Author: Nithin Coca

Five lessons for developing smartphone apps in NGOs

Insights

In Indonesia, Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund are building smartphone apps to crowdsource data gathering, deliver previously unavailable air quality updates and expand mobilisation to new audiences. Indonesia has over 100 million internet users and mobile device growing fast. Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund are building and testing smartphone apps that give people air quality information to help fight new coal powered plants and help build activism for marine protected areas. Developing apps? Plan for constant innovation and updating. Make it simple (learn from consumer design, even consumer apps). Focus on useful, actionable information. Actionable doesn’t have to just mean take...

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Localising a global campaign: Divestment in Japan

Campaigning, Case Studies

Open and iterative approaches are helping 350.org develop a culturally relevant divestment campaign in Japan–a useful example of localising a global campaign. On the surface, Japan seems to have all the ingredients for successful organising and digital campaigning. It is a longtime democracy with high levels of broadband penetration and newspaper readership. Japan also retains global economic influence. It is the world’s third largest economy and companies like Toyota, Uniglo, Sony and Panasonic are visible global brands. The reality is not so simple. Japan’s activist base is small compared to North America and Europe–campaigning is limited. “In Japan, the social...

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Organising a people’s movement to #BuyTwitter

Campaigning, People Lead

Is the future of social media cooperative? The #WeAreTwitter Organizing Collective is an open, volunteer-run group campaigning to #BuyTwitter (yes, buy Twitter) and turn it into a user-owned cooperative. The campaign is a big and bold idea. It’s also a distributed campaign with the potential to transform online power at a critical moment. An alternative coop ownership model may reposition social media at a time when the role of social media in spreading fake news, the rise of online bullying, social media surveillance and the growing power of a few large internet companies are all in question. Takeaways Simplicity...

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Mapping an end to fires in Indonesia with Kepo Hutan

Insights

Unofficial and unreliable land ownership maps make it hard to hold a person, company or government entity responsible for environmental abuse. In 2015, fires across Indonesia created what some called the worst single man-made climate event in human history, emitting as much CO2 as Germany does in a single year while charring 2.5 million hectares of peatlands and forests. The Kepo Hutan platform seeks to open up land data, shine a light on forest stewardship and end the annual cycle of fire, blame and inaction. Last March, frustrated waiting for the Indonesian government to release its long-awaited One Map, Greenpeace Indonesia...

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Incubators for change: How NGOs are developing apps and tech tools

Campaigning, Tools

Mobile technology is proving to be a transformative force. Around the globe, campaigners, NGOs and individual activists are using mobile to connect new people to campaigns and empower them with immediate access to communications, data, and networks of other change makers. Despite this potential, the social change world is littered with failed apps and technology tools. The problem? Leading activists and developers we spoke to highlight obstacles ranging from top down management structures to a lack of user engagement in development processes. Internal technology innovation experiments often result in products that miss the mark after big budget and staff investments. There is another...

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