In April, E-Mediat Yemen team conducted the 1st workshop for developing social media capacities of local NGOs. The 10 month program for delivering 5 social media training workshops was initially scheduled to start in June 2011. However, due to unavoidable circumstance the original schedule was changed and the program effectively started in March 2012 with participants from different local NGOs gathering in Sana’a city. The 1st workshop was conducted by trainer Ahmed Al-shami, under the supervision of SOUL for Development.
Participants attended first day of training with eagerness to learn more about social media. They asked lots of questions and were enthusiastic to enhance their organizations’ social media capacities even though some of them already had online presence.
Day 1 started with icebreaker session, allowing participants and the trainer an opportunity to know more about the group and get introduced to the workshop agenda. The first session was a networking exercise for the participants. The exercise required participants to post sticky notes on three flip charts. On the first chart, participants left notes with their names and details of their organization. The second chart (from me to we) or (Participants Interests), allowed participants to place 3 notes with their interests written on it. The third chart (Participants’ Inquiries & Discussions) was a wall for participants to write questions and share answers by using sticky notes. The overall idea of this activity was to show participants a practical way that would be used during training for sharing interests and mutual knowledge. This also introduced participants to a new way of interacting in a small social network. The trainer encouraged participants throughout the workshop to actively use the Inquires and Discussion Wall for asking questions and sharing answers.
The “Cases for Discussion” session allowed participants to brainstorm general principles of social media and online presence while introducing them to concepts and ideas of the workshop. The activity started by distributing cases cards to each participant followed by a small group discussion. The trainer would then display a photo in the slides that was related to each case and asked participants to identify whose card matched the photo; upon correct identification there was final discussion with the entire group for each case.
The participants were involved in group work on Networked NGOs and interactive assessment of the online presence of the participating NGOs. All participants identified their ‘crawl, walk, run and fly’ status.
Day 2 was an introduction to social media strategy where participants were coached in linking their social media strategy to their organizational mission. Besides that, some social media tools like Facebook and Twitter were briefly discussed. In addition, the concept of mapping was explained and participants were put into groups to draw their own social communication maps.
On day 3 participants played the social media game and focused on crafting their organization’s social media strategy.
Online listening tools were introduced on day 4 with participants spending time on browsing Google alerts, Social Mention, IceRocker, and Twitter Search. However, there were issues in using SocialMention.com since the platform was unable to search keywords in Arabic. The trainer had posted this problem on the E-Mediat Facebook Group and got feedback that socialmention does not support Arabic language. We were glad to connect with and learn from E-Mediat’s existing online network.
Day 5 focused on creating awareness among participating NGOs about security and privacy in using social media tools and the Internet. Participants were given tips for enhancing their online security. The workshop closed with a session on blogging tools and tips. Participants created blogs for their organization and were given tips on active blogging.
We had an excited group of participants who made the five day workshop a great learning and fun experience for all.
[This is an edited version of the original post on E-Mediat Yemen Blog]