citizen media project

Bantayan yung binoto mo

Written by

Monday, 13 April 2015 - Last Updated on June 19, 2015
citizen media project

If you are interested to know more, just drop an email . To volunteer please sign up here.

I am feeling so accomplished. I just finished a four week massive open online course (MOOC) on “Citizen Engagement: A Game changer for development?”, conducted by World Bank with partners such as London School of Economics, Overseas Development Institute, Participedia and CIVICU. The beauty of this course is that together with Blog Watch and our network, we have actually done our share of citizen engagement. The final project is ” to design a theoretical citizen engagement initiative to improve policymaking and/or public service delivery in your local community, city or country, and then to creatively express how this might look in the real world through the creation of a digital artifact.”

citizen media project

Let me share my final project called “Bantayan yung Binoto mo” , inspired from the play “Pinatay si Mayor”. Take note that this citizen engagement project is not theoretical . I will actually implement this starting May 1, 2015.

Watch the video I created for this final project to get a summary.

The duty of a citizen does not end on election day. A lot of citizens are very eager to volunteer for voter education organizations by  watching the election process, scrutinizing the candidate’s platforms and inviting their community to vote wisely. After the elections, volunteers continue on their daily grind.

votes

This voter education framework is completely wrong because most citizens who become active during the election period do not monitor the promises of the national and local candidates. It must be framed as citizen empowerment and includes the whole cycle. We want our leaders to be accountable and hold them to their promises.

election day smll

I feel a need to establish a citizen media project with active social media users even after elections are over, similar to the Blog Watch Citizen media project which I co-founded with other bloggers in 2009 and continues to exist today. Similarly, it will be a platform for citizen advocates. These are ordinary citizens, enabled by technology and social media with an online voice that push for reforms, effect social change, and achieve social good. It means taking a stand, often fighting for a certain view on an issue, engaging with lawmakers, movers and shakers, and government agencies.

blog watch

Blog Watch Citizen Media , VoteReportPH and the #juanvote network will spearhead this citizen media project. Citizen media is the content, citizens produce in Blog Watch. It is high time that we in Blog Watch replicate our citizen media efforts to other citizens around the Philippines.   The #juanvote hashtag was used in the 2010 Philippine national election and continues on even after the elections are over.  The people behind #juanvote have been active with citizen engagement since 2009.

Day 1 of the CEAP's BIDAHAN 2010, Assumption Antipolo. 11/27/201

Target participants are bloggers or social media  communities who have been involved or will be involved in #juanvote.  They will be recruited through a call for volunteers from a sign up sheet online and offline during bloggers’ events. We will identify bloggers and social media users and invite them to organize a  citizen media group in their locality. To inspire citizens to join,  the  catch phrase “Bantayan yung binoto mo” (Watch your elected officials) will be used. This is just one way of recruiting  and inspiring citizens to initiate their own citizen media.

This is envisioned to start in two key cities : Cebu City and Davao City.

How will it work?

vote report philippines

After identifying and recruiting volunteers in Cebu and Davao city, they will be introduced to  a reporting mechanism which has  been tested and used since 2010.  The citizen media project will use VoteReportPH (Grassroots Engagement & Election Monitoring ), that utilizes Ushahidi Platform and Frontline SMS. The project will also make use of existing social media networks in #juanvote like livestreaming apps, twitter and facebook.

vote report training in the philippines

During the training for VoteReportPH, Blog Watch will add a module for citizen monitoring and engagement after the elections in addition to just reporting the election process. Experience has shown that there is a high participation of citizens during elections. It is our hope that some of these citizens continue on even after the elections. The strategy:

  1. Citizens will be trained to monitor the elections and will have a checklist to watch out during the election. If there are red flags, report it to #juanvote or VoteReportPH.
  2.    There will also be a guide on how to engage with the elected officials in the national (town hall) and local level (barangay assembly) including how to use various technologies and social media , collaborating with #juanvote social media networks to help amplify the message

Challenges ahead

Not all who volunteer in the election monitoring will actually do post-monitoring of the campaign promises or actively engage with the national or local leaders. Such challenges can be turned to opportunities.  I will share the successful Blog Watch stories on citizen engagement such as our hashtag campaigns (#epalwatch #MillionPeopleMarch #scrapPork) , articles and collaboration with other citizen advocacy groups that have similar engagement practices . The strategy here is to show the benefits of organizing a citizen media project. I have to remind the volunteers that this is one way “ to achieve a variety of development goals – ranging from better poverty targeting, to improved public service delivery, to better and maintained infrastructure, to social cohesion, to improved government accountability.” How? Through our collective online voices and engagement strategy.

