Digital ‘Second Chance’ Helps Youth Organization Reach More Cambodians

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អត្ថបទ​នេះមានជាភាសា៖ kmខ្មែរ

Looking back, the Khmer Youth Association (KYA) is able to see how far they’ve come in their social media engagement. A video posted to their Facebook page in 2014 has only reached 3,000 views over the past five years. For one of Cambodia’s largest civil society organizations (CSOs) working with youth, this wasn’t a great number. “Because our content was not interesting, people tended to Unlike our Facebook page,” describes Chy Panha, KYA’s Media Officer.

According to latest data from the United Nations Development Programme, Cambodian youth ages under 30 accounted for 65.3% of the total Cambodia population. Since 1992, KYA has been working to promote the participation of young people in Cambodia’s social development. They work  in many sectors from sexual and reproductive health and natural resource management; and across the country in nearly every province. However, as Cambodia has digitized, KYA struggled to gain a foothold in the online world. KYA suffered from a lack of a strategic communication strategy or experts skilled in producing attractive digital content, and had no high quality ICT equipment. Then came USAID’s Development InnovationsSecond Chance Fund.

In July 2017, DI offered an opportunity for applicants to utilize lessons learned from unsuccessful ICT4D projects to develop a new approach to the same development problems. In the case of KYA, their goal was to build a new, more user-friendly website, improve online visibility and content, and improve its own staff’s capacity to use ICT tools – especially strategic communication tools. KYA wanted to encourage young people to become more active and informed citizens through digital tools, and they wanted to start with their own team.

Before successfully applying for the grant from the Second Chance Fund, KYA had already done its share of work. By surveying 105 website visitors in 2017, they learned that their homepage was not mobile friendly, but the majority of their audience accessed their content through their smart phones. And behind the scenes, KYA’s website content was not easily updated due to expensive fees they needed to pay to an external company who managed their website. KYA needed a second chance to create a digital home that could attract and engage more young people in Cambodia.

With this second chance, KYA advanced its own communications and social media strategies and skills through comprehensive trainings from DI’s trainers. This training also included Basic Video Training from the Cambodia Committee for Cambodia, who took over delivery of the course from DI in 2017.  DI also helped KYA to improve its website’s design and visibility. As a result of using an open source content management system, KYA staff are now able to post new content and update the website themselves.

Chy Panha, KYA’s Media Officer, interviews her guest speakers on the topic of Buddism and Violence Against Childen in the newly renovated studio in KYA’s office.

 

In August 2018, KYA posted another video which reached over 12,300 people within 10 days of its posting. The Second Chance clearly paid off. “Our new skills and studio really improved KYA’s production quality and efficiency…I can save tenfold of my time in exporting and two times in editing,” described Seng Ratha, who also works as a Media Assistant at KYA.

Later this year, KYA will also be partnering with DI to run Smart Phone Video Trainings based on DI’s successful training program. With the Second Chance Fund, as well as this new partnership, DI supplied KYA with the audiovisual production equipment and software, the technical skills to produce high quality video, as well as the social media and communications skills to tell their story and engage their audience in a meaningful way. They have already started spreading their newfound expertise to their provincial level staff and partners who are now taking better photos for KYA’s Facebook page, and are better equipped to capture the voices and perspectives of this young country in the future.

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