distributed to all organizations and institutions in Germany which might encounter persons who have been discriminated against.

Another important channel were emails sent to all major civil society actors (including universities, trade unions, student councils, etc.) and relevant associations, institutions and organizations (retirement homes, associations of people with disability, shelters etc.).

Major Challenges

It was not that easy to communicate the survey to all the different target groups (people discriminated against because of gender, age etc.). To reach as many people as possible it was necessary to have intensive public relations work, to get directly in contact with the different representations of interest and to send them survey material. FADA therefore also offered help completing the survey for persons with learning difficulties. Furthermore, FADA worked together with acquainted persons who had the function of multipliers; they had the task to make the survey public.

Public perception

It is not possible to comment on this right now, because the survey is not yet evaluated and the results are not yet made public.

Perception of the target audience

Round about 16.000 people participated in the survey.

Policy impact

The results of the survey will be used to voice recommendations for the German parliament (2017).


With regard to the content of the survey, please contact Nathalie Schlenzka (, Tel.: +49 3018 555 1813)

Further Information

Survey on Discrimination – Brochure


Umfrage Diskriminierung

Der Polizist Wolfgang Appenzeller hat Diskriminierung erlebt. Sie auch? Berichten Sie davon! Machen Sie mit bei unserer großen Umfrage zu Diskriminierung in Deutschland. Bis zum 30.11. hier:

Posted by Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes (ADS) on Thursday, 5 November 2015

Karoline Herfurth, Raul Krauthausen, Kübra Gümüsay und Marius Broening haben Diskriminierung erlebt. Sie auch? Berichten Sie davon! Machen Sie mit bei unserer großen Umfrage zu Diskriminierung in Deutschland. Noch bis 30. November hier:

Posted by Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes (ADS) on Friday, 23 October 2015

Karoline Herfurth hat Diskriminierung erlebt. Sie auch? Berichten Sie davon! Machen Sie mit bei unserer großen Umfrage zu Diskriminierung in Deutschland. Hier:

Posted by Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes (ADS) on Wednesday, 21 October 2015

(more in the Videos section:

Communication Strategies and Practices

Austria: Infocreen Anti-discrimination campaign

Communication Strategies and Practices

Malta: Disability Awareness Raising Campaign

Run by the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD), the main objective behind this campaign was to reach out to persons with disability and non-disabled persons alike with a clear and positive message that persons with disability come from all walks of life and that there are different facets to a person with disability’s identity.

Target audience

Maltese Society

Sources of funding

NCPD used it’s own funds for this campaign

Values communicated

The need for greater awareness from persons with disability on the importance of taking a more active role in society and making non-disabled people aware that persons with disability should be given the same opportunities as those given to any other member of Maltese society.

Campaign poster
Campaign poster

Dissemination channels

In order to reach as many people as possible, NCPD made good use of mass media with appearances on TV programmes. NCPD also tried to have it’s campaign widespread through social media with a facebook page entitled Here we are Malta and a hashtag for Twitter use (‪#‎HereWeAre‬).


The major challenges were managing to find participants for the video and trying to fit them all in a particular schedule. The first challenge was overcome by compiling a long list of participants in order to have different alternatives from which to choose. The second challenge was overcome by splitting the participants into two groups according to the location were the promo was being filmed and the times when they said they could make it for filming in order to make it easier for the participants to attend.


The public reacted very well and from the feedback we had it seems that the general public would want other similar campaigns to be launched in the near future.

Internal impact

NCPD is currently working on identifying new ways on how to cater for a larger audience, mostly in generating interest in the disability sector from the young generations because they are the future policy makers and this campaign has shown that we did not reach this goal. However this campaign has helped NCPD to identify the key areas that it needs to tackle in order to reach this goal.

Policy impact

Through this campaign we aimed to achieve a shift in mentality of policy makers. In order to shift their focus from numbers and statistics to catering for the needs of every human being. NCPD is hoping that this will bring a change in the way future policies are drafted.


