Energy Subsidy Reform Assessment Framework (ESRAF): Designing Communication Campaigns for Energy Subsidy Reform – Good Practice Note 10

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 Overview: Guidance for Comprehensive Energy Subsidy Reforms

ESRAF Good Practice Note 1: Identifying and Quantifying Energy Subsidies

ESRAF Good Practice Note 2: Assessing the Fiscal Cost of Subsidies and Fiscal Impact of Reform

ESRAF Good Practice Note 3: Analyzing the Incidence of Consumer Price Subsidies and the Impact of Reform on Households — Quantitative Analysis

ESRAF Good Practice Note 4: Incidence of Price Subsidies on Households and Distributional Impact of Reform, Qualitative Methods

ESRAF Good Practice Note 5: Assessing the Readiness of Social Safety Nets to Mitigate the Impact of Reform

ESRAF Good Practice Note 6 to come: Identifying the Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Firms and Industrial Competitiveness

ESRAF Good Practice Note 7: Modeling Macroeconomic Impacts and Global Externalities

ESRAF Good Practice Note 8: Local Environmental Externalities due to Energy Price Subsidies — A Focus on Air Pollution and Health

ESRAF Good Practice Note 9: Assessing the Political Economy of Energy Subsidies to Support Policy Reform Operations

ESRAF Good Practice Note 10: Designing Communication Campaigns for Energy Subsidy Reform


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.

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