CSOs in Senegal learn about social media

As part of the project “Breaking the silence, lifting taboos, raising awareness about gender-based violence in West Africa” the PIWA organised a training workshop in social media aimed at civil society organisations working to defend victims of gender-based violence. This training took place in Dakar from 10 to 12 September 2014.

This project aims to build the capacities of CSOs to raise public awareness about the rights of victims of gender-based violence. The project is supported by the European Union. Specifically, this training workshop aimed to respond to the needs of CSOs by equipping them with the tools needed to raise public awareness about this type of violence, and mobilise the online community. Indeed, when they seek support from the traditional media, these organisations often face a conformity that impedes free expression. Furthermore, this media largely continues to convey clichés about gender-based violence and gives little space in their columns to the different restriction on rights which are only dealt with in an anecdotal way.

In recent years, the PIWA has intensified its training programme for CSOs and citizens in the use of social media, including in Senegal, with encouraging results in terms of citizen oversight. In this country, no less than 5 workshops were organised between 2013 and 2014.

Despite a relatively low rate of Internet access (estimated at 4.5% by the UIT, data from August 2012), the number of Internet users is growing in Senegal, thanks to the expansion of the mobile service across the country (with 2.3 million Internet users in April 2013, according to Social Bakers). This expansion opens the door to new media production and consumption habits. The 2012 elections in Senegal illustrate the use of social networks for the production of citizen-oriented information for social mobilisation. In this landscape, where social media contributed to the capacity building of key actors, the PIWA continues to develop a training programme for CSOs in social media, simultaneously in order to reach more beneficiaries, but also in order to consolidate existing achievements and anchor this in the production, development and updating of these supports as an advocacy tool.

Ten organisations were trained and saw their capacities built through the creation of a blog and the use of new media aimed at information exchange with the Internet community.

Contact person: Fidele Guindou