3.1 Identity of the Target Audience
3.2 Style of the Report
3.3 Layout of the Report
The report will be prepared by the Working Party for submission to the Steering Committee. It is intended to inform, but its main purpose is to persuade. The first step, therefore, is to identify the people who exercise power and whom it is important to influence.
The Steering Committee
The Steering Committee itself is an important audience since it must be confident of its ability to secure inclusion of the final plan in the National Economic Development Plan. It will probably choose to take on a professional editing role before accepting the report formally as the Aquaculture Development Plan.
The Central Planning Body
As managers of the country's scarce resources, any government economic planning ministry will be conscious of the competing claims of other sectors and exposed to conflicting pressures. The temptation may be to accept only the less controversial elements of the Aquaculture Development Plan. The report must stress the integrity of the plan and the essential interdependence of the component parts.
Members of the government will respond mainly to the economic and social arguments and the evidence that aquaculture will help solve their most-pressing problems. As politicians, they may be influenced by the prospect of work in deprived areas, or the injection into the economy of international finance, to act in matters of fiscal policy and legislation which only they can change.
Private Sector Investors
Entrepreneurs will be looking for opportunities to invest their funds profitably. They will look critically at the substance behind the benefits and claims of individual projects, and the associated risks. They will be equally interested in the steps taken to provide a supportive environment as evidence of the government's commitment to aquaculture.
As well as the United Nations and the EEC, many individual countries have substantial aid programmes directed at developing countries. In general, this aid is not commercial in that a direct return on investment of money and expertise is not expected.
The objective of these sponsors is to bring about improvements which would not be achieved otherwise. Their involvement will be crucial in the early stages of the aquaculture development programme, particularly in the areas of research and development, and training, and in pilot projects.
They, too, will look for government commitment. They will be motivated by the concept of progressive capacity building which the Aquaculture Development Plan offers.
The most important readers of the report will have little knowledge of or great interest in aquaculture.
The first requirement is that they read the report. This is more likely to happen if it is short and free of jargon, and in the reader's own language. The reader should be asked to digest no more information than is necessary to follow the argument. Graphs and other visual techniques are a useful way of making quantitative points painlessly.
The report is also a record of how the study was carried out and the evidence on which conclusions and recommendations were based. Inclusion of detail is quite legitimate. This will be attached in appendices to be studied selectively by those who have a particular interest. The language of appendices can be pitched at the level of the expert reader.
The authors should not be afraid to introduce cartoons and other pictorial devices. Most readers appreciate a little light relief.
Information should be presented in the following form, or something similar to it:
(2) Table of contents
In normal index layout and including appendices
A short section identifying the origins of the study. It will also state the purpose of the study and the outcome, without detail, and refer to the terms of reference as an appendix
A brief recognition of sponsors and outside bodies who provided help, and individuals who contributed their time.
These will be in the form of a list, one or two sentences for each. There is no particular limit to the number, but they should be classified in some way, possibly the chronological order in which they would be implemented or major proposals first. They should be phrased to provoke a decisive "yes/no" response.
This often precedes the recommendations.
(7) The body of the report
This should be broken down into sections in logical argument sequence and the sections sub-divided following the six sectoral components as described in Annex I. Long tracts of unbroken text should be avoided. Tables should be simple and contain few numbers. Graphs, histograms and piecharts should be used whenever possible. Decision trees may help to sharpen complex arguments.
These should be in list form.