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Global Voices

#5 from 2017: The role of social media in development

Rosie Parkyn's picture
Our Top Ten blog posts by readership in 2017. This post was originally posted on May 1, 2017.
 
Why should development organisations care about social media? Rosie Parkyn looks at social media’s potential to enhance development outcomes in the Global South and how this stacks up against the evidence.  
 
At BBC Media Action, we take our content to people wherever they are, be that a refugee reception centre in Lebanona homestead in rural Ethiopia or their Facebook feed. Our work as a media organisation makes the biggest difference when we succeed in getting people talking, whether face-to-face or across virtual networks. Social media enables such discussion, broadening it beyond geographically defined communities and existing editorial agendas, and at a scale hitherto unimaginable.
 
As a development organisation that predominantly produces mass media outputs, social platforms allow us to see how people respond to our content and debate the issues we raise in our programmes. We can observe and interact with audiences in a way that isn’t possible with legacy media like newspapers and TV.
 
It’s true that many of our most important audiences in the Global South are yet to gain access to social media. Nonetheless, its role and influence within the information ecosystems we work in will only grow and its ability to support positive development outcomes demands exploration.
 

Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

‘Women Should Be Submissive', and Other Google Autocomplete Suggestions
Global Voices

“A series of ads by UN Women, revealed in late October, used the Google Autocomplete feature to uncover widespread negative attitudes toward women. Global Voices followed reactions to the UN Women campaign and conducted its own experiment in different languages. The results of searches conducted both within the UN Women campaign and Global Voices revealed popular attitudes not only about women’s social and professional roles, but also about their sexuality, appearance and relationships with men.

The creators of the UN Women ads used search phrases like “women cannot”, “women shouldn’t”, “women should” and “women need to” completed by genuine Google search terms to highlight overwhelmingly negative stereotypes, sexist and highly discriminatory views held about women by society globally. The ads quickly went viral and sparked a heated discussion online. Last week, creators have announced that they are planning to expand the campaign in response to the mass online reaction.”  READ MORE
 

Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Al Jazeera
Africa's digital election trackers

“Harry Kargbo barely slept the night before Sierra Leone's recent election for president. "I was so excited," he said. “I was up until 1 AM the night before. I was thinking, 'What will happen tomorrow? What will tomorrow look like?'"

Four hours later, Kargbo was up and out the door. Armed with nothing more than a mobile phone, he spent the next 10 hours navigating his way through a vehicle ban and police checkpoints, observing voting at polling stations around this West African country's capital, Freetown, and reporting on what he saw using the basic text messaging function on his phone."  READ MORE

Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

The National Press Club
Freedom of the Press panel explores 'Arab Spring' aftermath

"The revolutions sweeping the Middle East and North Africa have brought the promise of more open and accountable governments and societies but that outlook has dimmed, as autocratic regimes in the region have responded to the so-called “Arab Spring” by clamping down hard on reporters and citizens communicating on the web, a panel of experts said a National Press Club Freedom of the Press event Feb. 14.

“Wait a few more years before you call it ‘spring,’” said a skeptical Abderrahim Foukara, Washington bureau chief of Al Jazeera Arabic, one of the panelists.

As regimes have felt threatened by their own people’s demands, their security personnel have beaten, detained, spied on and even killed reporters. They have blocked communications via phone, satellite TV and the Internet. They have conducted surveillance of the computer activities of reporters and citizens alike."  READ MORE

Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Center for Global Development
Publishing Construction Contracts as a Tool for Efficiency and Good Governance

“Construction is a vital part of development, but it often falls prey to poor governance and corruption that misdirect funds, escalate costs, and delay projects. Making the details of construction contracts public is one proven way to help citizens get what they need and what they are paying for.

Publishing government contracts would provide a large stock of public intellectual capital which should reduce the legal costs of contracting and help spread the lessons from failed approaches. The approach is feasible: some jurisdictions have already introduced it.”  READ MORE

Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Global Voices
India: Anti-Corruption Campaign Fires a Country’s Imagination

“In April this year Global Voices reported how social media was being used in India to power civil society's push for a proposed anti-corruption bill (popularly known as the Jan Lokpal Bill). There was, at the time, a lot of debate about the sustainability of the fledgling movement, which was being led from the front by a Gandhian social activist Sri Anna Hazare.

A lot has happened since then but what has been undeniable is that the anti-corruption movement, after having proved the nay-saying pundits wrong, has gradually managed to capture the imagination of a large section of the Indian public.” READ MORE

Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Global Voices Advocacy
Nepal: Facebooking Revolt and Censorship

"Arab spring has brought  winds of change into Nepal. On Saturday, May 7, group of young people gathered near Maitighar area of capital Kathmandu demanding speedy resolution to the current deadlocke caused by delay in formulating new constitution. Inspired by a Facebook page Show up, Stand up, Speak up, they conducted peaceful protest and caused quite a stir among local media and politicians not used to citizen media inspired direct activism.

