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LETS TALK-Update

LETS TALK will be a community newsletter

Photo of Ikong James

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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

In Uganda today, there is a big growing number of different media houses all under the supervision of Uganda communications commission (UCC). These media houses have over the year been responsible for managing local content and providing information to the general public. However there are some communication gaps interms of their area of focus and the way these media houses carry out their operations. Most media houses today in Uganda tend to center their focus on the political matter and entertainment to mention but a few. They forget to cover in depth the most urgent challenges faced by the slum communties and only have headlines that will briefly talk about a particular challenge. This idea will seek to facilitate communication in the local urban slum communities through printed local content and announcements managed and provided by the community locals. This newsletter will provide a platform were the locals of the community will discuss in-depth, analyse, write stories, draft articles, narrate their stories, provide solutions to their community challenges, write poems and pass community announcements in both the local and foreign languages to suit consumption across different divides in the community. The idea will help cover in depth the most felt disasters/challenges faced by the community often not covered by main stream media and its content will be published continuous and consistently for community consumption.

WHO BENEFITS?

All community members will be beneficiaries both direct and indirect. The idea will benefit some members indirectly by offering them jobs to collect and compile content, act as translators and narrators of stories for the illiterate sector of the community and publishers. It will benefit some directly by giving them a platform to showcase the talent in poetry, story tellers and leadership skills. The idea will be implemented in the urban slum areas of Makindye division in Kampala Uganda.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

This idea will account for urban slums and climate change by providing necessary infromation of climate change to the slum dweller and avenue for in-depth discussions, analysis and solutions to the effects of climate change. The government in Uganda today, is putting in place different programs and projects to support people in slum areas. Grass root organizations have also mushroomed over the years to better the situation in these areas however the challenge is that most of these slum dwellers are still an aware of the eixisting government project and programs as well as operations of different organizations extending their support to these slums. This idea will help bridge that communication gap and provide necessary information to urban slum dwellers and also promote awarness of the different exiting programs and project target to create the resilience of these slums. Almost 90% of the content will be managed through the locals. This means they will own the newslwetter and relate to it easily and it will revive the hope of people coming together to solve their own challenges through actively partcipating in the development of this idea. Implementation will be much faster, cost effective and efficient. For sustainability purposes, we shall be selling advert spaces to local organizations and policy makers to meet operational costs of crowdsourcing content among others.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for two or more years

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for between one and two years

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • Yes

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I work with Mwana Wa Gwanga Foundation Uganda as head of the youth department and affialted to oneyouth oneheart a youth led initiative that brings both youth from different nationalities and host community youth to work together as one and solve different challenges that affect them.

IS THIS A NEW OR RECENT IDEA FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION? HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM WHAT YOU ARE ALREADY DOING?

This idea is at its intial stages of the low fidelity prototypes, its new and we have been working on it for a couple of months now and we have not yet tested out the product of this idea.

HOW IS YOUR IDEA DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SIMILAR INITIATIVES? WHAT ARE YOU DOING DIFFERENTLY? WHAT UNIQUE ADVANTAGES DO YOU HAVE?

This is idea is different from similar initiative in that it capitalises on the human centered degin approach of project designing. In our research we found out a similar initiative that only targets refugees and none of the content is by the refugees them selves rather they are from a particular oragnisation publishing the newsletters to provide necessary information to the refugees. Now this idea seeks to take a new twist through involving the community and letting it own its content. The articles, stories and poems will be from its members, reporters will be hand picked from the community to validate these stories and articles and it will involve both refugees and nationals so long as they live in that particular sampled community and the newsletter will be published monthly for different slum areas facing paticular challanges in various languages for different populations in that community. These news letters will also capture success stories of the local innovators to inspire the community in building innovative solutions to build its resilience towards challenges that affect it both directly and indirectly. It will also be short about 4 pages and designed nicely for value

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR IDEA?

The first unknown is that this project will seek to employ community reporters to validate sourced dataand translators but their levels of experience are still unkown. The accuracy of translation of sourced content is still under assumptions. little is still known about the consumption rate of the product since we havent yet tested it out for its intended impact. After the consultation meetings we also realized that not so many people enjoyed reading due to various reasons among which include high levels of illetracy and poorly packaged content.

WHY DO YOU THINK THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HASN'T BEEN SOLVED YET?

The problem the idea seeks to solve has not been solved yet because after engaging the beneficiaries most of them were excited to participate in the development of the newsletter and wanted to build resilience of their community and some asked what me and my team were waiting for all this time to start up such projects. Secondly i think it has not been solved yet because many people are still un aware and un informed about the effects of climatic changes to their communities rather they keep damaging the enviroment through plastic litterings among other poor practises and complain about the flooding effects when it rains heavily due to different climatic changes and there is poor drainage.

HOW HAS YOUR IDEA CHANGED BASED ON FEEDBACK FROM YOUR COMMUNITY?