Christian Camilleri

Communication Strategies and Practices

Malta: Equality Mark


The Equality Mark Certification is awarded to companies that truly foster gender equality in their work policies and practices. This Certification awards equal opportunity employers who have in place initiatives that go over and above the minimum required by the law in the area of gender equality in employment and in the provision of goods and services.

Social context

The Equality Mark award aims to address challenges in the field of gender equality and employment in Malta, namely: the participation rate of women in employment, which although on the increase, is still relatively low and a gender-segregated labour market where a high percentage of women are employed in low-paid sectors. The Equality Mark promotes female participation in the labour market and career advancement for women. It was developed to empower more employers to enhance their commitment towards gender equality and implement good practices in this regard.

Target audience

Employers and employees

Technical Requirements

Awarded companies can utilise the Equality Mark logo following an assessment on set criteria. During the certification process, the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE) ensures that the organisation:

  • Implements equality principles in recruitment
  • Issues gender inclusive documents and adverts
  • Does not discriminate on the basis of gender in training opportunities offered to staff
  • Strives to develop a discrimination and harassment-free workplace through implementing Equality and Sexual Harassment policies which include internal reporting procedures for cases of discrimination and sexual harassment
  • Offers Family Friendly Measures such as telework, flexible hours and reduced hours
  • Appoints an Equality Representative, or an Equality Committee, that gender mainstreams the company’s policies/practices and serves as a point of reference to employees who wish to discuss any issue related to gender equality
  • Gives equal pay for work of equal value
  • Applies equality standards in the provision of goods and services

Sources of funding

The Equality Mark is part of NCPE’s core work and is funded from NCPE’s budget.

Values communicated

Gender equality in employment and in the provision of goods and services; equal treatment in relation to family responsibilities; workplaces free from discrimination and sexual harassment.

Information about copyright

The logo of the Equality Mark can be utilised by awarded companies in all their correspondence and published material.

Dissemination channels

NCPE’s website and facebook page; brochures on the Equality Mark; NCPE’s newsletter; training and other seminars; articles on printed media; participation on television and radio programmes; adverts and material published by awarded companies with the Equality Mark logo


One challenge is to ensure that the commitments taken by the organisations are upheld following certification. To this end, the Equality Mark is valid for a two-year period, following which organisations can apply for re-certification. During the re-certification process NCPE provides training to the organisaton’s employees and reassesses the adherence to the criteria set.

Public perception

Award Ceremonies for newly certified organisations are widely covered in media reports and companies with the Equality Mark often publish articles about their certification. Moreover, NCPE is regularly invited to conferences and seminars, both on a national and regional level, to present, promote and discuss the Equality Mark. The collection of feedback given by employees (anonymously) and employers is also integrated in the re-certification process. A report analysing findings is prepared on each equality-certified organisation.

Perception of the target audience

Employers and employees have a positive perception of the Equality Mark. Employers regularly contact NCPE showing their interest in the Equality Mark certification and almost all certified organisations confirm their interest in this campaign by applying for re-certification. Till May 2015, 60 organisations were certified with the Equality Mark, with more than 15,800 employees working in equality-certified conditions. This encompasses micro organisations as well as small, medium and big enterprises. Various certified organisations publicise their certification on local media.

Internal impact

The Equality Mark concept was developed as part of the EU co-funded project Unlocking the Female Potential, carried out between 2010 and 2012. Due to its successful uptake, the Equality Mark continued being promoted and awarded after the termination of this project. It is now part of NCPE’s core work. The Equality Mark enables NCPE to reach and assist organisations in their work on gender equality. This helps NCPE maintain direct contact with several employers and it increases its ability to raise awareness on equality issues among employees. In turn, the feedback NCPE gets from both employers and employees is useful in identifying the main equality-related challenges present in Malta and informs NCPE’s strategies and work.

