Understanding of Written Communication

Process indicator

Indicator Phrasing

% of the target population that understands the written language used to communicate with them
% de la population cible qui comprend les supports écrits qui lui sont adressés
% da população-alvo que entende a língua escrita que lhes é endereçada
% cílové populace, které rozumí psanému jazyku užívanému pro komunikaci s ní

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of the target population that understands the written language used to communicate with them

French: % de la population cible qui comprend les supports écrits qui lui sont adressés

Portuguese: % da população-alvo que entende a língua escrita que lhes é endereçada

Czech: % cílové populace, které rozumí psanému jazyku užívanému pro komunikaci s ní

What is its purpose?

The indicator measures the proportion of the target group members who understand the language that aid agencies use for written communication with them (for example, for leaflets informing about complaint response mechanisms, for announcement boards or any important instructions). It shows the extent to which the written language used by aid agencies (and potentially other actors) hinders the target population’s ability to access information.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Calculate the indicator's value by using the following methodology:

 

1) Select three short examples of written communication materials that are intended for the target group members, such as a leaflet, poster, printed instructions or a short letter. Ensure that each piece of material is approximately 2-4 sentences long and is free of any unnecessary jargon and technical terms. If several different languages are commonly used for written communication, select three additional written samples for each language.

 

 

2) Include in any quantitative survey that is conducted among a representative sample of the target group members (both female and male), a section testing their understanding of the written text. The recommended survey questions include:

Q1: Are you able to read text in [specify the tested language]?

A1: yes / no / with difficulties

 

(ask the following question only if the previous answer is YES or WITH DIFFICULTIES)

 

Q2: Can you please tell me what these materials are informing you about? [show the three selected materials; keep probing: What else are the materials saying? What else is written on them?]

A2:

1) the respondent fully understands the content of at least two of the three materials

2) the respondent DOES NOT understand the content of at least two of the three materials

 

 

3) If there are several languages commonly used for written communication with the target population, repeat steps 1 and 2 for the remaining languages.

 

 

4) Calculate the indicator’s value by dividing the number of people who understood at least two of the written materials by the total number of respondents. Multiply the result by 100.

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by gender, age groups, ethnicity and other vulnerability factors. If you test more languages, report separately on the percentage of the target population’s understanding of a given language.

Important Comments

1) If the Education Cluster, UNICEF, or Ministry of Education has a standardized methodology for testing basic reading skills in the given language, consider using it.

This guidance was prepared by People in Need and Translators without Borders ©

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