We basically organised consultation meetings, held focused discussion with the local leaders and elders as well as some stake holders from the central government and finally had one on one random interviews with the urban slum dwellers we often met on they way or at home. After this, the idea changed in the sense that we realised people got excited and were happy to know that they will future in these newsletters mostly the youth, so they would imagine some stories about things that don't affect the community. we thought of a hand picking and training reporters and researchers from the community to validate analyse croudsourced content. We also realised that some elderly members were sharing personal experiences and needed them to be left annoymous so we thought of using annoymous names for such cases. we also realised the need to register the newsletter under copy right for comfidentiality and community's complete ownership of their content and avoid duplication. we could use more adverstising for sustainability purposes. The community members complained about lots of issues from other service providers and this newsletter would be the best opportunity to allow them learn about different services provided through adverts among others. The news letter would be short about 4 pages published weekly for different communities focusing on a single community challenge monthly and make follow ups or generate debates to ensure the effect of the discussed solutions

WHAT WOULD YOU ULTIMATELY LIKE TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS IDEA? WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP TO GET THERE?

With this idea, we dream of nurturing the next best news reporters, researchers and innovators as well as the best article writers, storytellers/writers and poets from the community as many of them most especially the youth that are out of school dream to be researchers, reporters, storyteller, poets among other opportunities that the idea will offer them but can nolonger afford education in those fields or dropped out of school because of various individual reasons and most of all create content that will be readly consumed by the community to help bridge the information gap so that it can build resilience to the challenges that affect it from an informed perspective.

test.

1. on a scaleof 1-10, how would you grade this project? why? 2. Incase this idea does not go through to the top winners but beautiful as it is, can the openideo team still support it on ground to kick start in kind in terms of voluntery expertise servises? 3. Incase the idea goes through to the top winners, besides the ultimate prize and physical ground asistance, for how long would openideo reachout to support the project on ground?

How does your idea connect to the broader system of the city where you plan to implement?

In uganda kampala today where we are expecting to implement this project, there are about 5major slums or more in about 5 divisions. makindye division alone is made of slums like kabalagala, kibuli, namuwongo-soweto, nsambya, and katwe among others. lots of these slums are blessed with grassroot initiatives, organisations and government programs targeted at bettering the situation of the struggle in the slums to create resilience of these slum communities. on a broader system, this idea will try to connect the efforts of these grass root initiatives and programs to the beneficiaries in these communities and also provide a voice to the community its self to determine how they want to build the resilience of their own different communities through provision of a print material platform where the members will participate in building of its content and also on a broder note participate in the development of the who project at almost all levels.

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Photo of Pascale Leroueil
Team

Hi James!  I love the idea of creating a space for community members to share their experience and knowledge with the local community.   A couple of questions:

(1) From a practical perspective, how do you envision writing and distributing the newsletters?  In some ways, I think what you're proposing is a lot like the newspapers/newsletters put out by high school and college students -- the articles and interviews are put together by a fairly small group of people but then distributed to the community (school).  The writers/editors meet on a regular basis to discuss potential stories and proofread the stories that are already written.   Do you plan on using this model (small number of writers / editors), or are you envisioning something where all members of the community can submit an article/drawing/comic to the editor and, if chosen, the article is published in the newsletter?

 2.  Have you thought about using this as a way to improve local literacy rates, too?  I imagine that there are many people that would be excited to be part of this organization, even those who cannot read/write.  One way you could compound the benefit of this organization is to incorporate reading/writing classes for those who are interested but not yet able to contribute.  For example, you could say, "Anyone can write for our paper.  If you can't write yet, that's okay -- come to a class we will host X times per week where we will teach you how to read and write."  If you did this, perhaps some of the local schools would be willing to host your organization and, if you can convince the local government that you are effective at increasing the literacy, perhaps they would help pay for the cost of your supplies (and maybe a small salary for the tutors/editors).  These may or may not be viable options in your location, but I would think that the key is to make a business proposition to those that benefit the most (in your case, I think that the government benefits the most from having a literate population).

Photo of Ikong James
Team

Hi pascale! Allow me to thank you first for the brilliant observation and questions plus the wonderful feedback.

When you talk of college news papers it actually left me thinking and gave me news ideas to incorporate in this one. The idea here may seem like something being done somewhere else in the world but in the context of my contry its still fresh coz nothing like it has been done not in colleges or highschools. Only something close i have seen again is a project under oxfam of community assemblies were local communities in rural areas appoint and assembly their representatives to discuss pending issues in their society follow up on promises of the politicians among others of which i plan on partnering with them given the support to kick start this idea.

Looking at the practicle perspective, we actually thought of involving the whole community atlarge whether you know how to read and write or not as long as you are of sound mind and eligible to provide content for the newsletter. All intrested urban slum members with  content will submit it in whether visual, audio or video recorded, hand written etc in a prefered language for better articulation and reviewed by a team of editors and translators from the comunity and finally sorted out for publishing by editing team working with me on this idea and the content that is not published will be archieved pending the weely n monthly publishments for consistency. For the case of distribution we were looking at the same model as that of the high school and colleges in the U.S.A.

Information sharing is symmetrical to literacy so yes i think we can incorporate those ideas to this because thats one of our long term goals to help the school dropouts among other teaching them skills and sharing necessary information.

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