Creating a ‘voice’ of collective change through simple mobile phones

A participatory platform that enables people to share and discuss issues with one another via voice messages, using simple mobile phones that do not require any Internet connectivity

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Case study abstract

How do you reach out to and involve citizens on a massive scale when they don’t necessarily have access to the internet, have limited financial means, and often low literacy levels? 

Mobile Vaani is an Interactive Voice Response initiative in India that overcomes such obstacles seeking to generate greater collective understanding and action. 

The technical solution has allowed different groups to engage constructively and understand different perspectives, enabled online protests to lead to actual change on the ground, and facilitated the organization of innovative social campaigns. 

Mobile Vaani suggests how participatory media can play a role in accelerating collective learning, also in marginalized communities. This is an illustration of a democratic innovation building on the strength of “weak ties” in achieving social change.

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