I’m here at the Dead Sea in Jordan where I delivered the key note for the E-mediat Networking Conference, “New Media for the Networked NGO.” The conference marked the end of an 18-month capacity building program that trained more than 220 NGOs in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia on how to use social media effectively to advance civil society.
The New Media for the Networked NGO Networking Conference provided NGOs who participated in the E-Mediat program the opportunity to come together to share best practices, successes, challenges and lessons learned from their use of social media to effectively advance their organization’s work. This conference showcased the impressive work of the participant NGOs as well as introduced to them more advanced social media topics such as content curation, measurement, and integrated content strategy.
I’ve been working on this project for more than year. I have created the design and delivered an intensive Train the Trainers session in Beirut almost a year ago for master trainers and their teams from Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia. I also developed the curriculum for the 15 workshops that were localized and delivered by the in-country trainers to over 220 NGOs over 9-month period.
The program accomplished the following:
- 220 organizations participated
- Organizations raised almost $125,000 through integrated social media campaigns from donors
- 83% of participants are applying their social media skills to engage local and global communities
- 12 training centers have been established
- 112 participants created Twitter accounts and are tweeting regularly, 1674 videos were posted on YouTube created with FLIP cameras donated by CISCO, and 131 blogs are regularly sharing their stories.
The conference was a learning celebration where participants had the opportunity to share their lessons learned and network. I designed and facilitated the conference which included an official ceremony with special invited dignities including Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali, pictured above receiving a copy of my book, The Networked Nonprofit, which formed the basis of the curriculum.
When you have a formal ceremony and Royalty is attending, there are protocols you need to follow. I got to greet the Princess as she walked into the hotel. I had to address her as “Her Royal Highness Princess.” I told her that I was honored to meet her, to be in her country at the Dead Sea, and train NGOs to use social media to make the world a better place. I told the NGOs were “fabulous.” And she smiled at that phrase.
Then we walked with her into the conference room as they played the National Anthem of Jordan. We were assigned specific seats at the VIP table.
I delivered one of the keynotes and as you can see from this slide, we had two screens presenting materials in both languages. In addition, there was live translation in both languages. The official ceremony includes opening remarks, a discussion panel from participants sharing their stories, and two brief presentations by the social media advisers from Lebanon and Jordan.
Once the formal ceremony concluded, there was a break and the networking conference started. This conference used interactive design — such as visual facilitation, speed geeks, world cafe, full group discussions, small group discussions, and interactive lectures. I facilitated the sessions using the translation headsets and by bilingual colleagues to help me translate in real time.
One of my favorite parts was facilitation a small group discussion on managing information overload in an age of distractions. I heard so many of the same themes that I often hear from nonprofits in the US when we discuss this topic.
E-Mediat is funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the United States Department of State with support from the craigslist Charitable Fund and Microsoft. The program is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE), and implemented with a coalition of leading social media experts and international partners from the public and private sectors.