Shikamo Political Advisory and Campaign Services (SPACS) is an Africa focused campaigns and political advisory firm that has developed tools and solutions for Governments, political parties and corporates to navigate the global pandemic.
Most governments in Africa have struggled to develop effective methods of communicating with citizens in a crisis. A key weakness has been balancing reporting death/cases of recovering patients and communicating mitigation methods to avert the impact of lost livelihoods. The pandemic is a new phenomenon and the existing skills of crisis communication appear limited.
At Shikamo we have expertise in developing strategies and tools on crisis communication. Sharing information on COVID-19 may not suffice as citizens need to be reassured that despite the impact of the pandemic, the government is able to protect and insulate them from the impact.
To secure the ongoing cooperation of citizens, Governments need to regard crisis communication as part of their arsenal in the fight against the pandemic, rather than an afterthought. Shikamo’s expert teams have developed and tested communication tools and approaches to help countries engage citizens more effectively.
The advent of COVID-19 in 2020/2021 radically disrupted life as we know it, including the political processes that underpin democracy. As societies grapple with the impact of a pandemic that has decimated livelihoods and cost numerous lives, Shikamo’s work on political campaign and advisory has had to transform to better serve our clients in the context of COVID-19.
With COVID-19 containment and preventive measures such as social distancing and encouraging people staying at home as well as to avoid crowds, conventional political campaign rituals of engaging voters are no longer feasible. Strategies of canvassing for votes such as holding “rallies, whistle stops and door to door” campaigns tend to be suspended in the public interest. This has placed a huge demand on us to develop innovative methods for our clients to reach out to voters without exposing them to the pandemic.
At Shikamo we are proud to have developed ground-breaking methods that suit the unique challenges in Africa where poverty and lack of access are prevalent. Consequently, the majority of citizens reside in rural areas where internet access is limited, mobile penetration is low and data costs are astronomical. The approaches Shikamo experts have developed can ensure voters easily access their candidate/party and are able to make an informed choice.
The pandemic has forced closure of most businesses due to loss of revenue and invariably triggering massive job losses that have left many people scrambling to survive. While Corporates are seized with the burden of staying afloat they need strategies for engaging government and other key stakeholders to minimise sustainability challenges and operational risk for their business.
With profits waning, companies have been forced to rethink their priorities including corporate social responsibility interventions. Shikamo’s work with governments and politicians is an asset that companies can exploit in shaping strategy and plans in dealing with the pandemic.