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  • Ebenezer Obadare in The Great GSM (cell phone) Boycott: Civil Society, Big Business and the State in Nigeria Dark Roast Occasional Paper Series No. 18 (2004).
  • The Human Emancipation Lead Project in Nigeria in the 2007 elections. Task Force Poll Watch (TFPW) and Quick Count 2007 in the Phillipines ensured impartial elections documentation of election-related fraud and violence , ballot counting and producing results earlier than the Commission on Election. . In the case of Quick Count 2007, partners from the provinces were sending SMS updates on their local election count. Quick Count entered this data on its database for further anlalysis. Several regions reported discrepancies in tallying between the municipal and the provincial results. In addition TFPW received reports of election fraud and violence via mobile phone, internet and facsimile. The task force was instrumental in discovering a supposed 100,000 votes shaved from 2 Senatorial candidates. Residents of the eastern Chinese city of Xiamen blocked construction of a chemical plant with a text message campaign
  • The Indian Ocean tsunamis, earthquakes, air disasters, oil spills
  • Emily Gertz, 'Fahamu: Pan-African Text Messaging for Social Justice,' October 31, 2005, World Changing, http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/003694.htm http://www.pambazuka.org/en/petition/
  • Sending Out an SMS A rapid-response mobile phone network engages a youth constituency to stop torture fast by Anneke Bosman Edited by Liam Mahony, published by the New Tactics Project of the Center for Victims of Torture, Minneapolis, USA . www.cvt.org , www.newtactics.org
  • Ebenezer Obadare in The Great GSM (cell phone) Boycott: Civil Society, Big Business and the State in Nigeria Dark Roast Occasional Paper Series No. 18 (2004).
  • On-going project at Mayange Health Centre in Rwanda; a partnership between Ericsson (provided software and solar charger) , MTN (Rwanda) provided phones, Government and Earth Institute of Columbia provided funding
  • Excerpts from ‘M4G in Kenya – Overview’ http://uk.oneworld.net/article/view/117283
  • FrontlineSMS has been successfully deployed in over forty countries in many areas by grassroots NGOs including the Nigerian and Philippine elections, in the sending of security alerts to fieldworkers in Afghanistan, market prices to smallholder farmers in Aceh, and to circumvent government restrictions in countries including Zimbabwe and Pakistan.
  • In 2004 Proceedings of the American Statistical Association, 59th Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) (CD-ROM) (pp. 4929-4934). Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association

Use of mobile  phones for advocacy campaigns Use of mobile phones for advocacy campaigns Presentation Transcript

  • Use of Mobile Phones for Civil Society Campaigns and Advocacy 21 st June 2008 CIVICUS WORLD ASSEMBLY GLASGOW, SCOTLAND
  • Resource Persons
    • Katrin Verclas
    • Mobileactive.org
    • Christiana Charles-Iyoha
    • Grace Efe Avuaira
    • Centre for Policy and Development
    • [email_address] www.poldec.org
  • Outline
    • Over view of mobiles in development
    • Use of Mobiles for Advocacy Campaigns
    • Why Mobile Based Campaigns
    • How Mobiles Facilitate Advocacy Campaigns
    • Successful Global Case Studies
    • Tools, Services and Resources
    • Some Dos and Don'ts of a Mobile Campaign
    • Challenges
    • Organizations using mobiles for Advocacy campaigns
  • Overview of Mobiles in Development
    • Empowerment and transformation through:
    • Access
    • Participation
    • Voice
    • Inclusion
    • Networking and collaboration
    • Identity/Individuality
    • Speed
    • Ease
  • Use of Mobiles for Advocacy Campaigns
    • Any activity targeted at social action for improvements in the quality of lives via:
    • Mass Text Messaging/SMS
    • MMS - Flickr
    • Voice SMS
    • Voice Mail
    • Streaming Videos
    • Conference calls - Skype et al
  • Why Mobile Based Campaigns
    • new social space of politics and agitation
    • a new outlet of voice, and modality of engagement by civil society against exclusion and abuse
    • Compressors or nullifiers of physical space
    • Cost Effective – SMS Surveys, urgent SOS appeals
    • Ease and speed of distributing information
    • Instant impact, therefore immediate action
    • Prompt, faster response
    • Availability –always with the owner/user
    • More mobile-accessible information
  • How Mobiles Facilitate Advocacy Campaigns
    • Coordinating and organizing citizens
    • Facilitating citizen participation
    • People’s Media
    • Information gathering, surveys
    • Action alerts and quick response
    • Fundraising
    • Awareness Creation
  • Coordinating and Organizing
    • mobilize large numbers of people across geographical borders to prevent/stop human rights violations
    • respond promptly to issues
    • reduce and prevent violence
    • mobilize consumers against frequent price hikes and unfair tariffs,
    • mobilize citizens to act against bad governance
    • coordinate local security/give voice to the voiceless .
