CGNet Swara: Portal de voces para la comunidad de medios de comunicación

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CGNet Swara: Portal de voces para la comunidad de medios de comunicación

Tipo de organización: 
Etapa del Proyecto:
$10,000 - $50,000
Resumen del Proyecto
Presentación del Proyecto!

Resumen conciso: Ayúdenos a presentar esta solución! Proporcione una explicación en 3 o 4 frases cortas.

Portal de voz de acceso telefónico dirigido a la comunidad de medios para permitir la participación en democracia mediante la comunicación y el diálogo.

About Project

Problema: ¿Qué problema está tratando de abordar este proyecto?

Information sharing and communication are keys to participation in democracy. However, many communities across the world are deprived of media and communication mechanisms, rendering them voiceless and therefore vulnerable to exploitation. Mainstream media content is biased towards what sells rather than what is balanced or relevant. e.g. Even with a tribal population of 90 million in Central India there are no newspapers, television channels or radio programs in tribal languages. Community radio is strictly regulated, rendering it out of reach for most communities. The internet and television are out of reach since both education and infrastructure are at a premium. In this landscape, mobile phones provide a ubiquitous medium that utilizes oral traditions already practiced by many of these communities. With 850 million cellphone subscribers, India is a prime market for voice based content platforms accessible via mass market cellphones.

Solución: cuál es la solución propuesta? Por favor sé específico!

CGNet Swara is a voice-based portal, freely accessible via mobile phone that allows anyone to report and listen to stories of local interest. Reported stories are moderated by trained journalists and made available for playback online as well as over the phone. CGNet Swara is the first portal of its kind, where users can both listen AND record their own content. This 2-way interface allows for quick reports and reactions from the ground about issues that affect communities. Mobile penetration in the region is much higher than internet, television or print media and the ability to use the mobile phone as an information sharing tool has taken off well. With a one year pilot started in Feb 2010 in Chhattisgarh, we now receive 300+ phone calls a day from across the country, primarily from the Central Tribal Region. Swara was initially developed as an extension of the CGNet discussion group, also started by Shubhranshu Choudhary, which has been active since 2004. The aim was to extend the reach of CGNet into areas where there is no Internet and television.
Impact: How does it Work

Ejemplo: Guíenos a través de un ejemplo/s específico/s de cómo esta solución hace la diferencia; incluya sus actividades principales.

The solution uses open source components, the core of which was developed as a student project in MIT. It consists of a server connected to a telephony interface, running a software PBX system. The PBX directs all incoming calls to a very simple (2 option) IVR interface. Users can choose to record new content, or listen to recordings left by other people that have been published by the moderators. Since the interface is almost completely voice based and in a local language, the user does not have to be literate or specially trained to use it. Once the content is recorded, it is filtered by trained journalists who frequently call the contributor back to check and verify details. Once the story has been verified, the moderator releases it to the web and the IVR. The web link is also published to subscribed mailing lists and social media. The target user group on the IVR are grassroots workers and rural activists. The target group for the Web are urban activists, international development/ human rights organizations and the administration. Swara also helps forge partnerships between urban and rural activists based on reports and carries out training programmes for moderators and citizen journalists.

Mercado: ¿Quién mas está abordando el problema aquí descrito ? ¿Cómo difiere el proyecto propuesto de esos enfoques?

While we have no direct competitors, several groups are also working with voice services. (Gramvani,,Gaon Ki Awaz). We are looking to forge partnerships with these organizations with the long term view of standardizing a platform for mobile content sharing, similar to a voice-web. In the short term we are looking to collaborate with GramVani to pool our resources and expand our reach. What we bring to the table is several years of experience in journalism and building grassroots partnerships. What differentiates Swara is the fact that we have spent over 5 years building strong networks in both urban and rural areas. Just reporting is not enough, action must follow and that requires a solid presence at both the administrative as well as grassroots level.
Sobre ti
CGNet Swara
Sobre ti




Sobre tu organización
Nombre de la organización

CGNet Swara

País de la organización

, DL

Países en donde este proyecto está creando impacto social

, CT

¿Cuánto tiempo ha estado operando la organización?

Más de 5 años

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Selecciona la fase que describa mejor el momento en el que se encuentra tu emprendimiento

Expansión (el siguiente paso será crear un impacto a escala regional o incluso mundial)

¿Cuánto tiempo se lleva poniendo en práctica tu iniciativa?

Operando entre 1-5 años

Impacto social
HISTORIA DE FONDO: queremos conocer tu momento de inspiración. Comparte con nosotros la historia del lugar y el momento en que el fundador o los fundadores llegaron a la conclusión de que su solución podría cambiar el mundo.

