This project shall create an SMS platform through which individuals in undeserved communities in Lagos Nigeria can report cases of violence and crisis during in the period leading to the Nigerian elections in February 2015 till 4 months post-elections. Information from the platform will be fed to a live twitter, Facebook stream and an open source crisis hot-spot mapping (using Ushahidi). This would provide security information for the community members, wider Lagos metropolis, security agencies and in event of electoral redress.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
This project shall be piloted in 10 communities in which forms of pre and post election and gang violence has been reported in the past 24 months. The communities are: Makoko, Iwaya, Ojuelegba, Surulere, Ajegunle, Idumota, Ijora-Badia, Agege, Amukoko and Ikorodu. These communities scarcely have a presence on blogs, website, facebook pages or access to expression in main stream media channels. Use of internet-ready telephones is wide-spread, particularly for social media usage on Facebook and whatsapp. In preparing this proposal, wide consultations was made with individuals who lived in these communities. This project is motivated by the experience of the initiator in living one of these communities and experiencing the terror of gun battles from political thugs around the neighborhood.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
This project is being implemented by team members from EnyenawehR on Cities-ERC ( a not-for profit research and innovation organisation) ; specifically; Jennifer Obado-Joel, Michael Falade, Tunde Mojeed, Samuel Joel, Emeka Ezemenaka and a team of 10 volunteers from each community who will be recruited for this project. Beyond this group, Community Development Associations (CDAs) in each locality and the Joint CDA of the Local Government Areas in which these communities are domiciled are major partners.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
This project would produce a live stream of twitter and Facebook updates in realtime as election crisis occurs in different locations across the Lagos metropolis. This would be supported by an open source mapping of each of these locations being reported by each volunteer, which would produce evidence of incidence of violence during the course of the 2015 elections in Nigeria.
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.
Core members of the implementation team are residents in some of these localities and are garnering popular support for the project. We plan to work with community development associations which exist in all communities in recruiting and training volunteers and undertaking sensitization outreaches about the project. This project has gained inspiration from the team at Textizen and we are working on collaboration with media organizations, local ngos and social media activists to create awareness and motivate individual reporting beyond the targeted neigbourhoods to other parts of the Lagos mega-city.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
This project would employ the snow-ball technique by recruiting 10 youth volunteers who will serve as key reporters in their various communities and would work in partnership with other community based organization within their locales to achieve the goal of this project. Each key respondent would be provided with a small budget for SMS credit per month to support constant reporting from each community. It is our hope that volunteers would encourage other young people to tweet, post on Facebook or send SMS of cases of violence in their respective neighborhoods.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
The ERC team brings to the project over a decade experience in community mobilization and field surveys. This supplemented by the expertise of Textizen in SMS based surveys and outreaches across the world. Information from different portals shall be fed into the Ushahidi platform, which would be streamed across several media channels. Moreover, the project lead has wide experience in blogging and use of social media for social change which would be crucial for this project. The use of SMS is the best technology as it does not require internet or computer skills or access to internet connectivity, which is porous in most part of Nigeria.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshop will be held at the Iwaya community center, which is big enough to sit over 30 people. It does not however contain any technical facility. To conduct the training workshop arrangement would be made for use of a laptop connected to a universal internet modem, projector and sound system to simulate the methods by which the project goals would be achieved.
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 team leader of this project grew up within the Makoko/Iwaya environs where her family house and siblings still live in. She also has been working with non-governmental organisations supporting many of these communities in promoting access to social amenities and human rights. Leading this project, she brings in-depth, livable and contextualized knowledge of these communities. She understands how they are organized and has wide network across slum communities in Lagos Nigeria. The mix of experiences, expertise and wide social network being organized for this project makes this team fitting to achieve its goals.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The major challenge is security of respondents, especially as they may be reporting incidences political thugs or other violent interest groups may prefer to keep from mainstream media. To counteract this, this project plan is focused on communities in which team members have extensive social networks and roots which protect them from reprisal attacks. Moreover, in cases of severe concern for safety, volunteers and other individuals would be guaranteed total anonymity. There are two major challenges to this guarantee; the first is trust and assurance of non-protection of reporters identities. To address this, multiple report channels are being made available: Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp,SMS or email. Also, extensive sensitization shall be conducted in each locality and through social medi
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Success for this project would mean that at the end of the election period in Nigeria, we can view on map locations in which different forms of violence and crisis occurred in Lagos Nigeria. A bigger testimony would be to utilize the same methodology to bring voices of undeserved communities on other issues to prominence through this media.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
selected as a grantee, this would be the timeline of the project
July 2014: Hold meetings with community leaders in each neighbourhoods, print flyers and other outreach materials and recruiting of volunteers
August 2014- Finalise design of the Ushahidi platform, SMS, Blog, Facebook and Twitter portals- Conduct pilots of project with simulated information
-Begin campaigns on social media through partnership with notable social activists across Nigeria
September 2014: Hold training for volunteers and disburse first set of SMS credits ( 500 Naira-3.05 USD
November 2014-March 2015: Project implementation (gathering of information from volunteers and individual reporters and mainstream media reports) and live streaming of data on Ushahidi , twitter, facebook and other platforms.
May 2015: Publish reports of findings and share experiences through media channels
June 2015; Convene a seminar of volunteers, participants and other stakeholders to share learning points
July 2015: scale up
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
July 2014: Preliminary meetings and printing of outreach materials:80,000 Naira – 487.81 USD
August 2014- September 2014: Renting of audio-visuals tools for training and refreshments (400 USD). Disbursement of SMS credits (1000 Naira-6.10 USD x 10 volunteers x 8 months = 488USD)
November 2014-March 2015: Project monitoring (calls to volunteers and local transport by team leads to neighborhoods – 50,000 Naira -304.883USD
May 2015: Publish reports of findings and share experiences through media channels. ( Borne by Project lead
June 2015; convene a seminar of volunteers, participants and other stakeholders to share learning points (600.98 USD)- 100,000 Naira
Cost of internet use, and leasing with social media, design and creation of Facebook, twitter and Ushahidi platform shall be borne by project lead.
Total Grant Request: 2281.673 ( 164 Naira to 1 USD-exchange rate)
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
We would appreciate availability of platforms to share learning points on this project in terms of conferences, blog-posts and features on the Rising Voices website. Moreover, if there are pre-existing networks of Rising Voices partners in Nigeria, it would be most helpful.
EnyenawehR on Cities