How do you tell a compelling story about people in need that doesn’t simplify or stereotype?

I use my How Matters YouTube channel to highlight portrayals of international assistance that inspire more nuanced conversations about the politics of global development and international aid. Frankly though, there’s not enough content to keep that page very active. Very few video-based products show people grappling with the realities of programming on the ground and the stories of grassroots change-makers too often remain overlooked.

The Social Impact Media Awards, organized by DEEDA Productions, seeks to change all that. See below their call for submissions for their juried 2013 awards.

Filmmakers and do-gooders, show us how aid really works!

14 days until Blog Action Day 2012!

The countdown to Blog Action Day has started, it's only 14 days,  that's only 336 hours until the event! Blog Action Day will afford you the opportunity of joining your voice with thousands of bloggers from around the world to blog about the 'Power of We'.

We invite you to join the Kabissa Blog Action Day team to write about someone or a group that inspires you by the way they made a positive influence in their communities. You could also talk about your own efforts to make change with others, or highlight a cause that is successful for using people power to make a difference. You might ask, what if I cannot write? Well, the good thing about the Blog Action Day is that videos, podcasts, photos and images are welcome.

Please join Karina Brisby from the Blog Action Day team on October 5 as she speaks more about the Blog Action Day at the Africa Roundtable. You can register for the event here

Aid For Africa Member Meeting - African NGOs Sharing Insights

Greetings From Washington D.C. (actually Chevy Chase M.D.)

I am here at the Aid For Africa Member Meeting with Neema Mgana, one of our board members, who I have just met for the first time. Tobias is also arriving this evening as well. I have known him for over a year, but also have not yet met. It is a week of firsts.

Aid For Africa is a consortium of over 80 NGO's, a select group of organizations that have met its stringent financial reporting, governance and programmatic impact requirements. Kabissa is in rarified air.

Learning from KONY 2012: Let our voices be heard

Whether you love it, hate it, or know nothing about it, the online phenomenon that is the “KONY2012” video offers many valuable lessons for us in communicating the work we do.

What is this KONY 2012 all about?

Never has a video – and certainly not one created by an NGO – generated such heated and conflicting responses, or achieved such immediate global reach. Fast approaching the 100-million-viewer mark, in the week following its launch, coverage of the KONY2012 video infiltrated every major news outlet in the world, and ignited a storm of commentary among Facebookers and Tweeters of all ages.

If you have not yet seen it, KONY2012 is a slick, expensive 30-minute film produced by a US-based NGO, Invisible Children, as part of an international campaign to arrest the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Joseph Kony. It gives a brief history of the LRA, and creates a sense of urgency about the fate of the children abducted into the LRA. Viewers are told that the solution lies in their hands, through passing on the video, contacting US government representatives and celebrities, and buying bracelets and posters to spread the message.

The video has attracted enormous support, but also enormous criticism. Detractors accuse it of being dangerously simplified, patronizing, inaccurate and manipulative. To learn more, I encourage you to read some of the truly excellent pieces of investigation, analysis, satire and reflection published on the issue, including a growing number of responses from Ugandans.

In Search of a Passionate Volunteer to Join the Kabissa Team . . .

Would you like to be an instrument for change in Africa?

Kabissa is now seeking potential candidates for its volunteering opportunities:

  • Membership Manager whose work shall be in managing and handling community correspondence and sign-ups and providing technical support to members.
  • Member Content Editor who shall be responsible for polishing posts, comments and content of the Kabissa website as well as in providing encouragement to members seeking to post in the site wide blog and in “hunting” spams.
  • Social Network Outreach who shall spread the content relevant to Kabissa on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

More than the education, training, experience and motivation that we would usually see in most of our volunteers’ applicantions, we are in search of candidates who have the commitment and heart for volunteering and the passion and love for online networking for a cause.

If you are a cut for volunteerism and have the fervor for helping people or if you would know persons who have that same enthusiasm, you can be that instrument for change.

To apply and learn more of this opportunity, please visit

Wilfred B. Sinay
Volunteer Recruiter 

Silicon Valley Human Rights Standard (crossposted from

Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference

One of the objectives of the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference is the creation of a Silicon Valley Standard (SVS). This is a principled statement incorporating the issues discussed at the 2011 Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference. The document includes 15 principles based on the 15 workshop topics covered at the conference.

The document is designed to complement other existing frameworks and uses the international human rights framework as its foundation. These principles served as a useful basis for discussion during the panels and represent a standard, which we hope the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector will use after the conference.

Unleashing the potential of social networks and the Internet in West Africa: A study into collaboration and communication among civil society organizations

For civil society organizations across Africa, the expanded use of Information & Communications Technology (ICT) has launched a new era marked by easier, more frequent, and more widespread communication directed to a variety of key audiences.

Digital Natives Workshop in Santiago: An Open Call

As the Internet and digital technologies become more widespread, the world is shrinking: we are constantly connected to our contexts, our people, our cultures and our networks. And you, yes YOU are a part of this change. In fact, as a digital native– someone to whom digital technologies are central to life – you are directly affecting the lives of many, sometimes even without knowing about it.


I woke up this morning to the news that is going to be shut down, which is quite sad news for many veteran social media enthusiasts. The best summary of the news, its implications and what our options are is on Beth's Blog, which is crossposted in full below.

As usual, hit the reply button in your email to share your thoughts/ideas/questions in the comments to this post.

Deadline 14 September: Apply to participate in Voices of Our Future online citizen Journalism and Web 2.0 Training Program

I wanted to pass on this great elearning opportunity which I received today via the @risingvoices mailing list. It would be great to see many Kabissa members in Africa participate. "Join the Applicants Group, and you could be one of thirty women selected to participate in the full five-month citizen journalism and empowerment training program!"

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