    • coordinate knowledge sharing within communities
    • Conference calls
  • Citizen Participation
    • Participation in governance issues
    • Participation in development issues
    • Protecting natural resources from developers
    • Monitoring election processes
    • Monitoring budgets
    • Monitoring campaign commitments of politicians
    • Monitoring government’s commitments to international agreements and instruments
  • People’s Media
    • MMS to record and transmit text, pictures and video directly from mobile phones to a website – news agencies, flickr.
    • Reporting violence against people/institutions
    • Gathering evidence/ General reporting/ education
    • Reporting environmental events
    • To raise awareness of a plight or cause
    • To report or blog from events, meetings /conferences
    • Voxpops / public opinion,
    • Broadening the global news agenda
  • Action Alerts and Quick Response
    • Report disasters –natural/man made, etc
    • Respond to humanitarian emergencies
    • Rallies and demonstrations
    • Timely and pertinent information to supporters
    • coordinate and monitor protest actions
    • initiate quick action in cases of abductions, enforced disappearances, warrant-less arrests, unlawful detention, torture, kidnappings, etc
  • Fundraising
    • setting up short codes (shortened versions of mobile numbers, usually 5 digits
    • usually used as part of an appeal,
    • the Asian tsunami in 2004 (over $2 million dollars was raised in the UK alone through mobile donations)
    • to distribute information
    • raise awareness on an organisation’s activities,
    • identify potential donors
    • assist in the recruitment of members
  • Case Studies
    • Fahamu & SOWAR Support a Petition via SMS
    • Amnesty International Netherlands’s SMS Urgent Action Campaign
    • People Power 11 – The Role of SMS
    • The Nigeria GSM Boycott/TXTPower 2004
    • Tsunami’s and other natural disasters
    • Election Monitoring
    • Human Rights Abuses, kidnapping, abductions
    • The Kenya Mobile for Good project
    • Accessing health information
  • Fahamu & SOWAR Support a Petition via SMS
    • to promote the ratification of the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa,
    • a dedicated South African mobile phone number
    • supporters texted '€˜PETITION'€™ along with their names
    • SMS converted to email in the S/A office and sent on to Fahamu's UK office where an up-to-date list of ˜signatories was displayed on the campaign website.
    • final list presented to the African Union.
    • over 4,000 people from 29 African countries signed up in support within a year,
    • approximately 500 via text message.
  • Amnesty International Netherlands’ SMS Urgent Action Campaign
    • Attracted 520 new members/text message alert network formed
    • Heightened awareness of the campaign against torture
    • Mobilize support for victims of torture
    • over 5,000 additional people became active in the SMS urgent action campaign
    • Speedy responses to cases of torture
    • About 39 percent of the cellphone campaigns conducted by Amnesty in 2002 were successful.
    • Prisoners of conscience were released, people who had "disappeared" were found and death sentences were not carried out.
