Peru's Association of Social Communicators Calandria and the Veeduría Ciudadana together organised an exercise in active citizenship which brought together communication students, concerned citizens, educators, members of the Peruvian Congress, media activists, and representatives of social organisations.
Operating under the theme "TV - How I dream you", organisers began by calling up and training some 100 members of REVOLCOM – Network of Communication Volunteers, a network of young people who are either students or have a strong interest in communications. The trained volunteers then proceeded to organise different social animation activities, or "citizens' caravans" in each of the cities in question. Conceived as a communication strategy that allows the use of public spaces to establish a dialogue with the public, these caravans are more like street performances. Drama, street musicians and performances, traditional dances, and collective games were all tactics employed by the volunteers to awaken interest and generate public debate in town squares. Clowns in stilts walked up and down inviting people to go into one of several booths to record their opinions on the entertainment programmes being offered, or write down their thoughts on large sheets of papers placed strategically around the town square. A number of attendees chose to be interviewed and went live on television and in radio with their opinions. Upwards of 2,300 people participated in the public space interventions.
At the beginning of 2008 and after the information gathered in the 4 cities was systematised, analysed, and distributed, 4 "media parliaments" were organised. The one in Lima was held in the facilities of Peru's Congress, which generated extensive media coverage and, in turn, set the wheels in motion so that that the other 3 parliaments would get almost as much media exposure as the one in the capital city. Participants were asked to debate and attempt to provide answers and recommendations to 5 key questions dealing with the quality of the television programming offered and the improvements and changes that they as citizens saw as necessary. Finally, and with the objective of bringing together proposals to improve Peru's audiovisual entertainment offer, the public was invited to produce and send videos and PowerPoint presentations illustrating some of the aspirations of ordinary citizens for quality TV entertainment.
Association of Social Communicators Calandria and the Veeduría Ciudadana.
"Peruvian Citizens Demand Better TV", by María Teresa Aveggio (Aguirre), Programme Manager, World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) - highlighted in WACC News (Media Action 287), February 9 2009.
Just Associates (JASS)
This campaign was designed to help residents of Gurgaon access "Form-6" from their respective locations - and to encourage them to do so. Form-6 is the first step towards acquiring a Voter ID card, as it registers the individual as a prospective voter. Residents were invited to visit a Voter Card Campaign website (no longer in operation, as of this writing, where they could download and print out a copy of the form. Citizens who fill this form out, attach a proof of residence, and then deposit it with their Resident Welfare Association (RWA) have initiated the voting registration process. The website was also meant to be a support to RWAs, who were able to access Form-6 any time a resident needs it. People in other states could also visit the website to download Form-6.
Another ICT - the telephone - was designed to ease the registration process. People's Action created an RWA Helpline to instruct residents about the process of registration.
Printed materials were also used; some were informational and others were designed to encourage action. People's Action distributed printed copies of Form-6 that were made available by the Election Office in Gurgaon. The organisation also created a schedule for photography of those registered in the last campaign (photo identification is the second, and final, step of the registration process) and distributed it to residents of Gurgaon. Leaflets and advertisements carrying the "If you don't Vote, you don't Count" slogan were also posted to stimulate participation.
Democracy and Governance.
People's Action is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) whose objectives include:
- "To act as an advocacy group regarding issues that impacts the social, economic and political life of the citizens of India.
- To act as a pressure group for the advancement of good governance, human rights, social justice, economic equity and political awareness.
- To operate as an action group in pursuit of developmental activity in the field of education, health and nutrition, and environment.
- To initiate, develop, support, augment, sustain or promote activities, projects or enterprises that relate to any or all of the above mentioned Aims."
Posting to the bytesforall_readers list server on August 8 2004 (click here to access the archives); Voter Card Campaign website (no longer in operation, as of this writing); the People's Action website on November 13 2008; and email from Sanjay Kaul to The Communication Initiative on November 13 2008.
Pa Kite M Deyo! Don't Leave Me Out! Haitian Women Demand Their Right to Participate in Public AffairsSubmitted by kdevries on June 12, 2009 - 7:04am
Email from Helen Moreno to The Communication Initiative on February 24 2009.
W3C/CTIC (Alonso), The American Institute of Architects (Novak)
Press release from T. Gupta on May 12 2009.
Advocacy in Action is a 336-page manual designed primarily for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and grassroots-based groups that are interested in increasing their advocacy skills. It contains concrete, practical information about advocacy strategies such as petitions, press conferences, public demonstrations, and letter-writing campaigns, as well as detailed information on government structures and parliamentary procedures - and how to influence decision-making bodies and processes. The manual is written in simple English, with many photographs, illustrations, and examples.
Legal Assistance Centre website on February 13 2009.
Transparency International (Nordberg), Boston University (Vian)
This 87-page U4 Issue paper from U4, a web-based resource centre on a wide range of anti-corruption issues, presents some resources for anti-corruption work in the health sector and information on the
U4, Issue 2008:10 accessed on March 5 2009; and email from Elizabeth Hart to The Communication Initiative on June 23 2010.
The Communication Initiative Network and Partnership