Policy impact

The Equality Mark ensures that employers gender mainstream their work and that employees work in equality-certified conditions. More employers within private and public organisations are sensitised on gender equality, improving their capacity to safeguard equal treatment in practices and policies. On a national level, the Equality Mark helps the promotion of flexible working environments by demonstrating that the implementation of family friendly measures is workable and makes business sense.


Andre Callus,

Communication Strategies and Practices

Cyprus: No Violence against Women

This campaign develops and implements communication and information activities and training for professionals from different disciplines aiming to end violence against women and girls in Cyprus

Communication Strategies and Practices

Belgium: The train with a disability runs 24 hours late


The use of public transportation often poses problems for persons with disabilities. This campaign addresses the problems they experience when travelling by train. The accessibility of trains and train stations is still seen as an impossible investment. This is often due to a lack of general policy on accessibility. There are also several cultural and regulatory obstacles to be dealt with.

The Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities and the High National Council for Persons with a Disability wanted to address this issue on the International Day of Persons with a Disability. Until now, persons with a disability have to book their trip at least 24 hours in advance. The train company says this timing is necessary to ensure they can be assisted for travelling.

Because this regulation limits the freedom of persons with a disability, the campaign highlights the following questions:

  • The repeal of the 24 hours ‘delay’ for disabled persons
  • Raising the accessibility of the train infrastructure and giving better assistance on the entire railway network
  • Respect for the individual rights of persons with disabilities: the right to work, participation in public life, freedom of movement. The NMBS (Belgian National Railways) must comply to these requirements along the Belgian antidiscrimination regulations and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The 24 hours rule isn’t founded, according to the Centre. In The Netherlands, persons with a disability have to announce their travel 3 hours in advance and there are plans to reduce this to 1 hour. It’s not unreasonable to ask an improvement of the Belgian system.

During the awareness-raising action which took place on the International Day of Persons with a Disability, commuters at the Central stations were asked by fake controllers (actors from the improvisation league) if they had correctly booked their tickets the day before. When commuters replied they didn’t, they were told by the fake controllers that unfortunately, they wouldn’t be allowed to travel today. Commuters were then informed that this was an action to raise awareness about the 24 hours rule for people with a disability.

Announcements were also made throughout the station, with loudspeakers, that “trains with a disability run 24 hours late”

We also put up banners in the Central Train Station and the action was filmed by a professional TV crew form the national television.

The same day, we asked (and obtained) a meeting with the direction of the train company.

Media were of course invited to make reports about the action.

Social Context

The use of public transportation often poses problems for persons with disabilities. This campaign addresses the problems they experience when travelling by train. The accessibility of trains and train stations is still seen as an impossible investment. This is often due to a lack of general policy on accessibility. There are also several cultural and regulatory obstacles to be dealt with.

Target Audience

With this campaign, the Centre addresses two audiences. The general public is informed about the problem. After the public part of the campaign, the director of the Centre met the board of the National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS) to explain the problem and the solutions proposed by the Centre.


Dutch and French

Technical Requirements

Need for internal support + some strictly technical aspects related to the event (material to be installed at the station)

Cost of the Action

  • Internal funding + 30,000 euros for material, actors, costumes, agency fees etc.
  • 10 colleagues involved on the day of the action, for 3 hours.


The main values the campaign wanted to communicate about are : equality, independence and freedom (of movement) => inclusive society.

Information about copyright

Not applicable


For this campaign we developed :

  • A logo, similar to that of the logo of the NMBS, with a ‘24u’ written instead of the letter ‘B’
  • Banners
  • Flyers to give to train travellers
  • We filmed the intervention in the train station and published this on our Youtube channel and Facebook page.
  • Badges with the logo

Some examples:


It was winter, problems occurred with many trains being delayed on that day. Our fake announcements were “lost” between real announcements of trains running late. We therefore had to stop the action 1 hour earlier. However the first 2 hours were successful, generating a lot of interest from commuters.

For the rest: the action was well planned, no other obstacles.

We had requested (and obtained) permission for an action (without being too explicit about the action 😉 at the train station before.