As this bold step by the youth gathered attention, some are criticizing it as a cosmetic move and elite activism which has failed to connect with the mass. “Facebook revolution” is also being called an elaborate hoax." READ MORE

Media Cloud
Media Cloud, relaunched

"Today, the Berkman Center is relaunching Media Cloud, a platform designed to let scholars, journalists and anyone interested in the world of media ask and answer quantitative questions about media attention. For more than a year, we’ve been collecting roughly 50,000 English-language stories a day from 17,000 media sources, including major mainstream media outlets, left and right-leaning American political blogs, as well as from 1000 popular general interest blogs. (For much more about what Media Cloud does and how it does it, please see this post on the system from our lead architect, Hal Roberts.)

We’ve used what we’ve discovered from this data to analyze the differences in coverage of international crises in professional and citizen media and to study the rapid shifts in media attention that have accompanied the flood of breaking news that’s characterized early 2011. In the next weeks, we’ll be publishing some new research that uses Media Cloud to help us understand the structure of professional and citizen media in Russia and in Egypt." READ MORE

Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

One International
Why transparency in the extractive industries matters for women

"Each year around the world, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8, with thousands of events occurring not just on this day, but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

As the world marks this special day ONE spoke to Winnie Ngabiirwe, Chairperson of Publish What You Pay Uganda and Executive Director of Global Rights Alert, on why transparency in the extractives industries will benefit women in Uganda and other countries.

Winnie leads the effort to make sure revenues received for Uganda’s recently discovered oil are not wasted, and are put towards social and economic development programmes."

Overcoming Negative Stereotypes in the South Caucasus

Onnik Krikorian's picture
Helen Zughaib, The Places They Will Go, 2015-2016, dimensions variable, individual children’s shoes, painted in acrylic gouache on adhesive photo installation. © Helen Zughaib
Oh, The Places They Will Go, 2015-2016, chaussures d’enfant dépareillées, peintes à la peinture acrylique, sur un support photo adhésif. © Helen Zughaib 


Chacune est différente. Ici, un liseré rose avec un assortiment de pois orange, fuchsia et opaline. À côté, des rayures rouge et orange, avec des bordures turquoise. Plus loin, des damiers violet, bleu et rouge, avec une pointe de lavande. En tout, ce sont 22 baskets en toile pour enfant, peintes à la main par l’artiste Helen Zughaib. Cette œuvre, baptisée Oh, The Places They Will Go, faisait partie d’une exposition monographique présentée au siège de la Banque mondiale, à Washington, du 28 janvier au 16 février 2018, et intitulée The Arab Spring – Unfinished Journeys. Une manifestation née de la collaboration entre le Programme artistique de la Banque mondiale, qui organise des expositions nationales et internationales régulières pour mettre en lumière les grands enjeux du développement, et le vice-président régional pour le Moyen-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord, Hafez Ghanem.

L’exposition The Arab Spring – Unfinished Journeys trace un trait d’union important entre la crise des réfugiés et des déplacés qui s’aggrave chaque jour un peu plus et les efforts continus de la Banque mondiale pour soutenir la reconstruction et le redressement et remédier aux causes profondes des conflits et des violences — de la création de nouveaux dispositifs de financement destinés à la Jordanie et au Liban à la mise en place de programmes de transferts monétaires au Yémen pour permettre aux populations de s’alimenter.

The Goal is Sacred Space

Naniette Coleman's picture
People in Saint-Louis, Senegal. © Ibrahima BA Sané/World Bank
Un grupo de mujeres y niños en Saint-Louis, Senegal. © Ibrahima BA Sané/Banco Mundial.

Se necesita una inversión enorme para alcanzar el ambicioso objetivo de poner fin a la pobreza extrema en 2030 e impulsar la prosperidad compartida. Según algunos cálculos, lograr los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS) tendría un costo de USD 4,5 billones anuales, y obviamente esto no lo podremos hacer solo con financiamiento público. Para ser más claro: los países podrán alcanzar los ODS y mejorar las vidas de sus ciudadanos si recaudan más ingresos internos y atraen más financiamiento privado y soluciones privadas que complementen y movilicen fondos públicos y asistencia oficial para el desarrollo. Este enfoque se denomina “maximizar el financiamiento para el desarrollo”.
 
Recientemente, miembros de equipos de proyectos presentaron cinco casos que respaldan dicho enfoque, compartiendo experiencias de la vida real y datos sobre el impacto en el desarrollo. Estos casos provienen de todo el mundo, desde Colombia a África occidental y las Islas Salomón, y me llenan de optimismo. Me gustaría compartir dos de esos ejemplos que realmente tuvieron resonancia.


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