What did SAY solve, what did it deliver?

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Hetty Klavers
Deltaprogram IJsselmeer region

The rising sea level, the sinking of the land and climate change force The Netherlands to think far into the future and to anticipate future developments. The measures necessary for this are being prepared and worked out in the Deltaprogram. The Deltaprogram is a program with the goal of keeping our country protected from high water and to keep the freshwater supply in order, now and in the future. The Deltaprogram is very complex and consists of a number of large sub-programs, among which the Deltaprogram IJsselmeer region. The program is hallmarked by great complexity with a large diversity of stakeholders, among which provinces, municipalities, water boards, and cooperatives.

What did SAY solve, what did it deliver?
By applying SAY to the program it made clear how the different stakeholders viewed the program, what kept them busy and where priorities could be for the program management. Program director, Hetty Klavers, of the Deltaprogram IJsselmeer region: With SAY we gained good insight into where the stakeholders focus and feelings toward the program differed. Some were more focused on interests, others on understanding and reason, and still others more on involvement. It became clear that the focus of some stakeholders at times differed sharply from our own focus.
In addition SAY offered good insight into what the different groups of stakeholders thought of the program at various points. Based on those insights a few accents have been moved, and we have customized our approach to each group and adjusted our message per group. SAY helped us to sharpen our message and approach.

Was SAY a worthwhile investment and why?
Yes, it brought us very valuable new insights, which helped us considerably.

Was the SAY approach logical?
“The SAY approach was logical. The stakeholders were able to easily fill out the questions. It was a bit more challenging to analyze and interpret the data if you didn’t have the training, therefore we called in the SAY team to help.

Was it inspiring and did it bring up anything new?
Yes, absolutely. The implementation led to new insight. After using SAY we brought the stakeholders into focus, we were able to move some accents and adjust a portion of our message. We combined the insights with research from our individual and our team focus so that members of our team could mesh better with the different stakeholder groups.”

What could be done differently or better?
In one instance the answers available to choose from caused some surprises. The SAY team was able to provide a satisfactory explanation.

Would you recommend it to others?
Every project or program ideally brings its environment into focus. The SAY research provided a very valuable supplement to our view of the environment. SAY offered us a good and quick way to gain a better view of the attitudes and the focus of the selected groups in relation to the Deltaprogram IJsselmeer region. Often you think you know everything, but in reality it turns out there are a few things you didn’t know or weren’t clear on.