Public Perception

Several national media reported about the campaign. See for example (in Dutch)

Perception of Target Audience

Excellent, as they were involved in the preparation of the event.

Internal Impact on work of Equality Body

The number of cases related to disability is increasing, but this is not only a consequence of the action.

Policy Impact

The 24-hour delay is still a requirement – this still hasn’t been changed. But the awareness among political parties about this problem, is better. In the Parliamentary Commission Mobility, the debate about this 24 hour delay is still going on. A resolution with the intention of bringing down the reservation time to one hour, has been adopted. Also, the Belgian Minister of Mobility is considering lowering the delay to two hours, which would already be an improvement. The Belgian National Railways consider their 24 hour delay still as a very good standard, compared to the 48 hours reservation time, as mentioned in the Rail Passengers Rights (Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations).

Other Relevant Information

This campaign is also presented on our website: in Dutch and French.


Nadine Brauns, Head of Communications, Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities

Communication Strategies and Practices

Ireland: Say No To Ageism Week


Organised by the Equality Authority

1) Brief description of the campaign

The Say No to Ageism Week (SNTA) is an initiative developed by the Equality Authority and the Health Service Executive (H.S.E.) with the support of the Office for Older People, the public transport sector and older people’sorganisations. It has been run annually since 2004.

The aim of the week is to promote new awareness and understanding of ageism and of how ageism excludes older people from participating in and contributing to society.

The Say No to Ageism Week comprises two complementary strands: a public information campaign and a series of sectorally based actions that are designed to enhance age friendly service provision.

Currently, the working framework for Say No to Ageism Week comprises a balance between awareness raising and actions, namely:

  • a launch event;
  • a conference with a Say No to Ageism theme;
  • an advertising and media campaign;
  • action plans developed by different sectors in association with the Equality Authority to support the initiative in the year ahead.

2011 was the eighth year of the initiative, co-funded in 2011 by the European Union under the PROGRESS Programme 2007-2013.

2) General objectives of the campaign

The Employment Equality Act (1998 – 2011) and the Equal Status Act (2000 – 2011) outlaw discrimination in employment, vocational training, advertising, collective agreements, the provision of goods and services and other opportunities to which the public generally have access on nine distinct grounds. These grounds are gender, civil status, family status, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, religious belief and membership of the Traveller Community.

The Equality Authority wished to focus a public campaign on ageism because it is possibly the only equality ground where there is a widespread lack of understanding or recognition of what ageism is and its consequences at societal, organisational and individual level. Research and statistics gathered through our Public Information Centre showed that there was a high level of queries recorded under the ‘Age’ ground. In 2010, 19.3% of case-files under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 – 2011 and 12.6% of case-files under the Equal Status Acts 2000 – 2011 were related to perceived age discrimination.

The Say No to Ageism Week has two main purposes:

  • To highlight how ageism operates in society, in the workplace and in the provision of services;
  • To promote and support the development of “age friendly” service provision.

The rationale for an ongoing campaign against ageism is strong. There is a wealth of evidence that negative stereotyping of and discrimination against older people is pervasive and injurious. The statistics gathered through the Equality Authority and Equality Tribunal systems have supported this belief.

3) Specific objectives of the campaign

The Say No To Ageism Week has been held in May on an annual basis since 2004. The aim of the week is to promote new awareness and understanding of ageism and of how ageism excludes older people from participating in and contributing to society.

2009.png In order to progress the above goals, the Say No To Ageism campaign promotes its message through a combination of outdoor advertising, internet, and poster campaigns. It activates its anti-ageism/age friendly message through sectorally based measures that are designed to shape and encourage age friendly service provision. An event launch is held to open the Say No To Ageism Week which is attended by stakeholders such as NGOs, policy makers, community groups, academics, members of the general public and the media, and which generates considerable media coverage.