  • People Power 11 – The Role of SMS
    • Pivotal role of mobiles in the impeachment of President Joseph Estrada of the Philippines
    • rapid and mass mobilization of the people
    • 70 million text messages a day during that week exceeding daily average of 45 million text messages
  • The Nigeria GSM Boycott
    • By National Association of GSM Subscribers of Nigeria , Consumers Rights Project on Friday 19 September 2003
    • close to 80% of cell phone users joined the protest
    • alleged exorbitant tariffs, Unsolicited diversion of calls; Text message failures/Surcharging of undelivered text messages, arbitrary reduction of credits/Uncompleted calls; Poor signals, otherwise known as “no network coverage” or “network busy”; Artificial scarcity of recharge cards, Unfavorable Constant changes in contract terms ; Misleading advertisements on new services; Oversubscribed networks, therefore poor access, Problem of interconnectivity among networks;
  • TXTPower 2004
    • TXTPower, a consumer group in the Phillipines
    • opposed the Philippine Congress’ recommendation to impose a “text tax.” and government’s proposed VAT hike from 10-12 percent to 20 percent
    • consumers signed the petition by sending text messages to a central number
    • Text barrage at the main proponents of the Bill alongside the petition signing via SMS
    • migrant workers outside Phillipines joined the campaign
    • SMS - cheapest /most accessible communication with families.
    • Congress stopped the formal filing of the “text tax” proposal.
  • Accessing Health Information
    • SEXINFO, a text-based information and referral service for young people in San Francisco.
    • Access information via short code with IVR functions
    • Dissemination of information on HIV/AIDS prevention and management, as well as access to Help Lines through SMS by National Action Committee on HIV/AIDS in a unique public/private partnership with Celtel
    • Tracnet to keep track of availability of ARVs in health centres in Rwanda
  • Reducing Maternal and Child Mortality
    • Call up medical records of pregnant women from an online data
    • Tell care givers what to do in an emergency via a cell phone
    • Memory of each phone includes a maternal and child care training manual with images and audio directions that can be sent to mothers and families
    • 30 phones powered by a solar charger
    • Computer database with medical records of families in the village accessible by mobile phone
  • Mobile for Good, Kenya
    • vital health, employment, community news via SMS
    • inform and empower disadvantaged individuals and communities.
    • over 70,000 people use its services.
    • Over 60,000 have found employment through the jobs service, Kazi560. In addition, some employers have said that this is the only form of recruitment they are now using".
    • "The success of M4G-Kenya has been staggering.
  • Available Tools
    • Frontline SMS
    • SMS Server Tools
    • Desktop SMS Campaign Tools
    • Blasterisk
    • Fring: http://www.fring.com /
    • Gizmo
    • FreePBX
    • Episurveyor
    • Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit
  • Available Tools Cont’d
    • Tellme: a mobile search engine,. www.tellme.com
    • Msgme : http://www.msgme.com/
    • Gnokii
    • Asterisk – for setting up of IVR systems
    • Hipcast
    • Shozu
    • TriBox
    • ActiveXperts and many more
  • Frontline SMS
    • By Ken Banks - www.kiwanja.net
    • For non- profits and mostly used by non-profits
    • Provides an affordable, standalone turn-key solution to NGOs, allowing them - many for the first time - to access 'group' SMS technology.
    • Provides the ability to carry out small- to medium-scale trials before embarking on possible larger project proposals.
    • It is free and can be downloaded with a how-to
  • FrontlineSMS Hub
  • SMS Server Tools 3
    • SMS Gateway software
    • Sends and receives short messages through GSM modems and mobile phones.
    • Simply storing text files into a special spool directory sends short messages. The program monitors this directory and sends new files automatically. It also stores received short messages into another directory as text files.
    • “ turns a desktop or laptop computer into an SMS hub .
    • Text messages are sent and received by typing commands into the computer, a process not as simple and intuitive as with other hubs (which use menu systems to guide you through the process ). users who send less than 20,000 messages per month.
    • allows other actions such as emails to be sent, triggered by the arrival of pre-defined messages or keywords.
    • run other external programs or scripts after events like reception of a new message, successful sending and also when a problem has been detected.
    • can inspect the related text files and perform automatic actions, for example storing information into a database, sending an automatic reply, forwarding messages via email, ... and whatever you like.
  • Desktop SMS Campaign Tools
    • By Ben Rigby, Co-executive Director, Mobile Voter. Edited by Katrin Verclas, MobileActive.org
    • A step by step guide to setting up a campaign from your desktop/laptop, using available tools and services.
    • Gives a range of options
    • Analysis of existing tools including their costs, support services, benfits and challenges
  • Billing
    • Premium SMS /SMS sent to a short code.
