Social media began withvillage square discussions long before Facebook and Twitter created a digital global village. People –to- people communications is the oldest, most effective form of information gathering and learning. So we like to think of Grassroots communications as social media in 3 D. As with digital social media , it links local individuals or reporters and communities with policy and opinion makers creating effective two-way communications
This slide explains how grassroots communications can influence and improve the dialogue between local communities and their policy/law makers. REDD+ concepts are shared with local communities through a variety of media, depending on the type of audience and demographics, with the objective of raising their collective critical consciousness. The barefoot reporters initiative is a unique approach which is still being developed. It is represented by a solid line because we have direct control of the results of our activities. An orange broken line represents the “probable effects” of our activities as we do not have direct control of the results. So when policy makers respond to local communities’ suggestions through various channels, we can assume the causal link is estabished.
Influential champions are an enormous asset to successful communiccations. Our strategy was to identify such an individual – in this case Krishna Murari – and give him a deep and thorough grounding in REDD+ issues. Convinced of the need to discuss, refine and adapt REDD in the way that makes most sense for Nepalese communities, he was instrumental in organizing a training workshop for 16 like-minded journalists. Later, we extended this successful training to a 5 day workshop attended by a hundred community individuals – some were local stringers or local NGO members others were just interested citizens; we call them barefoot reporters because they are locals providing bottom up communications
News clips that reflect community concerns in the national dialogue on REDD+
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SMS penetration in Nepal is rising strongly covering some 11 million subscribers. Equal Access Nepal referred listeners sms queries to experts after each episode. Now the experts answer the sms queries live in real time. Its proving popular and the programs are being recast. They agency reaches 10 million listeners through its bouquet of programs.
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Asia-Pacific Forestry Week November 7-11, 2011 Beijing, ChinaGrassroots Communications for REDD+ in NepalBarefoot Reporters and SMS Talk ShowsByPrabha Chandran, ManagerStrategic Communications
What is grassroots communications? • People to people communications : ‘The Original Social Media in 3D’ • Age of Participation – capturing the eagerness to participate • A key strategy to link local communities with policy makers on REDD+ under the Grassroots Programs in Indonesia, Lao PDR, Nepal and Vietnam
Our Mission:Local People Manage Forests for Optimal Benefits Local communities Barefoot reporters Group learning Feedback from Radio shows communities shared with Media training policy makers Street plays Story telling REDD+ Policy makers Partners Favorable REDD+ policies for the communities, verified by SMS polls
From one to 100 barefoot reporters • An influential media champion • Trained 16 journalists in 16 target districts for a national dialogue • 5 one-day workshops for 100 community reporters
Bottom up reporting and thought leadership for communities
Network of learning events • 270 resource persons trained in REDD at the national and sub-national levels • 320 story telling and group learning events • Over 10,000 grassroots stakeholders reached • Some communities begin adapting to decrease carbon impacts
Radio and SMS talk shows • 12 Episodes now airing on Climate Change, Forests and REDD+ include expert interviews, vox-pops, songs, reports, docu-dramas. • SMS polls and chat shows. Mobile phone usage in Nepal doubled in 8 years. Powerful participation channel • Polls show impact of REDD awareness raising
Addressing communications challenges • Explaining the REDD+ framework, concepts and terminology in local languages • Contextualizing the global debate in local settings • Leveling of expectations by communicating accurate and culturally sensitive information • Combining communications streams for greater impact