Outreach & participation

Finding and engaging audiences can be a big challenge for NGOs. Mobile phones can help by providing a new means of staying in contact with those audiences. For example through SMS updates on campaigns and activities which can be carried out using FrontlineSMS or a commercial service such as Clickatell or BulkSMS. Mobile phones also provide a very direct means of outreach - enabling organisations to reach those who might not be accessible via email or the internet.

Mobile phones can allow their users to engage more fully in civil society and the democratic process, and hold the powerful to account. They can be used along with other media such as community radio in order to gather feedback and opinions. Here are a few ideas for how your organisation can enable participation by using mobile phones for surveys, petitions, monitoring and for the provision of information. We have also included some examples of successful current and recent projects which have used mobile phones in interesting ways.

Look at the Coordinating and mobilising section for more on how mobiles can help in emergencies and situations which demand a quick response.