Oxfam Foreign Aid 101

Taking the Foreign Aid Fight to Congress



Oxfam America’s report on U.S. foreign aid offers a crash course on what foreign aid entails: its global significance, its myths and facts, and the role the U.S. plays in fighting international poverty through aid.  Although this PDF document was the organization’s most downloaded publication, Oxfam found it challenging to present it to busy elected officials. By solving this problem, as well as incorporating new and relevant information and targeting the most critical audiences in the foreign aid debate, Oxfam would be able to transform the conversation revolving around U.S. foreign aid towards greater transparency and accountability.

Doing so would also contribute to a rebranding of Oxfam as a leading influencer in this global issue. In order to make such developments possible, Oxfam met with Fifth Tribe, where we presented a bold new way to shift the debate on foreign aid and to reach a wider audience – particularly members of Congress – through a branded mobile application. The completion of the project would lead to a more effective and transparent method of educating and gaining support for U.S. foreign aid.


The Fifth Tribe team recognized a lack of uniform positioning on Oxfam’s foreign aid presentation. We engaged in a collaborative process with Oxfam, directed by extensive research on foreign aid, interviews with Oxfam staff and U.S. freshman Congressional staffers and an iterative prototyping  phase. After conducting user journey maps, wireframes, and mockups, the Fifth Tribe team developed design assets and interaction touchpoints while working with Oxfam to generate the relevant content.

The final phase involved fully incorporating content and design, developing the mobile application, conducting user testing, and deploying the application on iPad devices.  The end goal was to build a tool that would facilitate a direct and interactive engagement with Oxfam’s call to action.


As a leader in digital marketing and mobile development, Fifth Tribe’s strategy for this project was focused on creating an application for Oxfam’s foreign assistance campaign, titled Foreign Aid 101.  By incorporating data analytics, proof of concept, and integrated case studies through an interactive question and answer format, the information was not only more easily navigable, but clearer and more comprehensible as well.  Similarly, the app has multimedia features such as strategic text placement, aesthetic image and video visuals, and responsive slides and buttons.

The user is encouraged to engage directly with the information by answering questions pertaining to how much of the national budget is dedicated to foreign aid and exploring the “Whos,” “Whats,” “Whys” and “How Tos” of the issue. Foreign Aid 101 also conveys Oxfam’s platform through a strong call to action; as the user journeys through the app, they are encouraged to pledge support to the movement to make the U.S. a world leader in providing effective, transparent, and accountable foreign aid.


Through the development of Foreign Aid 101, Fifth Tribe was able to successfully rebrand Oxfam’s campaign on foreign aid while marketing their position in a debate that is frequently muddled by dissenting opinions.

The application is an effective and structured way for members of Congress to quickly access information that is necessary to educate on the reality of U.S. foreign assistance. The hope is to continue to gain support and allyship for the cause.