Sunday, February 18, 2018

The importance of knowing your target groups in solving social problems successfully
  Direct and Indirect Target groups

In my previous post I wrote about describing the social problem and presenting the solution, which gave us an in-depth overview of how we should present our social problems to key stakeholders, especially when it comes to writing project proposals for either your non profit or a social enterprise. We also had a chance to understand how diligence is needed when it comes to researching the causes and consequences of a social problem.  If you haven’t read it, I suggest you click on the link provided below.

DESCRIBING THE SOCIAL PROBLEM TO BUILD IMPACT LOGIC AND SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL SOLUTIONS

As promised before, this week’s post will be looking at target groups; we will look at the two kinds of target groups you should be aware of whenever you are trying to solve a social problem, we will also examine the difference between the two groups.

Now, whether in business making money or in social sector development, knowing your target group is very important to the success of your project because having knowledge about your target group enables you to tailor your message or pitch accordingly. It helps you sets the focus of your project, empowers you to meet and satisfy their needs much better as well as applying and raising resources effectively and efficiently.

Therefore, just as business defines the potential buyers of their product and service, your non profit also needs to define its target group, whether internally or externally. It could be potential clients for a program, volunteers for an initiative, advocates to spread a message, or donors to support a cause, get to know them better. Knowing and tapping into your target audience is the key to any successful social change project. There is always a danger in making assumptions, especially when it comes to your audience, get to know the people for whom you want to make a change for, and those who can help you bring about that change.

When it comes to target groups, there are two types of target groups any game changer should be aware of, and those are as follows:

1. Direct target group (These are the direct beneficiaries of your project/people you will be working with or talking to)
2. Indirect target group (other beneficiaries who benefit from your project indirectly, sometimes they can turn out to be the main beneficiaries)

Knowing and being aware of those two types of group enables you to understand why an individual may be placed in a direct target group in one project and in an indirect target group in another project. Whether direct target group or indirect target group, your choice between the two will define your type of approach. However, it should be clear that there is no right or wrong choice of target group for a project, whatever target group you choose, depends on personal considerations you are going to make.

Defining your target group (groups in a case where you choose to use both) as clearly as possible is very important to building your impact logic and the approach you are going to take or solution you are going to provide. It will enable you to adapt your planning and process to create a project with sustainability, suitable outputs, and the most successful outcomes.

Let’s use an example to bring both direct target group and indirect target group to actions, let’s see how they are used or defined in a real life situation. We will take a look at how DAPHNE III Project

"Raising a Child through Prison Bars" identifies the two groups in their project:
The project “Raising a Child through Prison Bars” targets 5 particularly vulnerable groups of beneficiaries in 3 Balkan countries (Bulgaria-Greece-Romania): imprisoned mothers & pregnant women, infants living in prison, and children & young people whose parent is/was incarcerated.

The direct beneficiaries of their project are 290 imprisoned mothers and 120 Children of Imprisoned Parents.

The Indirect beneficiaries are children of all ages that will benefit by their mother’s improved parenting skills, as well as their families, Children of Imprisoned Parents, and  the population of imprisoned women in the 3 partner countries.

Just as DAPHNE III Project "Raising a Child through Prison Bars" is able to identify their direct and indirect group, your project/program should also be able to do the same. Knowing and having knowledge of the two groups empowers you to take an approach that matters, and approach that brings out better solutions.

Most of the times we tend to focus more on the direct target group and forget about the indirect target group. It’s very important to remember that, indirect target group matters just as much as the direct group does. In some cases, the indirect target group may also turn out to be the main beneficiary of your project/program. Imagine working with PATH (direct target group) with the aim of working with community organisations to fight TB in rural areas (indirect target group: but main beneficiaries of the TB Program)

Just as describing your social problem and solutions is important to any project, identifying your target group/s is also very crucial to the success of your project/program and its sustainability, this is because the problem that your group is facing is what you want to address. Knowing both groups enables you to address the problem faced effectively. Identifying those groups empowers you to know the approaches to take toward success.
To wrap this post up, here are today’s key takeaways

1 .Make sure the target group is clear, whether direct or indirect. Know who you want to reach; get to know those who you want to make a change for.
2. Describe the target groups characteristics (knowing their personas is very important)
              (a) Who belongs to the group
              (b) Where are they located
              (c) How big is the group
3. What changes should the solutions/project bring within your targeted group

Those key takeaways will help you in the process of getting to know the people you want to serve better. They will guide you in developing a successful approach to solving social problems. If you need any further help or question in mind, you can leave a comment below or email me directly via my website and I will get to you in no time. In the meantime put what we have discussed here into practice and you will see the fruits of your labour, and for further helpful insights on such matters, visit the SOCIAL SECTOR DEVELOPMENT CATEGORY and the BUSINESS TIPS CATEGORY

My next post will cover SMART objectives for intended results; don’t miss it, and the best way to do that is by subscribing to my blog. To do that, simply fill the Subscribe to my Newsletter block with your email address.

Until our next blog post
Chaow chaow!

Rumishael Ulomi is a Freelance Christian Consultant, Life Coach, and Motivational Speaker in the areas of Christian Ministry, Business, Entrepreneurship, and Social Sector development residing in Moshi,Tanzania.

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