What barriers have hindered the success of your project to date? How do you plan to overcome these and other challenges as you grow your solution?
The project has not been implemented because of lack of funds. Without the funds needed, it is not possible to set up the site and develop the mobile phone access system. At this stage, an immediate solution is to get donors. After a few months of operation, it would be easier to market the site and get advertisers.
A potential problem could be the lack of input (i.e. stories or reports) from members of the community. We anticipate enthusiastic participation in the early stages of the project, especially from the youth. However, this may decrease in light of other duties or commitments in the community, family, or school/job.
This may be overcome through constant encouragement and reinforcement. Regular meetings and training workshops will help them develop much-needed confidence.
How do you see the information-technology and media sectors shifting over the next decade? How will your solution adapt to and/or drive that changing environment?
Within 10 years, mobile Internet could be just as accessible and widely used as text messaging. If this happens, the site can feature live streaming multimedia stories—audio or video—direct from the community. These could be live feeds of activities or live interviews.
Failure is not always an option. If your solution fails to gain traction in the next two years, what other applications of the idea could you explore?
The same technology would be useful to campus journalists in the same region, especially in a mountainous province like Ifugao, where it may be geographically difficult to meet regularly. It could also be used by nongovernment and people’s organizations as a tool for advocacy, particularly for advocating or reporting on environmental concerns. Certainly there are many applications and the technology can be used to empower any marginalized group or any community even in remote areas.
Expand on your selections, explaining how you will sustain funding
The site will accept advertising from local (i.e. province-based) companies, as well as private organizations and individuals. However, as a news site, it must maintain independence from its advertisers.
Further on, the site can be used to market and promote products from Asipulo such as civet coffee, raw wild honey, and baskets and other handicrafts. We will have awareness-raising activities that will double as fundraising activities, such as paid workshops, which will be tied to the objectives of the site.
Another source of funds would be donations from its readers. Upon donating a certain amount, they will receive goodwill bags containing samples of products from Asipulo. As a last resort, paid subscriptions for access to certain stories will be considered.
Tell us about your partnerships
As community volunteers, my co-worker and I have worked with members of the community. We conducted workshops in 2007 for the youth organization, and in 2008, for the local high school, commissioned by the local government. We plan to continue these partnerships, eventually developing partnerships with other organizations and agencies. Specifically, we would like to work with other members of the community, especially the youth, and foreign volunteers—anyone who shares the same concern for the community’s people, environment, culture, and development.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section?
The project will require web programmers/developers to set up and maintain the site. Editors, site managers, and coordinators will also be required. Lastly, community volunteers will be needed to act as citizen reporters.
Changemakers is a collaborative and supportive space. Please specify any community resources you would need to grow and sustain your initiative. Select all that apply
Investment, Human resources or talent, Marketing or media, Collaboration or networking, Pro-bono help (legal, financial, etc.), Mentorship.
Specify any resources you might offer to support other initiatives. Select all that apply
Human resources or talent, Marketing or media, Collaboration or networking, Innovation or ideas.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren’t specified within the list
We would welcome the support, in any form, of other changemakers in setting up Guardians of the Community. Our organization is quite small and we need help specifically in the areas selected above, to move Guardians of the Community forward.
In return, we could collaborate with other changemakers. As a consultancy business, we can also help in brainstorming for new ideas or solutions, especially in our part of the world.