Energy subsidy reform is not a goal in itself, but rather a means of achieving lasting economic and social progress. Communicating with the public and other key stakeholders about the benefits of reform and the drawbacks of existing subsidies helps build support and acceptance. It can also increase trust and understanding of the political decisions that underpin the reform. International experience shows that communicating before, during, and after subsidy reform is essential to ensuring the smooth rollout of a well-planned and executed energy subsidy reform program (GSIand IISD 2013). Some governments undertaking energy subsidy reform programs either ignore communication with stakeholders or take a top-down approach that fails to recognize stakeholder views and concerns. This happens for many reasons, including lack of understanding about the powerful role communication plays in a successful energy subsidy reform program and the absence of capacity within a government to undertake communication activities.
This note is intended for use by governments and aims to (a) advocate for the importance of communicating with citizens proactively about energy subsidy reform and (b) guide practitioners through some of the important elements of an evidence-based and effective communication campaign, including timing, stakeholder consultation, opinion research, messages, messengers, media, and evaluation. This note should be used in combination with other tools, including capacity building workshops and tailored advice from experienced communication professionals.
ESRAF Good Practice Note 6 to come: Identifying the Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Firms and Industrial Competitiveness
Worley, Heather; Pasquier, Sara Bryan; Canpolat, Ezgi. 2018. Designing Communication Campaigns for Energy Subsidy Reform: (ESRAF) Good Practice Note 10. ESMAP Paper. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/939551530880505644/pdf/ESRAF-note-10-Designing-Communication-Campaigns-for-Energy-Subsidy-Reform.pdf