Everyone benefits from clear government language

Clear language creates more trust in the government and greater involvement from society at large. What’s more, citizens become more self-reliant when they understand what the government is trying to communicate and they are able to apply this to their own situation. This, in turn, saves government agencies time because, for example, there are fewer questions for helpdesks when the message is clear.

Our approach in short

In the Netherlands and Flanders, there is a strong administrative and political will to communicate clearly from now on. That is why the Delightfully Clear campaign (Dutch name: Heerlijk Helder) was launched in Flanders (Belgium) in February 2018. Immediately Clear (Dutch name: Direct Duidelijk), the Dutch campaign for plain language, followed in October 2018.

Immediately Clear helps government organizations to communicate clearly. So that everyone will:

  • understand what is meant in the text;
  • understand what a text means for their own situation, and what you can or must do;
  • find the text pleasant to read.

A text can be anything: a letter, a form, a brochure, a website or a twitter message. But the government must also be clear in conversations and on the telephone. That too is Immediately Clear.

Immediately Clear helps in different ways:

  • Any government organization can join by signing the Immediately Clear Deal.
  • There is a website: www.directduidelijk.nl. This website gives
    • handy writing tips
      and
    • tips to make government organizations clear organizations.
  • We bring the importance of clear government communication to the attention of administrators, policy makers, politicians, scientists and employees of government organizations.
  • We have two annual awards: one for the best writer in clear language and one for the best driver of Immediately Clear policy.

Who are we?

Immediately Clear is a campaign that was launched by the Dutch-Flemish Understandable Government Network (Dutch: Netwerk Begrijpelijke Overheid, or NBO). The NBO is a joint initiative of the Union for the Dutch Language (Taalunie) and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. If you would like to know which other organisations are involved in the NBO or would like to find out more about the background and results of the campaign, please send us an email at info@directduidelijk.nl