Each year, a sectoral based issue is highlighted. Since 2004, a conference dealing with a specific issue, chosen with input from stakeholders, is held. These conferences have addressed issues such as defining ageism, developing an age equality agenda for Ireland, awareness workshops for health service personnel entitled ‘Good Practice in Age Friendly Provision of Services’, developing good practice guides with the transport sector in dealing with transport issues for older people. In 2008, a conference entitled ‘Active for Life: Towards Age Friendly Sports and Leisure Facilities in Ireland’ was organised. It examined the barriers experienced by older people in adopting and maintaining physically active lifestyles.

In 2010/2011 information queries and cases handled by the Equality Authority pointed to a particular problem with the insurance industry in Ireland in terms of ageist practices. There is considerable demand among older people’s organizations for actions to tackle this problem. Consequently, the Equality Authority chose to emphasize this in their 2011 SNTA seminar ‘Accessing Insurance for Older People in Ireland and the European Union’. It also planned to work on a sectoral project with the insurance industry to highlight their obligations under the non-discrimination legislation and to seek to get them to improve their practices and to move to an age-friendly model.

4) Target audiences

[*The general public*] (raising public awareness): this is done through the use of advertising (posters, billboards, etc.) and facilitated through the media;

[*Older people:*] this is facilitated through the public awareness campaign, working alongside older people’s groups, the Authority’s contact database, and the H.S.E.

[*Stakeholders/Policy makers, older people’s groups, NGOs, etc*] this is done through the dissemination of information to mailing lists, through relationships with other involved groups and through the campaign’s launch event and seminar;

[*Sectoral Approach:*] each year a specific sectoral area, with an issue affecting older people, is targeted (e.g. the hospitality sector).

5) Stakeholders involved and the difficulties encountered and surpassed while managining the relationship with them

To ensure that the SNTA campaign achieves its full potential, a wide range of partner organisations and stakeholders are involved in all stages of the campaign, particularly in the planning stages.

[*Government bodies*] involved include the Health Service Executive (H.S.E.), The Office for Older People based in the Department of Health & Children and Pobal (an intermediary agency that works on behalf of Government to support communities and local agencies toward achieving social inclusion, reconciliation and equality).

[*The transport sector*] is represented on the SNTA committee by Dublin Bus, Veolia (Luas) and Irish Rail.

[*Active organisations*] working within the age sector included Age & Opportunity, Age Action, AGE Platform and OWN (Older Women’s Network).

[*The Equality Authority’s*] role was to bring about a change in attitude and practice not only in society but in key service areas. By bringing the service providers into partnership a certain amount of compromise is always necessary to be balanced with the gains achieved by their direct participation. Therefore, the campaigns did not need to ‘name and shame’ a sector, or its management, but rather posed challenges that could be globally embraced in its advertising messages. Service delivery did improve with the undertaking of action projects within the service provider which proved useful and valuable.

6) Resources and budget

The Say No To Ageism Campaign of the Equality Authority is supported through funding from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity – PROGRESS. In 2011 this amounted to 37.502 Euros(excl. VAT). This was to fund design costs, materials and media promotion of the campaign.

The Health Service Executive (H.S.E.) as a partner organisation contributed 15.000 Euros. Dissemination of materials was co-organised and facilitated through H.S.E. networks.

Stakeholders from the transport sector (Dublin Bus, Veolia and Irish Rail) provide advertising space on their transport network at no financial cost.

7) Detailed description of the communication channels used and messages conveyed. How did the organisers connect with their audiences? Possible pitfalls to be avoided.

2011.png The Say No To Ageism campaign is aimed at a variety of target groups, through two main strands: a public information strand and a sectoral based project. A public awareness campaign is run throughout the week, focusing on the central message of ‘I Say No To Ageism’. The focus on awareness is in recognition that ageism will only be eliminated where there is a broad awareness of the stereotyping of older people.

