This project is designed to get young people to join the fight against corruption and keeping a firm watch through the use of the digital electronic media (mobile phones & social media networking site). The project will make the best use of the social media platform on facebook where a forum or group will be created and trainings conducted for the forum admins to properly manage the forum and ensure the effective participation of the citizens in achieving the envisaged project's objective to contribute towards the MDGs and fight against corruption.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Citizen's Watch against Corruption is a project specifically designed by the Young Peace Builders Network in Liberia in partnership with Youth Life Liberia and the Liberian Youth Coalition and its main target is young people aged 15-35 as the main or direct participants or beneficiaries tasked with the responsibilities of serving as watchdogs against corruption within their various communities. Most young people do have a facebook account but do not have the awareness that they can make the MDGs achievable by joining the fight to mitigate corruption. This project will train youths to make a positive use the online platform to expose and report corruption within their communities through the Forum Administrative support.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
We are aware of the fact that the fight against corruption is indeed a challenging one for which we shall be working alongside Youth Life Liberia & the Liberian Youth Coalition to implement the project whiles we shall also endeavour to collaborate with organizations that are directly involved with the fight against corruption, Governments and Non-Governmental organizations alike.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Having in mind that most of Africa to which Liberia is a country has suffered a huge blow of brutal civil conflict which was hugely blamed on corruption and the lack of equal access to the country's resources, it is but prudent for the young people that suffers the most during violent conflicts to take the lead in ensuring the achievement of the MDGs by leading the fight against corruption. The participants will be trained on making the best use of social networking sites especially facebook to report and expose corrupt activities within their various communities without feeling or getting into trouble with those concerned as the forum will be professionally managed by trained administrators.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
Young Peace Builders to start with is an internationally recognized youth-led peacebuilding and youth development organization with proven track records and have partnered with a number of Government's and Non-governmental organizations alike including but not limited to the United Nations Peacebuilding Office and the International Network of Young Leaders etc. Youth Life Liberia & the Liberian Youth Coalition on the other hand are established youth groups that have been involved working with Liberian youths at all levels. We understand that the success of this project depends on the strength of the partnership and collaboration and thus, we are hopeful to establish more meaningful partnerships through effective use of the Microgrant Platform.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
This project is expected to have a ripple positive effect given thousands of young people technical skills on how to report and expose corruption using the online forum through replication of the training. However, to start with, in order to ensure the successful implementation of the project, a total of twenty five (25) identified youth leaders aged 15-35 shall be trained to serve as peer trainers who will in turn return to their various communities and serve as ambassadors getting more members into the online forum or group. Meanwhile, five (5) persons will be charged with the responsibility to constantly update and manage the online forum for effective and efficient service delivery.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Firstly, it is important to note that we choose to use mobile phones and social networking (facebook) due to the fact that it has been discovered that almost 87% of the youthful population in Liberia do have a mobile phone and 75% of them have a facebook account. Given the fact that the organizations involved with the implementation of this project has a proven track record implementing youth development projects, our team is prepared to offer 1st hand trainings on the use of the social media (facebook) as an effective tool for advocacy and reporting of corruption activities. The project coordinators are experts in their own fields and they shall be training the participants in especially areas that covers; Political Advocacy, Investigative Reporting & Human Rights etc.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
All considerations have been taken to ensure the successful implementation of this project. Due to the sensitivity and seriousness attached to this project, the trainings for the selected or identified youth leaders shall be held in a secured conference room equipped with the necessary materials for effectiveness in the implementation and all covered by the project fund. These trainings are restricted to only the selected participants who will receive expert trainings on the previously mentioned areas or topics to ensure the successful implementation of the project for timely results. Liberia do enjoys a 4G internet connection service which we intend to make the best use of during the duration of this project.
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?
The Young Peace Builders Network is a youth-led, non-governmental, non-political, non-profit making, peacebuilding and community development organization that has been working with young people at different levels to create a supportive environment for the survival and development of communities by encouraging local initiatives and empowering young people in volunteerism whiles linking up their initiatives for peace to help increase the effectiveness of their actions. Collaborating with Youth Life Liberia and the Liberian Youth Coalition is due to the fact that all these organizations concerned have and maintained a very good working relationships in the various communities.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Young Peace Builders for example have been involved in project implementation for a reasonable period of time with enviable track record, and challenges before, during and after project implementation is not new to us. Before considering making an application for this project, we have considered all the challenges that may come along and we are prepared to implement this project to its uttermost end regardless of whatever challenges that lies ahead. Sure, Corruption is a difficult endemic disease that has been eating up the fabric of our society and is a tough giant to fight but we are prepared to combat it with a dynamic approach that shall contribute to the dramatic reduction of corrupt activities in the different communities in Liberia.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Young Peace Builders, we have always made monitoring and evaluation an important part of our organization's programs and thus, this project shall be evaluated on a day-to-day basis through monitoring the online Forum's growth, the effective participation of the forumites and the number of corruption activities that are made public via the use of the Forum. It shall also be monitored through the number of corrupt activities that are successfully made public, reported and prosecuted by the relevant anti-corruption body in Liberia. It is also important to note that we shall also measure success by observing the change in attitudes of public officials in our various communities.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
Having evaluated the project and considering its relevance as it relates to the objectives of Rising Voices Microgrant and the community in which the project shall be implemented, noting that the project has been prudently approved, we do not intend to tag the project with a timeline as the fight against corruption is a continuous fight. However, for the purpose of project reporting to Rising Voices, the project shall commence immediately after signing the grant agreement and funds received by implementing organization (us). From then onwards, we shall continue to report as long as we continue implementation of the project. Given the size of the grant, the project shall last for an official period of six months during which initial official reports will be submitted to Rising Voices. It is important to note that submitting that initial report does not indicate end of the project. The project shall continue until the MDGs are achieved & the fight against corruption is won.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Purchase of 1 laptop PC = $ 700
Purchase of a Broad band internet Modem = $ 50
Training of 25 Trainers / Forum Administrators:
Training hall rental = $ 300
Refreshments = $ 150
Transportation = $ 125
Stipend for trainers = $ 300
Start-up units for admins = $ 125
Purchase of 5 4G internet phones = $ 60 x 5 = $ 300
Recharge of Computer Modem = 25 x 6 = $ 150
Stipend for Forum Moderator = $ 300
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
The success of this project depends greatly on networking and collaboration for which we will appreciate any moral or technical support that you may deem necessary. It is also our desire to covet further collaboration and partnership with other organizations and individuals through effective use of the Microgrant online platform.
Richard Howard, Charlesetta Brown & Abigail Tucker
Young Peace Builders Network, Youth Life Liberia & Liberian Youth Coalition