 

The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change (via dragonflyeffect.com)

The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change (via dragonflyeffect.com)

To articulate the engagement strategy , I will share the  four main components of  “The Dragonfly Effect” : tell a story, empathize, be authentic and match the media.  Thick and thin tactics combined in long-term engagement plans, require the collaboration of like-minded individuals and communities such as the Scrap Pork Network, Freedom of Media Alternatives and the Citizen Action Network of Accountability.

The realistic timeline for any citizen media  to achieve citizen engagement in the local level is 20 years.  However, I anticipate a shorter lead time of at least three years for the national level based on my experience in Blog Watch. I will share indicators for the national and local level.

A qualitative indicator for the national level is a change in public policy or an enactment or passage of a law due to citizen engagement. For  example , the #scrapPork campaign was a success because the Supreme Court declared the pork barrel as unconstitutional.

aurora-pijuan-barangay-general-assembly1

For the local level, it is the number of barangay assemblies held every year. Barangays are our “small republics” in the Philippines. The current practice is to meet twice a year. Some don’t convene at all or if they do, its proceedings are conducted improperly. it is only through this Assembly that every Filipino, apart from his vote, can speak out as a sovereign citizen.  Only formal deliberations and exchange can produce consensus and agreement.

We have to remember that collective voices of the citizens are responsible for such success .

If you are interested to know more, just drop an email . To volunteer please sign up here.

 

DISCLOSURE:

Blog Watch is a non-profit and purely volunteer organization dedicated to promoting online freedom of expression and access to truthful and accurate information. It is committed to enhancing the capabilities of netizens for positive and principled action.

Blog Watch is composed of independent-minded bloggers and social media users who leverage new technology tools to advocate social change and serve as a nonpartisan citizens’ watchdog and collective conscience for transparency and good governance.

Blog Watch does not solicit, ask for, demand or receive any financial or material remuneration for involvement in its activities, whether in cash or in kind. Blog Watch operates solely on the resources of its members and the sponsorship of individuals and institutions which identities are appropriately and fully disclosed. (Vibal Foundation for content at their Philippine Online Chronicles and Smart Communications as our technology partner in the 2013 elections)

The public is warned that should there be any parties claiming to represent Blog Watch and who ask for any kind of material or other consideration for involvement in Blog Watch undertakings are bogus and should not be entertained. Blog Watch further requests that any suspected fraudulent or illegal activity of this nature be immediately referred to Blog Watch or to appropriate law enforcement authorities.


Please contact Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, the editor if you need to verify our roster of volunteer-members and editorial policies at noemidado @ gmail dot com or at contact @ blogwatch. tv.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (98 Posts)

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado , a multi-awarded blogger and often known as @momblogger , advocates constructive engagement in issues on family and society. She is a prime time woman, a mother to three children and wife to her college sweetheart. Having fun and taking on more challenges is evident in the posts of her four blogs: parenting, food & recipes, Lifestyle and emerging media. She nurtures both her family and community in order to secure her children’s future and that of others. Disclosure: Organization affiliation include Scrap Pork Network. Family friends with Senator Pia Cayetano , Senator Alan P. Cayetano and Congressman Lino Cayetano. As of October 17, 2015 I am supporting Susan Ople for senator just as I did in 2010. I am not voting Bongbong Marcos for Vice President.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado , a multi-awarded blogger and often known as @momblogger , advocates constructive engagement in issues on family and society. She is a prime time woman, a mother to three children and wife to her college sweetheart. Having fun and taking on more challenges is evident in the posts of her four blogs: parenting, food & recipes, Lifestyle and emerging media. She nurtures both her family and community in order to secure her children’s future and that of others. Disclosure: Organization affiliation include Scrap Pork Network. Family friends with Senator Pia Cayetano , Senator Alan P. Cayetano and Congressman Lino Cayetano. As of October 17, 2015 I am supporting Susan Ople for senator just as I did in 2010. I am not voting Bongbong Marcos for Vice President.

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>