The public campaign strand is achieved through a variety of means:

  • Outdoor advertising conveying the ‘I Say No To Ageism’ message is placed nationwide at strategic locations such as major billboards and advertising locations. Stakeholders from public transport agencies such as Dublin Bus and Veolia provide advertising space on their transport networks.
  • Extensive media interviews are conducted generating debate on radio and print networks. This aims to bring the issue of ageism to a mainstream audience.
  • Increasingly online media is used through social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • An initiative which was commended in the 2004 review involves the targeted sending of posters to locations which are specifically used by the target group of older people or in areas where the issue of ageism may be of particular importance. In addition to being areas frequented by target groups, they are also locations in which further information on the message of the posters can be received. These locations include local health centres, community groups, active retirement groups and Universities.

The second strand of the project involves selecting and working with a particular sector to provide training and develop initiatives within that sector which combat ageism or ageist practices.

For example, the transport sector, comprising of Irish Rail, Dublin Bus, Veolia (LUAS), Bus Éireann and the Rural Transport Initiative, joined the initiative in 2006 and produced an action plan to promote more age friendly transport.

Highlights of the action programme include:

[*Dialogue with older people*] – organising meetings with organisations of older people to explore age friendly practices;

[*Training*] – providing age awareness training to customer service staff and front line staff involved in the provision of services;

[*Communication*] – reviewing and developing information materials to ensure they are user friendly and accessible to older people;

[*Customer service*] – developing and communicating a policy that includes a focus on age friendly customer services in consultation with older people and their organisations.

These sectoral approaches have been highlighted as having a real impact directly upon the lives of older people, in a practical way.

8) Explanation of the mechanisms put in place to evaluate and monitor the campaign

The Say No To Ageism campaign has been in existence since 2004. With such a long running campaign, the importance of review is paramount to ensure that the core ideals behind the drive are not misplaced, to ensure the campaign is reaching its target audiences, and to assess ways of keeping the campaign fresh.

There are many methods in place for evaluating and monitoring the campaign:


In 2008, after the fourth year of the campaign, a review of the Say No To Ageism initiative was commissioned and conducted. This report was conducted by a research and evaluation psychologist and the Terms of
Reference given were as follows:

  • Explore the continuing relevance of Say No to Ageism Week;
  • Ascertain the views of the organising agencies involved in Say No to Ageism Week and relevant stakeholders on previous campaigns and the future direction of the initiatives;
  • Examine the impact and potential future impact of the current approach to Say No to Ageism Week;
  • Identify the most effective use of the resources available to further the shared aims of the organising agencies;
  • Assess the impact of the work done in past Say No to Ageism Weeks;
  • Identify, and provide a rationale, for options to build on and further develop the initiative.

The review was separated into seven sections – Introduction; Methodology; Legislation, Definition and Evidence of Ageism; Description of Say No to Ageism Week; Income & Expenditure; Stakeholder Feedback on Say No to Ageism Week Activities; Impact, Effectiveness and Future Relevance; Conclusions and Options for Consideration.

The research incorporated desk research and stakeholder consultations. The desk research strand comprised a review of policy and publicity material, examination of the minutes and accounts of Say No to Ageism Week partnership and a focused literature review.

Stakeholder consultations were held with: the Equality Authority; Health Service Executive (two sources); National Council on Age and Older People (three sources); Age and Opportunity; Dublin Bus; Bus Éireann; Irish Rail; Irish Hospitality Institute and ILAM, the Industry Body for Sports, Fitness, Aquatic Facilities, Spas & Wellness.

A structured interview guide was designed and designed and piloted with the HSE and National Council on Aging and Older People (see Appendix 1 below). It reflects the Terms of Reference for the review and

  • targeting and content – who activities are aimed at and what has being done;
  • strategy and tactics – the means by which anti ageism policy is effected and how;
  • budget and resources – what’s being spent and to what effect;
  • effectiveness and impact – the extent to which the campaign is meeting its objectives and the results achieved.

Two focus groups (one urban, one rural) with active retirement groups were arranged with the help of Age and Opportunity. The themes addressed by the Focus Groups included:

  • awareness of Say No to Ageism Week;
  • need for a Say No to Ageism Week (SNTA);
  • areas older people experiences of ageism or discrimination;
  • the appropriateness of the SNTA focus on transport, health, leisure and hospitality;
  • the effectiveness of public information campaigns to overcome ageism; importance of the campaign for the future.

