Social Media For Government

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This presentation was created for Chris Hani District in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, to explore possible uses of social media in the pursuit of the Local Government Turn Around Strategy.

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Social Media For Government

  1. 1. Examples of Using Media for Advocacy Tanzania February 2010 Social Media for Government Chris Hani District Eastern Cape March 2010 Samantha Fleming [email_address]
  2. 2. <ul><li>What is Social Media? </li></ul><ul><li>What are opportunities and challenges for government to use social media? </li></ul><ul><li>Effective Communication - Why mobile? </li></ul><ul><li>How does social media fit with the LGTAS? </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Social Media? Definition: “ Social media are online communications in which individuals shift fluidly and flexibly between the role of audience and author . To do this, they use social software that enables anyone (no technical skills needed) to post, comment on, share content and to form communities around shared interests.” Source: http://propr.ca
  4. 4. Characteristics of Social Media Participation - encourages contributions/feedback; blurs lines between author/audience Openness - open to feedback/participation; encourages comments (no passwords) Conversation - traditional media= “broadcast” – social media = “ conversation” Community - allows communities to form and communicate quickly Connectedness – connects to other sites, resources and people Source: www.icrossing.co.uk
  5. 5. <ul><li>Why should government be using social media? </li></ul><ul><li>Because of these characteristics, social media are good tools for government communications because they: </li></ul><ul><li>Increase accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Promote transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage participation </li></ul><ul><li>Using social media is to use online communications to inform people, and form communities around specific interests. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Why use more than one social media platform? </li></ul><ul><li>Social media is “viral” which means that it allows information to move like a virus, through networks. </li></ul><ul><li>So the more places you share your information, the </li></ul><ul><li>more freely available it becomes – especially when others </li></ul><ul><li>can share it with their friends using whatever platform they like </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. you put information on your blog, they share it via SMS. </li></ul><ul><li>Social media uses a “content-centric” approach – </li></ul><ul><li>more awareness in more people results in a stronger democracy. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important to understand which target group uses which platform </li></ul><ul><li>- in this way you can reach your intended audience. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>What are opportunities and challenges for government to use social media? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Newspapers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Printed newsletters, books, pamphlets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Radio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>website/blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email / online newsletter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki / googledocs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microblogging e.g. twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maps – googlemaps, ushahidi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video – youtube and others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pictures – flickr, picasa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phone, sms </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. newspapers, print products (newsletters, pamphlets, books) Type of content : Text, Pictures Good for : reaching the readers – national newspapers have wide readership Challenges : can only reach literate readers; expensive to print; can be difficult to get opinion pieces into newspapers; distribution expensive and difficult to reach rural areas
  9. 9. Community radio – integrates with online strategy Type of content : Audio Good for : reaching wide listenership; especially those who won’t read about your issue elsewhere; combined in strategy with phones, can create good discussions Challenges : need equipment and broadcast capability; altho can use mobile and integrate into website
  10. 10. Website / blog Type of content : Text, Pictures, Audio, Video Good for : blog is a cheap, quick way to establish a web presence, encourage feedback and discussion, promote accountability (see below – allows citizens to track spending) Challenges : does not reach people who aren’t online, although many people access internet on their phones
  11. 11. online newsletters Type of content : Text, with links to Pictures, Audio, Video Good for : Quick and cheap to keep people informed, bring them back to your blog or website Challenges : people overloaded with information may not read your newsletter until they are convinced of value
  12. 12. Collaborating on Googledocs Type of content : Text, Good for : collaborating with different people Challenges : need to be online or mobile online
  13. 13. Collaborating on a wiki
  14. 14. Social networking - facebook Type of content : Text, Pictures, Audio, Video Good for : building constituency, sharing information, light engagement Challenges : does not reach people who aren’t online, although also available on mobile
  15. 15. Social networking – Governments using NING
  16. 16. Microblogging - twitter Type of content : Short text Good for : sharing bite-sized information; raising awareness about an issue quickly Challenges : only reaches people on twitter
  17. 17. Mapping – Haiti disaster relief Type of content : maps Good for : visual representation of an issue; uses embedded technology that lots of people have access to; allows anyone, anywhere to contribute to tracking using phones Challenges : data needs to be verified
  18. 18. Mapping – Kenya, post elections 2008
  19. 19. Idasa’s Mapping
  20. 20. Using Pictures - Flickr and Picasa Type of content : pictures Good for : “a picture is worth 1000 words” – pictures have big impact and can tell your story for you Challenges : need internet access and digital camera or cellphone
  21. 21. Using Videos - Youtube and others Type of content : videos Good for : big impact with short videos saying much more than text documents; people can tell their stories which provide a very powerful message Challenges : need bandwidth to share them; need to be comfortable with cellphone or video equipment to make and edit clips
  22. 22. Integrating Phones and video – the power of mobile to tell a story Type of content : text, pictures, audio, video Good for : easiest way to reach the most number of people – many people have access to a phone Challenges : sending anything more than text (SMS) can be expensive; managing databases of mobile numbers
