The project will create an online, publicly accessible water pollution mapping platform, focusing on industrial pollution. The map will host various layers of information: all industrial facilities operating by the Nile; Links to media coverage, social networks posts pinpointed by location; Short interviews, with local populations; and Legal cases. The platform will be hosted on ecesr.org, using Ushahidi mapping platform, a reporting system will be the main method of collecting raw data via crowd-sourcing with a restricted report template. Training in inputtig data will be given to communitie
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
All Across Egypt
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Communities affected by water pollution are the target group, those in pollution hotspots suffering from health, livelihood, and basic human rights violations (e.g clean drinking water) due to industrial water pollution. WHO found 5.1% of all deaths and 6.5% of all annual diseases and injuries in Egypt are attributable to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, insufficient hygiene and inadequate management of water resources; we found gaps in data identifying pollution and sources, this platform centers itself around the victims resulting from that gap. This tool aims to connect – through Egypts 44% internet users- the voices of the affected in often geographically marginalised areas, with those who are advocating for better policies, bringing litigation and executing campaigns
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
The project will be co-ordinated from the Cairo office, under the environmental justice programme officer Isabel Bottoms (@IBottoms); information portal coordinator Amira Khalil (@Akhalil); web developer and media coordinator Nadim Amin El Din (@NadimX) and research assistant Heidi Adel.
Engaging affected communities will be done through colleagues with existing contacts there; e.g the director of the ECESR Alexandria office, Nadine Helmi, will be the co-ordinating contact for the Al Maks community that we are already working with on industrial water pollution issues.
The Habi Centre for Environmental Rights, already mapping sewage and drinking water treatment investments, engage a team of volunteers across Egypt; the team will also be spreading the mapping platform link in their on
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
ECESR's Environmental Justice, Housing, Budget, and Health programs will use thier content to create fresh analysis and reports on the various ways water pollution affects Egyptians,all publications are available on ECESR website. ECESR will actively promote the platform to local media in affected communities. Social media coverage by community members will be encouraged. ECESR has many social media activists to give advice on how to use it effectively. The platform will have share options for Twitter & Facebook.To generate substantive in-depth investigative articles the platform will be promoted to journalists and news outlets through ECESR’s extensive national & international media contacts, and will guest author articles in Egyptian media with input from affected communities
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.
ECESR already works with water pollution affected communities in Al Maks, near Alexandria in the north of Egypt and is pursuing a case of water pollution in Aswan in southern Egypt. ECESR works with communities affected in general by industrial pollution, thus the same networks can be utilized for this platform too. Also, ECESR is a founding member of the Urban Reform Coalition, a network of Egyptian NGOs working on housing, food, water and sanitation problems in Egypt, another network that can feed into the map with communities they work with to spread the idea as well as making use of the newly available data. New partnerships with local community health organizations and local governance organizations and networks will be initiated to contribute to the trainings, network-building and ma
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
ECESR will internally train:
– 2 data gatherers and inputters;
– 1 contact from each of the 12 Governorates that link to the Nile and that ECESR already has connections with;
– 1 trainer who trains up the community representatives
ECESR will externally train:
– 2 community representatives from each of the 5 hotspot Governorates identified by industrial pollution levels (Giza, Alexandria, Sharkeya, Kaloubeiya, Cairo, Menofeya).
To ensure participants are involved with the evolving platform ECESR will ask for feedback on the system for those regularly filing reports and information; I it’s user-friendly, needs changing, if information is pertinent to the community etc. Where there are common concerns and issues we will seek to implement suggestions for reform in consultation with the
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Expertise at ECESR include Tactical Tech trained members on alternative media tools like Ushahidi. An Egyptian Ushahidi Official Developer & Designer will create the platform, while experienced data gathers from the Information Portal focus on collecting raw data, media coverage, campaign correspondence and results, as currently done for our site Wiki Sawra. External Training will include using the reporting mechanism, media & campaigning skills, connecting with ECESR’s and partners’ networks. Internal training will focus on transferring all industrial facilities data onto the map; video editing and uploading to YouTube; inserting media coverage links; uploading PDF’s and images of scanned court decisions. Also training up the volunteer teams in how to engage with the communities & troubl
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
There won’t be one central space where the external trainings will take place. ECESR’s team will visit the key communities considered to be water pollution hotspots having pre-arranged a meeting with local organizations and interested community members. A presentation and workshop will be delivered initially – the content as outlined above – and then a followup session after a month with the team of volunteers to engage further and cover troubleshooting, For the internal trainings and training of volunteer teams, the ECESR Cairo and Alexandria offices will be used, equipped with a projector, screen, 2 MB ADSL, and whiteboard. Trainees will use their laptops to experiment with using the platform in the presence of the trainers and technical staff
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?
