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UNICEF – leveraging the web for social good

05-March-2011
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UNICEF – leveraging the web for social good

The Internet allows people to communicate in a very targetted fashion, and helps bring a message to people where they will actually listen to it, without having to spend huge amounts of money. These properties of the medium, which can make it a good path for advertising, also make it an ideal tool for social good campaigns, which seek to raise awareness and funds.

This is all the more true in India, where NGOs need to speak to India’s growing educated upper middle class, who have the money and access with which they can play an active role in helping others less fortunate. This is a segment of the population that is online and active on social networks, which is why UNICEF has launched a new campaign, called ‘Awaaz Do’, in partnership with the Ministry of Human Rights Development.

Angela Walker of UNICEF said, “We have worked with Oglivy & Mather and several corporations to create a programme, which will use social media, blogs, and online advertising to reach out to the urban middle class in a bid to bring out education policy change.”

PVR Group President Pramod Arora said, “We have been committed to the cause of children’s education, especially those from difficult circumstances. To become a stakeholder in this movement, we partnered with UNICEF and have helped by becoming a communication and outreach vehicle for this campaign.”

The programme is a digital initiative to ensure that every child in the country gets free and compulsory education, regardless of their caste, religion, or other divisive factors. UNICEF has partnered with various corporations, including TCS, Infosys, Disney and PVR, to create awareness on the Right to Education Act.

Walker said, “We need to work together – 80 lakh children are still out of school, and we need to spread awareness, and carry out activity on the ground as well. Social media like Facebook is a very powerful tool for bringing about change, and a great way of creating conversations about something that is very important in India right now.”

At the same time, the campaign is also combining digital and traditional methods of outreach. Arora said, “Filming is integrated naturally with PVR. In the last one year, we have showcased films highlighting the campaign at our plasma screens in 33 cinemas spanning India. Considering the feedback and response we gather from our guests, the films from ‘Awaaz Do’ campaign have made a significant impact on their perception and sensibilities.”
 

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