  23. 23. Using “chat” on mobile phones to get young people talking - MXIT Type of content : text Good for : reaching young people where they are at Challenges : marketing can be expensive
  24. 24. Recap of Types of Media Media Good for … Challenges Newspapers, print newsletters, books, pamphlets reaching the readers – national newspapers have wide readership only reach literate readers; expensive to print; difficult to get space for opinion pieces; distribution expensive and difficult to reach rural areas Community Radio reaches wide listenership; especially those who won’t hear about your issue elsewhere; combined in strategy with phones, can create good discussions need equipment and broadcast capability; altho can use mobile and integrate into website website/blog blog is a cheap, quick way to establish a web presence, encourage feedback and discussion does not reach people who aren’t online, although mobile wordpress now making blogs available on mobile phones Email Quick and cheap to keep people informed, bring them back to your blog or website people overloaded with info, may not read your newsletter until they are convinced of value Wiki / googledocs Good for collaboration in groups need to be online or mobile online Social networks building constituency, sharing information, light engagement does not reach people who aren’t online, although also available on mobile ; facebook can be heavy to download Microblogging e.g. twitter sharing bite-sized information; raising awareness about an issue quickly, good if your donors on twitter only reaches people on twitter; not available via SMS anymore Maps visual representation of an issue; uses embedded technology that lots of people have access to; allows citizens to contribute to tracking using phones data needs to be verified Video BIG impact with short videos more hard-hitting than text documents; people can tell their stories which provide a very powerful message need bandwidth to share them; need to be comfortable with cellphone or video equipment to make and edit clips Pictures “ a picture is worth 1000 words” – pictures have big impact and can tell your story for you need internet access and digital camera or cellphone Phone, sms easiest way to reach the most number of people – many people have access to a phone sending anything more than text (SMS) can be expensive; managing databases of mobile numbers
  25. 25. <ul><li>Effective Communication - Why Mobile? </li></ul><ul><li>Effective government communication requires us </li></ul><ul><li>to work with two groups of people: </li></ul><ul><li>The media – who can broadcast our message </li></ul><ul><li>Our constituency – the people whom we represent </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself the following questions: </li></ul><ul><li>How do we get information that matters to those who need it the most? </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>2. How do we engage citizens/organisations in two-way conversations about democracy? </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Why Mobile … “The people who need information the most live on the margins of society without access to the internet, email, and other sexy new innovations …It’s time to get real… the use of mobile phones in marginalised communities is high. ” </li></ul><ul><li>South African cellphone penetration is at 100% - most people either have their own phone, or access to a phone. </li></ul><ul><li>Cellphones/ mobile phones are the easiest, quickest, cheapest way to communicate with our target market. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to make the most of it. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: http://www.kubatana.net/html/ff/ff_cont.asp </li></ul>
  27. 27. Examples of Mobile - Seeclickfix <ul><li>Seeclickfix allows communities to report issues in the community such as broken street lights, potholes, water issues. </li></ul>
  28. 28. How does it work? <ul><li>Citizen or government official sends SMS or email to a specific number. These are automatically stored in a database and sent to relevant person to monitor and fix. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Another example of Mobile – fixmystreet.org <ul><li>Fixmystreet.org works in the same way – report by SMS or email, and the issue will be followed up – by government, citizen groups, and media </li></ul>
  30. 30. Mobile project in Chris Hani District <ul><li>An example of using mobiles is a project to test water in Chris Hani District. 11 Environmental Health Professionals (EHPs) conduct water tests, send results and receive information about water quality. </li></ul>cellphone tools for data management & reporting a low-cost field test for drinking water quality +
  31. 31. How does it work? H2S test positive at site: Centane - borehole. Please respond The test is positive, but I have no chlorine AREA WATER MANAGER I will send someone with chlorine. For now, advise People to boil their water ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
  32. 32. How does social media fit with LGTAS? In December 2009, Cabinet approved the Local Government Turnaround Strategy (LGTAS)
  33. 33. <ul><li> How does social media fit with LGTAS? </li></ul><ul><li>The motto of LGTAS is: “Local Government is Everyone’s Business” </li></ul><ul><li>“ LGTAS presents the entire country and all communities with </li></ul><ul><li>an opportunity to work together with their municipalities in improving and accelerating service delivery.” The main objectives of the Local Turn Around Strategy are to:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ensure that municipalities meet the basic needs of communities; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>build clean, effective, efficient, effective responsive and accountable local government; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>improve performance and professionalism in municipalities; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>improve national and provincial policy, oversight and support; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>strengthen partnerships between communities, civil society and local government.  </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>Social media fits with the purpose of LGTAS by </li></ul><ul><li>providing opportunities for citizens and communities to be involved </li></ul><ul><li>Improving transparency and accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Improving oversight and support </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthening partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Social media is the ideal way to keep people informed and involved. </li></ul><ul><li>Most people either have a cellphone in their pocket – or access to a cellphone through a family member or friend. </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s use that connectivity to create better governance and better societies. </li></ul>
  35. 35. thank you more at www.idasa.org [email_address] 08-265-265-42

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