The focus groups were well attended (10-12 for each session) and there was active participation by all attendees in the discussions that emerged.

The information gathered from the stakeholder interviews, focus groups and questionnaires was analysed thematically and consistent findings were recorded. These themes and the issues arising, together with findings from the desk research, fed into an assessment of the extent to which the Say No to Ageism Week is achieving its objectives and the impact and relevance of the scheme. The analysis was strongly reliant on the stakeholder interviews and is (with the exception of the examination of spend) entirely qualitative, based on emergent themes.

From the anecdotal evidence available, (website blogs, feedback to the Equality Authority and to the reviewer from older people) there seems to be reasonably good awareness of the week, particularly in Dublin, and it has prompted debate. Furthermore, the older people consulted think the public awareness campaign is important and that it makes people think about older people’s contribution to society and their needs.

In terms of the poster element of the public awareness campaign, feedback from stakeholders indicates that it was more effective in sectoral settings than public places, where the linkage of local initiatives with a larger national campaign was said to endorse its importance.

The review found that :

  • the Say No to Ageism Week is meeting a real need to raise awareness and increase understanding of ageism, particularly in the nominated sectors. It has developed a range of sectorally based responses to encourage age friendly service provision and to challenge the negative stereotyping of older people. The strong commitment, engagement and working relationship between the partners and with the sectoral stakeholders has led to the development of a campaign that has far greater impact than the sum of its parts. Overall, it has been successfully and thoughtfully implemented and has had positive impacts on service providers understanding of and capacity to meet the needs of their older clients and customers. All of the partners and sectoral participants in the Say No to Ageism Week are fully committed to the campaign and its continuance;
  • The key drivers of its success to date and its future are: (1) commitment of the Health Service Executive, National Council on Ageing and Older People and the Equality Authority partnership and the specialised support from the Equality Authority; (2) linkage with high profile Equality Authority age discrimination cases; (3) strategic/holistic approach that is mainstreamed into customer care/service policies; (4) direct consultation with older client groups;(5) stakeholder sense of being involved in longer term rather than project driven process; (6) availability of development funding to sectoral participants to encourage and support their involvement in training, conferences etc.; (7) the quality of training provided.

[*Public Information Centre*]

The Public Information Centre of the Equality Authority provides information on the working of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2008, the Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2008. The Public Information Centre also makes information available on the Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004, the Adoptive Leave Acts 1995 and 2005, and the Parental Leave Acts 1998 and 2006. All queries to the Public Information Centre, via telephone call, email, fax or post, are recorded to a central database. This database and the nature of the calls recorded allow us to monitor how effective the campaign is being.

As mentioned previously, each year a sectoral based project is initiated. The theme for this project is selected by a pre-planning meeting of the the stakeholders involved, however valuable information about issues which are currently affecting older people can be determined from the types of queries which are recorded through the Public Information Centre.

[*Media Monitoring*]

Media coverage of the event and articles related to the campaign are monitored closely. The promotion of the week presents the opportunity for increased quantities of media interviews e.g. radio interviews, which allow the Equality Authority to monitor how the issue is being covered across the country.

[*Social Networking*]

As part of the campaign, social media outlets are used. These include Facebook, Twitter and Facebook adverts. These are monitored using ‘insight’ programmes to gauge the level of interaction with our promotions.

[*Data Collection/Surveys*]

Short survey forms are handed out at the end of every event such as the launch, seminar or training (See Appendix Two). These allow us to evaluate all events and our campaign. There are also opportunities for attendees to become members of our mailing list for further information targeting.

