How can mobile citizen reporting be incorporated into campaigning & storytelling?
Fieldcraft Studios research project in Tanzania
Creating a blueprint for incorporating citizen reporting & campaigning
Investigating how charities & organisations can connect audiences in different countries.
From crowdfunding £2million to fund a clinical trial for a cancer treatment to collaborating with Universities or corporate partners to test the latest technology, we're always conducting Fieldcraft Studios research projects.
We then bring that knowledge and experience to our clients projects.
We wanted to explore how technology can connect audiences across geographical and financial boundaries.
We have produced projects that have connected school children in the UK with children in Niger via video link-up, but this involved using satellite technology.
We wanted to look at how people living in remote locations can participate using technology available to them.
And how technology can be used to create a storytelling project, be it an advocacy or fundraising campaign, that is meaningful and encourages true participation from all communities and audiences taking part?
In an era where more people have mobile phones than access to toilets the answer seems simple - use the myriad of apps avliable from instagram, to Facebook to Twitter.
The solution is a simple one for those with a smart phone, a good data connection and the money to pay for both.
But not everybody has a smart phone and not everybody can afford an expensive data connection - in particular the rural poor.
We headed to Tanzania, Africa for a month to research where storytelling, SMS (text messages), open source technology, social networks and advocacy collide.
And to look at how international charities and organisations enable the people they are seeking to help to tell their own stories
Our aim being to design a blue print for implementing truly transglobal campaigns that connects the donor and the beneficiary.
Lack of a ‘fixed line’ telecoms infrastructure has dictated that the continent ‘leapfrog’ technology straight to mobile.
And Africa has one of the world’s fastest growing mobile markets with subscribers expected to reach 750 million by the end of 2012.
The country is also fast becoming the envy of the world with its ability to innovate.
Mobile phones bring access to health, social networks and entertainment. One of the most visible innovations being Kenya’s mobile payment system M-Pesa.
But technology doesn’t tell stories or hold governments to account – people do.
So what would happen if you joined this new vanguard of storytellers, bloggers, hacktavists, citizen journalists (really anybody with a mobile phone or computer) with the new tools, with greater mobile penetration, innovative partnerships, open data and open source tools, and mashed them up on the new frontier of storytelling – of hyperlocal advocacy?
We met and interviewed the key individuals and organisations who are working on ground-breaking campaigning, technology and educational projects.
From those who were combining radio (which has the highest penetration) with open source programs like Freedom Fone through to inspired individuals setting up rural ICT projects to organisations using SMS to hold local government to account.
We looked at sectors including health, agriculture, education, campaigning and community engagement.
We talked to them about what works, but also more importantly what doesn't.
We also partnered with Tweetminster to look at the use and penetration of Twitter in Tanzania.
Our findings have enabled us to create a blueprint for storytelling and campaigning that connects audiences across continents.
We always bring the results of our findings to our clients projects and have used the results of this Tanzania Project research to conduct a SMS campaign pilot for UNESCO.