The proposal is to develop a social media training program for community-based organizations and grassroots activists working on human rights in Cambodia, with the long-term goal of increasing the sharing of human rights information domestically and internationally. The project will consist of 1) the development of a social media toolkit designed to impart the know-how and tools to create successful and compelling citizen media; and 2) 4 pilot trainings for a total of 40 trainees, who will be given the toolkit in soft-copies on USB sticks to facilitate access to the materials contained within.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
The project will be designed for community-based organizations and local activists and will be available freely online. Despite the tremendous opportunities for using social media platforms for activism, social media is underutilized by activists in Cambodia as a tool to affect change. Even established NGOs take little advantage of the opportunities afforded by social media to publicize their work. This is due to many factors, one being a lack of understanding as to the potential of these tools. This creates a bottleneck in information sharing, which can be avoided if activists are given the skills. The project is thus designed both to impart practical information about the use of these tools and to explain why social media tools are important for the promotion of human rights.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The content that will be created will be reports – in text and/or audio-visual format – of human rights violations and/or human rights-related events, happening at the community level in Cambodia. The content will focus on what the community is experiencing, what community members are doing to address human rights violations and records of activism, in a format that can be shared with and used by a wider audience. Outputs will include, for example, Facebook posts and Tweets of human rights violations, videos on YouTube and photo albums on Flickr of violations and/or events, blog posts detailing a community’s experiences, and online petitions aimed at creating human rights change shared via social media platforms.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established that will contribute to the success of the project.
CCHR already works closely with many community-based organizations (CBOs) and local activists and regularly provides documentation and monitoring trainings and organizes community forums throughout Cambodia. Furthermore, CCHR regularly engages with CBOs and activists from across the country throughout its project work and thus has a large network of connections, from which CCHR will select the most appropriate groups for training through this project. Furthermore, once the toolkit and curriculum are designed and the pilot trainings implement, CCHR will also seek to engage other CBOs and local activists, as well as large national NGOs, in order to expand the training program.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
CCHR will aim at training an initial 40 participants, with 10 participants each from 4 communities. Participants will be chosen from existing CCHR partners who are already active in their communities and who indicate interest in receiving the training. Moreover, CCHR will seek diversity, engaging communities both in Phnom Penh and in other parts of the country. Finally, CCHR will consider the existing technology in the communities – including access to computers and to the internet and other technical considerations – as well as previous exposure to online tools and methods, in order to determine the potential success of the training program.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
The training will include 2 categories of technologies: social media platforms; and digital security tools/software. Instructions and training modules for both will be designed to be user-friendly and for an audience not necessarily tech-savvy. The toolkit will be made available in hard and soft copies, with soft copies available on CCHR’s award-winning portal sithi.org but also on USB sticks, with relevant software pre-downloaded. It will include information on social media tools: Facebook; Twitter; YouTube; blogs (Blogger, Wordpress, etc); Flickr; and digital security tools: secure email and messaging; anti-virus/spyware software; secure password and file storage; file recovery and removal; and other security/privacy measures that can be used when using social media platforms.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The training sessions will be held at CCHR’s office in a large room that is regularly used for internal training sessions and meetings. CCHR will provide laptop computers for participants who are unable to bring their computer to use during the training session; however, it is expected that most participants will be able to bring their own computer. The building is equipped with high speed internet (5 Mbps).
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
A well-established human rights NGO in Cambodia, CCHR has extensive connections with CBOs and activists and is well-equipped to identify the format and the content of the toolkit. Various programs within CCHR already conduct a number of training activities with CBOs and local activists on human rights principles and on monitoring and documenting human rights violations. CCHR itself is increasingly incorporating new tools and techniques both into its own monitoring and documentation work but also into its training programs. This includes boosting CCHR’s own capacity and effectiveness in using social media tools, and laying out the foundations for an interactive, multi-media resource center for human rights activists and researchers in Cambodia.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Of the social media platforms, only Facebook and WordPress are available in Khmer; free security software is not currently available in Khmer. The toolkit will thus be developed in a way that visually explains the set-up and functions of each program. Software to be included in the toolkit will be determined based on features applicable to human rights work; ease of use; and ease of explaining the functions to a non-native English speaking audience. Hopefully, as these tools become increasingly used in Cambodia, localization efforts will increase. If Twitter, for instance, becomes an efficient platform for human rights activists in Cambodia, the development of Khmer as a language option on Twitter is more likely.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
The success of the toolkit will be evaluated based on feedback from trainees, through formal and informal evaluations, and on how much citizen media is created by trainees through regular monitoring of their activities. Success – with regards to the primary participants – will be defined as the creation of citizen media by CBOs and activists who have been given the toolkit and who have received training from CCHR. Success – more broadly speaking – will be evaluated based on the increase of human rights information created at the local level and being shared on a broader scale, directly by communities. CCHR will also undertake evaluation activities to assess the needs for updates to the toolkit based on changes in social media platforms and tools, as well as feedback from activists.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
CCHR plans to implement the project over a 6-month period, according the following timeline:
a.Needs assessment, desk research and consultations with potential project beneficiaries: 2 months
b.Development of the toolkit and training curriculum: 2 months
a.Bi-weekly training sessions (4 total) over a period of 2 months.
CCHR plans to begin implementing the project within two (2) months of receiving the funds from Rising Voices.
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
Salary & Administration
1) Project/Training Coordinator): $660 (partial salary)
2) Administration fee: $350 (partial fee)
1) Consultancy/external resources: $800
2) Publications/printing/translation: $300
3) 40 USB sticks: $300
4) Travel & per diem for 10 project participants: $500
5) Refreshments: $480
6) Training materials: $110
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
CCHR would benefit from learning from other organizations that have engaged rural communities in using citizen media to document local issues and to raise awareness on a larger scale, especially in countries where internet penetration remains low. While CCHR is familiar with the local context, it is always helpful to learn from others.
Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)
Link to Existing Project
March 1, 2013