9) Lessons learned and pitfalls to be avoided

With decreasing funds available, the focus of the campaign had to be addressed. While the public awareness campaign has been successful, the issue has been raised that it is the attempt to change service providers’ behaviour that is more important than the views of the general mass-market campaign. A valuable lesson to take away from the Say No To Ageism project is that practical initiatives which target and provide tailored training for specific sectors can often have a very beneficial outcome. This is not to detract from the work of attempting to develop a public wide debate over the issue, but it is a testament to the Say No To Ageism campaign’s success that this awareness was backed up with developing changes at sectoral level.

A further lesson learned is in the choice of medium used to target a specific group – in this case older people – and bearing that in mind when developing any strategy. The Say No To Ageism campaign has always relied upon striking posters which convey the central ‘I Say No to Ageism’ message, while also provoking some thought or debate on the matter.

The first of the series of posters for the Say No to Ageism campaign was produced in 2005.

EA_1.jpg The 2005 poster challenges the public to see past external age whether at the younger or older trajectory of lived experience, to the person within.

EA_2.jpg The poster for the 2006 campaign was of a long line of birthday candles representing a celebration of ageing while also encouraging everyone to reflect on the stereotypes of older and younger people that we hold.

EA_3.jpg The 2007 poster campaign highlighted some of the findings from an ageism survey that was conducted on behalf of the Equality Authority and asked viewers to consider their own attitude to ageism.

EA_4.jpg The 2008 Say No to Ageism Week drew further attention to how older people are stereotyped by society. Outdoor advertising posters showed blackand- white images of older people with the labels “useless”, “grumpy”, “past it”, “burden” and “washed up”, while smiling pictures of younger people, shown in colour, were simply branded by their names: “Steve” and “Lisa”.

There was a wide spectrum of views on the 2008 poster campaign, which sparked some controversy, ranging from it being ‘brilliant and attracted a huge amount of publicity’ to ‘It might have been a bit too clever’. The poster had been misinterpreted, and appeared to offend some people as a result, leading to representations in the Dáil and calls for its removal from health service settings. Feedback from older people appears to have been largely positive however. Most of the stakeholders thought the poster very well designed but it may have been too complex for a public information campaign and would have worked better in a workshop or seminar setting.

10) Additional information
To access a slideshow with all the posters used in the campaign in the past few years, please click here.


[**Targeting and Content*]

1. What prompted the initiation of/your involvement with the week?
2. Who are its target audiences?
3. To what extent is it reaching those audiences?
4. Are there some groups that are harder to engage than others?
5. Which target audiences should be the prioritized and why?
6. How well are the key messages of Say No to Ageism week being communicated? (highlighting ageism and how it operates, i.e. stereotyping, and the message of promoting positive ageing)
7. Do those messages need to be refined or re-prioritised in any way?

[**Strategy and Tactics*]

8. The strategy in the past balanced promotional activity with direct action, how do you think this strategy is going to shift in light of budgetary constraints?

9. Which elements:

  • a launch event;
  • a conference with a Say No to Ageism theme;
  • an advertising and media campaign;
  • action plans developed by different sectors in association with the Equality Authority to support the initiative in the year ahead

…worked well in past? How do you know – what evidence is there?

10. What is the main rationale for the week from 2009 onwards?
11. What (if any) changes in strategy are needed?
12. What (if any) changes in tactics are needed?

[**Budget and Resources*]

13. Can you quantify the in-kind support your organisation provided to the Say No Week?
14. How effectively have the resources for the week been utilised?
15. Can you identify any cost savings that could be made?
16. What should the future priorities be in the context of smaller budget?
17. Is the timing of the Say No Week optimal/ any changes needed?
18. What are your views on the effectiveness of the partnership structure?
19. Do you have any further comments about any aspect of the initiative?


[**Conference Feedback Questionnaire for the Launch of Say No To Ageism – 30th May 2011*]

Please scale the following aspects of the event on a 1–5 basis, where 5 signifies “yes, agree strongly”, and 1 signifies “no, disagree strongly”:

1. Did the event match your needs?
2. Did you gain relevant knowledge and information?
3. Will you be able to apply such knowledge and information in your work?