Overseas Strategic Consulting, Ltd. (OSC)
OSC is at the core of successful initiatives in the economic, health, governance, and environment sectors around the world. OSC delivers effective, sustainable research, evaluation and strategic/behavior change communications solutions in the world’s most challenging environments, including: Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Serbia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Nigeria, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jordan, and Egypt.
Applying the locally appropriate mix of interpersonal, mass-market, and technology-driven solutions, OSC’s research and communications teams cultivate and sustain the dialogue that supports meaningful change for a diverse array of clients and beneficiaries in the public, private, and NGO spaces.
OSC understands that even the greatest research, reform, or policy development achievements are meaningless without real behavioral change, so all OSC initiatives are designed to comprehensively engage the full range of local, national, and international stakeholders from the outset.
Established in 1992, OSC is a certified small business headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. OSC maintains project offices world-wide.
-Democracy and Governance
Effective communication strategies are developed locally and informed by the input of key stakeholders. Research into existing communication networks, preferences, and behaviors must guide development of the appropriate strategy for each specific intervention.
Wherever they work, OSC brings understanding of local political, social, and cultural realities to bear in the design and implementation of strategic communication and outreach initiatives that are tied directly to reform or development project objectives.
Whether coordinating the efforts of multiple government and private sector partners in a nationwide health sector improvement initiative, or facilitating collaboration among community groups and NGOs to achieve local and regional economic reform goals, these fundamental principles guide OSC program design and implementation:
-Local Ownership and Empowerment
-Transparency and Accountability
OSC employs an array of research tools and techniques such as communications audits, surveys, focus groups, media monitoring, and target audience feedback mechanisms in order to:
-Understand the existing infrastructure for disseminating information, and develop sustainable communications channels and information delivery mechanisms.
-Learn what motivates people in the target audience, and apply that knowledge in the campaign.
-Identify key stakeholders who can influence project outcomes, and train them to be effective in developing and delivering compelling messages on specific reform objectives.
-Determine local media usage habits, and use this information to build journalist capacity to consistently and accurately report on economic and social change issues.
Using this knowledge, OSC develops a multifaceted plan tailored to reach the target audiences with a mutually reinforcing battery of messages delivered in the mix of formats best suited to project objectives, time frame and the development/social environment. OSC maps each campaign component to specific, measurable results during its planning process, ensuring that campaigns are well-focused and designed with built-in accountability from the outset.
OSC' s successful track record is attributable to the emphasis the company places on using research to drive project design, deploying high quality personnel, quick adaptation to constantly changing field environments, strong partnerships with local entities, and consistent tracking of project impact.
Government Communications Capacity Building
OSC provides training for government ministries, agencies and individual officials in developing and overseeing coordinated communications programs. OSC conducts detailed evaluations to ascertain the specific needs and interests of the participants, and creates a tailored curriculum that mixes workshops, seminars and on-the-job-experience to build local communications and outreach management capacity. OSC's training programs enable government ministries to implement and oversee their own highly effective public education and information campaigns. These campaigns include activities such as: branding, interdepartmental strategy, spokesperson training and crisis communication.
Empowering Local NGOs & CSOs
OSC empowers local NGOs and CSOs to communicate effectively and mobilize stakeholders in support of reform and development initiatives. OSC also prepares these organizations to manage their own public outreach and advocacy efforts independent of donor support. In doing so, OSC creates new, non-governmental sources of information in countries with imperfect information markets and builds a diverse network of locally based and staffed organizations through which future outreach efforts can be carried out.
Behavior Change Communication
OSC utilizes Behavior Change Communication (BCC) to increase the impact and sustainability of its community-based health education and improvement initiatives. BCC is an approach to message and communications strategy development that relies on empirically supported theories of behavior formation to produce healthy outcomes. Peer education is at the center of many BCC programs. It is developed through focused research, and relies on community input to develop and tailor messages that lead to risk-reducing behaviors. These are delivered through a variety of complementary communications channels, including one-on-one and group counseling sessions, community meetings, radio and television programming, and dramatic performances.
Strengthening Local Media
OSC builds the capacity of local media to report on government reform and development topics by combining editorial and news-gathering training, technical production skills development and topic-specific seminars that increase journalist knowledge of issues such as anti-corruption, economic governance, and healthcare provision. OSC ensures media access to government and non-governmental sources of information by facilitating briefings, roundtable discussions, and informal networking events that connect journalists to the full range of relevant stakeholders.
Community Participation and Communications
OSC facilitates community-level meetings where citizens gather to interact with government representatives, reform experts, and community leaders. As part of its NGO and CSO strengthening work, OSC improves the grassroots organizing capability of these organizations, enhancing their ability to involve individuals and communities in the advocacy process.
OSC employs a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to monitor and evaluate both outputs and impacts. In addition to measuring final results, performance measurement assesses activities during implementation, allowing for campaign adjustment and fine-tuning to achieve the widest reach and maximum effectiveness.
OSC employs quantitative public opinion research to measure baseline, midline and exit data relevant to program objectives. Each survey is fielded according to a careful sampling methodology that is designed to capture statistically valid trends. These surveys, often national in scope, provide empirical measurements of increases or decreases in target audience awareness levels, attitudes, and perceptions.
OSC uses focus groups to pre-test the effectiveness of communication products and to assess the impact of ongoing project efforts. The discussions explore public perceptions and awareness of public information products and activities. Results of the focus groups are provided to clients and technical partners as a component of routine, monthly reporting procedures, and inform OSC's adaption to changing local conditions and opinions.
Media Monitoring and Content Analysis
Monitoring of public media allows OSC to track trends in reporting and to identify coverage related to specific public information activities such as press conferences, press releases, roundtables or controlled message texts. Monitoring of media coverage provides an objective basis for assessing the overall effectiveness of communications campaigns, message penetration, audience size and geographic area of coverage. OSC monitors a sample of local, national, and international media sources according to the needs of each project and provides quantifiable content analysis and reports in support of wider performance monitoring efforts.See more