www.jeel962.org | Mobile Application: Jeel962 | Jeel962
Jeel962.org is an online portal that brings together change-driven youth and introduces them as new players in decision making and community mobilization.
What We Observed
In a world where technology redefines communication and more increasingly influences how decisions are made, it is now vital that citizens, especially youth, realize the power and impact skills of the digital era have in shaping their lives. The dynamic through which citizens engage in governance and decision-making is changing. We are witness to more governments acknowledging this shift by utilizing online platforms and crowdsourcing input from citizens.
Youth of the MENA region, especially in less resourceful, rural and marginalized communities, are yet to realize this reality. Unfortunately, the understanding and usage of such tools is only available to those who have access. Knowledge utilizing online technologies empowers youth to speak the language of the century; and introduces them as new, competent and powerful key players in shaping policies, and defining development priorities.
Current efforts to bring together Arab youth via online platforms have not seen much success. The scarcity of online spaces for dialogue, engagement and mobilization for youth in the MENA Region resulted in youth regarding themselves as passive recipients of services and policies rather than active participants in shaping them.
HOW WE RESPONDED
The Jeel962 Youth Network was founded with a mission to promote a multi-stakeholder and inclusive approach to youth participation in Jordan. The aim was to witness the evolvement of a new generation of active citizens who embrace values of good governance such as accountability and transparency.
In this spirit, it was seen necessary to address youth in a language that is shaping their life. With an Internet penetration of more than 50% of the population, it seemed only logical to invest in an online platform that can provide a new, alternative and more inclusive channel of engagement for youth. Jeel962.org, and its complementary Android Mobile Application, were developed to offer a platform for engagement and much needed knowledge and skills. This crowdsourcing and solution-based online youth community emerges from Tech Tribes’ strong belief that no one should be left behind. The goal isn’t to use technology for the sake of technology, but to leverage it as a tool to achieve social objectives.
With more than 15000 youth involved to date, the Jeel962 online community stands as a living proof to how technology can transform youth engagement and foster community mobilization.
Youth have expressed frustrations at the lack of mediums and independent channels of communication through which they are able to mobilize, raise their competencies and claim and exercise their rights. The development of a youth-run online community of volunteers, trainers and experts was without question key to creating an enabling environment for community mobilization. Members sign-up by creating profiles that highlight their skills and volunteer experiences. Each is given the chance to identify and communicate with other members using a comprehensive filtration system. Being part of the online community also gives youth a chance to participate in training workshops and to sign-up for volunteer opportunities that are exclusively available to members.
Crowdsourcing has not only proved success in data gathering and research but also efficient as a tool in generating more user engagement. It gives online users the opportunity to shape conversations and more increasingly to engage in efforts to map out services and community issues. Jee962.org and its mobile application capitalize on the power of crowdsourcing by deploying a localized Google API-powered interactive map that enables young people to report on issues affecting them or incidents related to children/young people in their communities.
The website also gives youth the chance to respond to issues of priority highlighted on the map by turning them into community initiatives and to recruit members of the online community to help in their implementation. Initiatives are categorized by city and each offers youth the chance to publicly report on progress and provide activity updates.
With support from:
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and The United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Yii 2.0 PHP Framework / Android.