Dalia Haj-Omar: Guidebook for the Strategic Use of New Media for Peaceful Social Change

January 4, 2016

Authored by Dalia Haj-Omar, participant of our 2015 summer school on advanced topics in internet governance, civil society and policy advocacy, Guidebook for the Strategic Use of New Media for Peaceful Social Change is a practical guide promoting the strategic use of social media and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) for advocacy and peaceful change in Sudan and beyond. It targets the Sudanese civil society in its most diverse sense, including journalists, pro-democracy activists, youth movement members and humanitarian workers, as well as individual citizens desiring to increase their participation in public affairs. The guidebook accompanies the digital platform, “Sawtna”, launched by Dalia Haj-Omar in mid-2014 online at www.sawtna.net, on Twitter (@sawtna) and on Facebook  (Sawtna.net).

The guidebook draws from the experiences of social movements and civil society in Sudan, as well as Egypt, Iran and Kenya; in addition to civil society in other countries that used ICTs innovatively in digitally advocating for peaceful social change. The guide is a stimulating combination of case studies, interviews, analysis and infographics to help readers sharpen their digital communications and design better online campaigns; as well as be aware of global digital security challenges.

It is divided into five chapters covering blogging, Twitter, crisis mapping, crowdfunding and digital security. Highlights include an interview with the Sudanese online cartoonist Khalid Albaih, a case study on the digital campaign for the release of the Nuba Mountains activist Jamila Khamis, and a conversation with Amir Ahmad Nasr, one of Sudan’s first bloggers and the author of the book My Isl@m. Additionally, there are interviews with international civil society practitioners, including experts on crisis mapping and digital security. On the organizational side, the guide emphasizes the process and steps needed to launch social media advocacy campaigns, as well as crowdfunding campaigns.

The Guidebook is available in English and Arabic and can be downloaded fully or as separate PDF chapters below this announcement. Hard copies are available upon request with priority going to the Sudanese civil society.