Initiative: Mahavoter campaign
Organization: Litmus Test Project
Country: India
Facebook: @LitmusTestProject
Twitter: @LTP_India

MahaVoter is an initiative spearheaded by the Litmus Test Project (LTP) in collaboration with various social media platforms and youth-led creative groups. MahaVoter was launched ahead of the 2017 local body elections to reach out to youth with a dedicated awareness campaign on ‘why’ and ‘how’ to vote.

The need for such an initiative was realised after abyssal voter turnouts for consecutive elections was witnessed for the local body elections in Mumbai. Further, mainstream news channels and newspapers, too, could focus very little on local needs since prime time debates and front page headlines would be focused on national news.

Through its website, chat bots, on-ground activities and hastags VoteKarMaharashtra and GetInkedMumbai, MahaVoters was able to engage millions of youth on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp, and redirect them to relevant information about voting rights and guidelines. Strategic partnership with Facebook and Twitter turned out to be game changers for them and the 2017 local body elections saw 55 per cent turnout, the highest in 70 years and 12 per cent higher than last time.

Initiative: National Multimedia Initiative for Ending Child Marriage

Organization: UNICEF Bangladesh
Country: Bangladesh
Facebook: @unicefbd
Twitter: @unicefbd

Ending Child Marriage is a national-level multimedia campaign designed to make prevention and active rejection of child marriage everyone’s responsibility in Bangladesh. UNICEF Bangladesh’s campaign uses strategic media and communication, primarily distributed through social media channels, to challenge the social norms that perpetuate child marriage; promote a new reality of the desired ‘normal’; and address perceived social pressure, beliefs and expectations through accelerating public intolerance.

The major component of the campaign is a series of short videos that use dramatic situations that are relatable to audiences to convey the part that individuals in the community can play to challenge social norms and stop child marriage. These 95-second high-quality videos, circulated through Facebook and YouTube, are effectively packaged to show a compelling scene that begins in a familiar way that would lead to marriage until the daughter, or groom, or neighbor speaks up against and is joined in by everyone around clapping hands to show their agreement. Significantly, the father then accepts the censure. Everyone has a role to play and something they can do:

Initiative: Factly
Organization: Factly Media & Research
Country: India
Facebook: @factlydotin
Twitter: @factlydotin
Website: www.

FACTLY is a fact-based initiative that aims to create meaningful evidence-based content using public data and information. It creates extensive content in long and short forms, uses illustrations or inforgraphics, and produces audio-visual explainer content on various pertinent issues for the consumption of common citizens as well as journalists and policy makers.

The platforms advocates for more public data residing in public domains rather than in inaccessible government files. It also attempts to change the formatting of presenting the information with tools and aids that technology has made available with the purpose of reaching even a layman with relevant and easy-to-comprehend information.

Social Media is an important part of the distribution and campaign strategy for FACTLY’s content that reaches millions of people through the platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. In the last two years, FACTLY website has been able to receive more than three million views, its YouTube channel has over a million views and 12,000 subscribers, and it’s Facebook page has over 70,000 likes. Some of their stories have reached millions of people, triggering change, conversations and even leading to questions in Parliament.

Special Mentions

Initiative: 300m Challenge!
Organization: Katha India
Country: India
Facebook: @kathaindia
Twitter: @KathaIndia

Katha’s 300 Million Challenge is an initiative to ensure all 300 million children enrolled in schools in India are drawn to education by making learning fun through story pedagogy. The organisation has successfully leveraged its social media presence to bring in thousands of volunteers to introduce 5-10 year olds to reading through colourful books and community libraries and digital interventions. These community-owned libraries, too, have been established through crowd funding efforts that helped Katha raise over 2 lakh rupees.
The #300mChallenge initiatives uses technology as a lever to create an alliance of corporates, non-profits, schools, organisations and colleges that works together to make each child read. Through its social media-driven digital marketing, Katha was able to successfully host book donation drives across Delhi where it collected more than 30,000 books for children’s community owned and operated libraries. Further, it used its social media presence to educate audiences about the importance of reading. It was also able to engage a pool of volunteers through its active social media presence.