Tapping into social media to boost nonprofit learning

How can social media drive learning in non-profit programmes? One answer can be found in an innovative project funded by the Global Sanitation Fund, under the Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme (CRSHIP). The project focuses on generating real-time, emergent learning for actors coordinating sanitation and hygiene activities under CRSHIP, to solve complex problems as they occur.

These actors have been encouraged to use social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Google+, to document their observations and immediately share them with peers. The Learning Network on Facebook has emerged as the most successful platform. Through the platform, implementing partners, programme management staff, sector partners, and government staff share photos, videos, case studies and other content. In addition, a small team managing the platform shares tools, facilitates discussions, monitors, summarizes and expands on the emerging learning and documentation on the platform.

Udom Sok Ek, Programme Coordinator for CRSHIP implementing partner Sovann Phoum, explains how the platform has made the learning process more effective: 

“There is a case when I organized a community meeting. Villagers joined the meeting for a while and they left. Only several people stayed until the end of the meeting. I did not know what to do back then. Without [the real-time platform], I would have to wait until the quarterly meeting to discuss the issues. But now, as soon as our problems occur I [can] write on the Learning Network Facebook page. Then I [can] receive a lot of suggestions from other partners regarding what they would do when facing similar problems.”

The Facebook platform has also proved to be a useful programme management tool, enabling CRSHIP management to monitor progress on the ground, and identify and address challenges early, in real time.

Learn more in the video below.

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