Undercover Peacebuilders empowers young activists to collect stories of hidden peacebuilders in their local communities and spread it online. The project is a follow-up of a digital storytelling workshop, allowing them to put the learned skills into practice and connecting them to issues important to their communities. The participants will act as loudspeakers for a peacemaker in the community who traditionally has no voice beyond it. Our vision is to link digital skills of young activists to locals with a meaningful story to give them a voice and tell the unique reality of a community online.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
To be confirmed; it will take place in communities in Europe, North Africa and Middle East.
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
The communities we will be working with will depend on the 5 participants chosen as they are most familiar with their local situations. The communities will be located in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. UNOY’s roles is to empower participants to tell the individual realities of their communities, while the participants come up with their own ideas for the stories based on their skills and visions. We acknowledge that this is a rather open approach but we see an advantage in UNOY being the facilitator to the application since UNOY is in a unique position to support the participants since we are a worldwide network with a large outreach in all continents. With our knowledge and abilities we want to support these young leaders in realising their ideas and visions.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
The International Secretariat of UNOY will coordinate the project, Sophie Heinis (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the project officer for the storytelling workshop and Ana Afonso (email@example.com) is involved as a trainer in the storytelling workshop. The leading coordinator will be Roderick Besseling (firstname.lastname@example.org), who is the International Network and Programme Coordinator.
facebook: United Network of Young Peacebuilders
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
We envision to create digital stories that reveal undercover peacebuilders, their activities and their meaning to the community. The realities will not only illustrate unconventional approaches to peacebuilding but also show the realities of small communities. The participants will record personal stories of undercover peacebuilders that have a meaning to an entire community. Due to the hidden character of the peacebuilder, participants are encouraged to think out-of-the-box and share stories which are not represented online. The participants will share the stories with the online world through different channels depending on the skills of the participants. They are free to choose between blogging, making videos, take photos, use audios or a combination of several elements.
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.
UNOY is an international network connecting 60 youth peace organisations across 35 countries all over the world. We aim to facilitate a safe space for dialogue and conflict transformation and to bring the voices of young people to policy makers on a regional and global level. We will use the network and the cooperations with our 60 member organisations in order to spread the stories of the Undercover Peacebuilders. It will ensure that every story will be spread by various online channels and that they will be heard by a large number of people in a lot of different countries.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
Undercover Peacebuilders gives the opportunity to 5 young activists, who participated before in a storytelling workshop, to put their obtained skills into practice. The participants will act as loudspeakers and connect digitally underrepresented locals, the undercover peacebuilders, to the internet. Besides, they share their experiences of digital storytelling with other young activist and be themselves inspired by stories of others. We expect the undercover peacebuilders and their communities to be indirect beneficiaries, who not only share their stories but also get connected to the opportunities of the internet through their interviewer. The undercover peacebuilders will be empowered by sharing their stories and at the same time the online world will penetrate the local community.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Prior to the project Undercover Peacebuilders UNOY will give a workshop on digital storytelling. During this workshop activists will be trained to use audio-visuals, creative writing and oral storytelling as methods to spread messages and to make their voices heard. Undercover Peacebuilders is a follow-up, which enables up to 5 participants to experience digital storytelling in practice. The technologies are corresponding to what the people have learned in the training. The trainers of the prior workshop will help facilitate the Undercover Peacebuilders project and will be available for the participants and their questions. Regardless of the chosen tools UNOY will use a variety of online channels to spread the stories: as for example facebook, Twitter and UNOY’s homepage.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The project will be implemented in different communities and it is not yet known what the technical limitations are. It needs to be assessed when participants propose their ideas. In general, we expect most of the participants to have some personal technologies like mobile phones with camera. However, the Microgrant would enable the participants to rent professional tools like well-equipped video cameras. Other technological features like internet access depend on the communities and places where the participants will conduct the project. The workshop prior to Undercover Peacebuilders (not part of the application) will be facilitated in Den Haag, also using personal tools like mobile phones and laptops, with some additional professional video cameras and WIFI in the training location.
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?
As stated before we do not have pre-selected communities but rather identify them based on the roots of participants. That fits into UNOY’s profile as an international network connecting 60 youth peace organisations across 35 countries. As a network we are most appropriate to implement this project as we have an enormous outreach; we are able to spread information in a worldwide community by using our member organisations as multipliers. As an expert in online communication UNOY can ensure that the voice of the participants and their local realities will be heard on a regional as well as on an international level. It can support the stories to become an advocacy tool emphasising the needs and visions of peacebuilders in these communities.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
One challenge is that the participants have to work independently and need to be secure to implement their skills. Besides, since the project is a follow-up to a workshop the motivation might drop once the participants face their daily life and regular schedules again. We address both challenges by asking for a formal application to ensure firstly, the feasibility of their ideas and secondly, the commitment of the participants. Other challenges during the implementation could be technological obstacles as well as the language since the participants might have to to translate to make it accessible for both, the local community as well as the international online community. We will take both challenges into consideration while assessing the ideas before the implementation phase.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
We aim to create five unique stories that tell the realities of different communities, and which are spread through different online channels of UNOY reaching an international community as well as spreading it in the local network, using the activists online network and local media. We will measure the impact and evaluate the success on two levels. Firstly, based on the feedback of the participants; by filling in a questionnaire they will give us their experiences with the project. And secondly, based on the outreach in the digital community by evaluating the clicks on the websites, likes on facebook and retweets via Twitter. We are aware that we can only measure the impacts on the platforms we moderate; however, it will give a general idea on how people react to the stories.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
End of April: We will introduce the project Undercover Peacebuilders to the participants of the storytelling workshop (27 April to 3 May, The Hague) and give an open space on the last day of the workshop for people to present their initial ideas in form of a pitch.
7 May: Decision of Rising Voices if the Microgrant is awarded
May: The participants of the storytelling workshop are invited to apply with an idea for the follow-up. The coordinating team of UNOY will choose the 5 most compelling ideas.
June/July: Implementation of the project ideas by the participants.
End of June: The participants will write a short interim report describing the progress of the implementation.
End of July: The participants will upload their final products online and together with UNOY distribute the stories through different online channels.
September: Evaluation of the project by UNOY and the participants.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
We request $2500 USD in order to enable 5 participants to implement the project.
Costs per Undercover Peacebuilders’ activity:
Local travel expenses – ca. $ 80 USD
Renting technical equipment – ca. $ 180 USD
Internet access – ca. $ 80 USD
Professional support for video editing or other technological issues – ca. $ 80 USD
Coordinator expenses – ca. $ 80 USD
Total per activity: $ 500 USD
Total for 5 participants: $ 2500 USD
We are not able to present an accurate budget yet since the expenses will vary according to the needs of the participants
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices could support Undercover Peacebuilders by sharing the stories within its own network as well. In addition, we believe that we can make great use of the network of applicants of Rising Voices since they all fight for citizen journalism and aim to represent the disadvantaged online. If we show solidarity and together make voices heard, we will help all participants to share their stories.
United Network of Young Peacebuilders
Link to Existing Project
April 5, 2014
March 11, 2014