    • Reverse billing - cost the sender more as a % is deducted from the senders phone bill, or pre-pay balance, and passed to the operator of the service.
    • Operators and premium SMS providers often take a large slice of the funds, and the rest is given to the NGO using the service.
    • A quick, instant and effective way of raising funds
    • now commonplace in the non-profit world,especially in direct appeals (for natural disasters, famine, etc)
    • short codes (shortened versions of mobile numbers, usually 5 digits)
  • Some Available Services
    • Bulk SMS
    • MobiSiteGalore
    • Mobivox
    • Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit
    • Wapple.net
  • Resources
    • Mobile Advocacy Toolkit :
    • A how to use mobile phones for advocacy campaigns By Tactical Technology .
    • A set of tools and knowledge base for CSOs on the use of mobile phones in campaigning and advocacy.
    • For advocacy organisations in Africa and to any other NGOs.
    • Will be ready in July 2008
    • Available in English and in French.
    • http://wiki.mobiles.tacticaltech.org/index.php/Main_Page "
  • Map of the Toolkit
  • Online Resources
    • http://www.mobileactive.org
    • http:// www.kiwanja.net
    • http:// www.smartmobs.com
    • http:// www.textually.org
    • http:// www.160characters.org
    • http:// www.mobilecrunch.org
    • http:// www.itu.org
    • http:// www.stockholmchallenge.se
    • http://www.mobileafrican.net/ and many more.
  • Publications and Articles
    • Mobile Telephony: Leveraging Strengths and Opportunities for Socio-Economic Transformation in Nigeria by PolDeC
    • The Rural Woman’s Step-by-Step Guide to Mobile Telephony by PolDeC
    • Mobile Phones, human rights and social justice in Africa by Fahamu
    • The Great GSM (cell phone) Boycott: Civil Society, Big Business and the State in Nigeria by Ebenezer Obadare
    • Tech-enabled Activism: Virtual, Mobile and Online Global Lifestyles Magazine, 2005
  • Publications and Articles cont’d
    • Using mobile phones in Electoral and Voter Registration by Stein Michael www.mobileactive.org
    • Using Mobile Phones in Advocacy Campaigns by Stein Michael www.mobileactive.org
    • Text 2 U: Contacting wireless subscribers using text messaging and wireless web for mobile phone surveys by Buskirk, T. D., Callegaro, M., and C. Steeh
    • The Cell Phone and the Crowd: Messianic Politics in the Contemporary Philippines. Rafael, V.L . Public Culture 15(3)
  • Do’s and Don’ts
    • Generate a mobile phone database
    • Inform constituents of purpose of numbers database
    • Never spam/Give users opportunities of opting out
    • Never coerce anyone into a campaign
    • Identify tools and services
    • Never jump into tools
    • Budget an SMS campaign
    • Have alternative power supply – solar, battery, etc
  • Do’s and Don'ts cont’d
    • Never assume a cost free SMS campaign
    • Be informed of relevant regulations and work within them
    • Never assume absence of regulations
    • Learn the non-rocket science
    • Partner with ‘techies’ on rocket science aspects
    • Build capacities of constituents on phone menus
    • Never assume that all constituents can send an SMS
  • Challenges
    • Generating a mobile numbers database of target audience
    • Anti-Spamming regulations – ensure users opt in
    • Using mobiles in isolation of other media
    • Shared phone usage in deep rural communities
    • Failed mobile campaigns
    • Controls on use of PREMIUM SMS
    • Use of SMS for scams and spamming
    • Erratic power supply in countries challenged by inefficient energy provisioning
    • Bans on use of SMS in some countries
  • Organizations using mobiles for campaigns
    • Amnesty International
    • FAHAMU
    • Mobile 4 Good Kenya
    • Human Emancipation Lead Project
    • Migrante Workers Emergency Text Programme
    • Rock The Vote
    • Centre for Policy and Development
    • Many others across the globe – please consult www.mobileactive.org and www.kiwanja.net
  • The End
    • Thank you for your attention and your anticipated participation in texting our struggle for a just world after now.