There are few organizations working on water pollution in Egypt, particularly challenging corporate and Government collusion on industrial pollution. This is now an established concern of ECESR, reflected in its work, and in confluence with other programs such as housing and health. ECESR is seen nationally as one of the most connected to workers Unions and farmers associations, allowing us a way in with both industrial workers and many affected rural communities, We are connected in most of Egypt’s Governorates, with offices in Cairo and Alexandria, a network of full-time pro-bono lawyers covering 16 other governorates, ECESR also works on international level, allowing us the networks and coverage to draw attention to the information and analysis generated from this platform
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
1. Targeting of reporters: Anonymity will be maintained at all times, any media seeking contact will be through the allocated community representative. ECESR will be the main contact throughout the campaign, any revealing of a reporter’s identity will be with their permission only.
2. Reported Information doesn’t fit template categories: ECESR will only allow reporting of issues through the template format to ensure consistency.
3. Conflicting reports from the same community on the same issue: allocated community representative will be contacted to clarify the origins of the reports, verifying they were submitted by real people with real concerns.
The source of their reports will be investigated in person by the community representative and the conflict confirmed or resolved. Conflicti
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Phases 1 & 2 (as detailed below) include information gathering and inputting; the success can be measured by whether its been collected and inputted within the 4 months allocated for both phases.The success of generating raw data on water pollution in Egypt will be measured by:
– number of reports received
-whether reporting increases with the trainings and advertising of the platform.
-spread of data across Egypt
-if there are sufficient reports to identify trends or issues
When there is enough information on which ECESR can generate new analysis the core purpose of the platform will have been met.For community members to be speaking out publicly, whether online, in public discussions ECESR hosts, or in the media, will indicate their increased confidence and capacity to communicate
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
I May 2014
1.Development of platform:3 weeks
2.Data Input(Ind Facilities,Media,Legal cases):1 Month
3.Video editing & uploading interviews with affected communities:1 week
4.Create reporting Emails & Hotlines
5.Create a water pollution reporting template with pollution experts:1 month
6.Contact with local NGOs & committees in hotspots:from Week 5
1.Create & train volunteer teams to work in hotspots,establish communication channels & responsibilities:1 month
2.Create reporting mechanism using the template:2 weeks
3.Organize workshop training in communities:2 weeks
4.Carry out training:6 weeks
5.Design & Print accessible color flyers explaining the Map:how anyone can feed in information:2 weeks
6.Launch event with film on industrial pollution in Al Maks+updates on the legal case
1.Strategizing on type & mechanism to target polluters:2 weeks
2.operationalize campaign strategy;making all correspondence public
3.Promote the latform to CSOs & Media
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
$700 : Development of the map and embedding in the information portal website;
$200 : data inputters x 2 for 1 month
$100 : Pay for water experts time/consultancy for formulating questions of report template.
$1,000 : External Trainings/workshops including travel expenses
$7 : basic mobile phone with SIM card and phone number to receive reports on
$200 : printing of 2,500 hard copy colour Arabic A5 flyers with an introduction and web link to the mapping platform.
$250: 10% administration costs (Includes processing expenses claims, costs of transferring money to Egyptian account.)
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
-Effective videography skills on low cost devices and mobiles in Arabic
-StoryMaker training from ANMS
Egyptian Center for Economic & Social Rights (ECESR)