Links I Liked: Storytelling, Newsfeed Changes, Improved Monitoring, and more

Woman holding a phone

Photo: Radu Mihai / Unsplash

The summer holidays are almost over and it’s time to get back to work. To ease you back in, here are four links and stories that I found interesting and relevant:

Starting August 19, Facebook will make some changes to how posts appear in the mobile newsfeed. The most significant change is that fewer lines of text will appear before a user has to click on “more”. So stop burying the lede!

David Girling from Social Media for Development just published an interview with one of the people behind “Kibera Stories”, a blog, Facebook page and Instagram account set up to document the everyday life in Kibera, Nairobi, and to challenge the prevailing misconception of misery and poverty.

I frequently find it challenging to measure the outcomes – rather than outputs – of communications activities, and I know I’m not the only one. This new research paper from ALNAP looks at some of these challenges and includes suggestions on how to provide holistic, meaningful analyses of humanitarian programmes. While the document doesn’t look at communications in particular, many of the challenges, for example in protection programmes, are similar.

Good news for a change! This story shows how disaster preparation, including investing in communications, helped reduce the impact of a cyclone in India earlier this year:

“To warn people of what was coming, they deployed everything they had: 2.6 million text messages, 43,000 volunteers, nearly 1,000 emergency workers, television commercials, coastal sirens, buses, police officers, and public address systems blaring the same message on a loop, in local language, in very clear terms: ‘A cyclone is coming. Get to the shelters.’”

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