Mobiles for advocacy

What impact can using mobile phones make to advocacy?

Mobile phones have spread like wildfire through the developing world, revolutionising communications, particularly in rural areas. From election monitoring in Africa to connecting overseas Filipino migrant Workers to help in emergencies mobile phones have opened up incredible possibilities for advocates and activists to mobilise and connect.

Advocacy using mobile phones is;

Dynamic; Unlike other communications devices the mobile phone is usually carried with the user at all times; therefore it offers the possibility of instant, simultaneous communications.

Diverse; The mobile phone connects previously unconnected people and new audiences through the potential viral effect of forwarding on messages.

Discreet; The camera included in many of modern phones allows for filming and photography in situations where use of a conventional camera would be dangerous.

Direct; The mobile phone allows for communication directly to and from the communities advocates are working with.

Mobile phones provide individual users and communities with valuable access to a range of data services for personal and commercial purposes. They also allow them increased engagement in civil society and in the democratic processes of their countries. This engagement may take many forms: monitoring elections, receiving job alerts via SMS (text message), running small businesses, reporting illegal logging, accessing up-to-date market price information or providing an alternative form of media access. Mobile phones can also help users to participate in m-banking (mobile banking) and keep in touch with family and friends.