Shu Choudhary was researching a book in the conflict regions of Central India (Chhattisgarh/Andhra Pradesh/Orissa). While talking to Maoists, tribals and the mainstream population, Shubhranshu realized that the conflict was less because of politics and more because of a gap in communication between people.
Looking for ways to open communication channels, he first explored Community Radio, but realized that restrictive regulations prevented it from being a viable tool for conflict resolution. TV was ruled out, since much of this region barely has electricity. Shu first explored the Internet as an option and started CGNet, an email discussion group that has over 2000 members today. However, this still represented only the areas with Internet penetration. The question was how to get the people not on internet to join the conversation. Shu noticed that even people in the deep interiors carried mobile phones and found ways to use them. On his return to the city, he began talking to technologists about designing a mobile solution. Bill Thies at Microsoft Research and his academic colleagues at MIT stepped up to the task, designed the initial platform and helped Shu set up the pilot.

Especifica tanto el alcance como la escala del impacto social de tu solución hasta la fecha.

Since Feb 2010, we have received 58,000+ calls from 7,000+ unique phone numbers and have published about 900 reports. 71% of our calls are from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, 11% from Jharkhand and Bihar, the rest from Rajasthan, Delhi etc.
Many of these reports have been picked up by the national and international press, some with credit. Moreover, our follow-up network has been proven capable of tracking stories about one individual or issue by multiple sources. E.g. the case of Mr. Pitbasu Bhoi, a labourer who was not paid by the MNREGA scheme was reported by two independent journalists and later picked up by mainstream media
Swara has also helped empower our citizen journalists, by providing training, support and exposure to mainstream media.
We have also carried out training programmes for citizen journalists and moderators, the last one in collaboration with the Indian Ministry of Culture’s Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti.

¿Qué impacto esperas que tenga tu iniciativa en los próximos 1-5 años? ¿Es una idea aplicable a otros ámbitos? En caso afirmativo, ¿cómo se podría aplicar?

Over the next 5 years we envision connecting communities across the country using a network of phone and web accessible audio channels, allowing users to create and access audio content from their cellphones, creating a “voice-web”. To this end we plan to develop an open technology platform that can be leveraged by communities everywhere to build their own applications and manage their own content.
We also plan to develop a partnership and training program to get communities started with the platform and how to use it to spark and sustain follow up action on issues raised by the community.

Las mejores iniciativas presentan un plan sólido para su crecimiento. Identifica tu indicador a seis meses para incrementar tu impacto.

Expand reach by starting 3 regional chanels with training for users and moderators in partnership with like-minded organizations

Tareas a 6 meses
Tarea 1

Set up channels with independent moderators in Jharkhand, Orissa and MP

Tarea 2

Set up partnerships with organizations such as GramVani to share content and resources

Tarea 3

Host 3 citizen journalism workshops to train contributors, one for each channel

Ahora piensa en los objetivos a más largo plazo. Identifica tu objetivo de impacto a doce meses.

Design & standardize technology/proceses that comunities can use to conect to a netwrk of linkd voice chanels that share content

Tareas a 12 meses
Tarea 1

Work in collaboration with GramVani and others to merge features and design an open, community supported, technology platform

Tarea 2

Work with grassroots partners, citizen journalists and activists to develop a training program for citizen journalists, moderato

Tarea 3

Raise funds to provide running costs and training and technology support for communities for free or at subsidized rates

¿Cuántas personas han sido afectadas por el proyecto?

1,001 - 10,000

¿Cuántas personas podrían verse afectadas por el proyecto en los próximos tres años?

Más de 10,000

Explica la estructuración de tu empresa, programa, producto o servicio

Entidad indefinida

¿Qué obstáculos han dificultado el éxito de tu proyecto hasta la fecha? ¿Cómo tienes pensado superar estos y otros obstáculos al ir desarrollando tu solución?

1.Scaling up moderation: Moderation requires time and commitment, often difficult to sustain at no cost. Moderators have to verify news reports with the community and this requires training. We plan to distribute the task by having separate channels per language, each with a paid moderator. To sustain this, communities could eventually contribute to support the moderator.
2. Call costs: To popularize the service, we began calling users back after they leave a missed call. We are reducing this cost by setting up efficient call routing and encouraging users who can afford it to pay for their own calls.

¿Cómo valoras el cambio en los sectores de medios de comunicación y tecnología de la información en la próxima década? ¿Cómo se adaptará tu solución a este entorno cambiante? ¿Cómo podría impulsar tu solución esos cambios?

We envision an upsurge in the number of people in India with access to the Internet and that media will evolve to this new consumer model. The primary mode of information consumption and exchange will be the mobile phone. By being well connected to the community at the forefront of the adoption curve in rural and semi-urban India, we feel that we are uniquely positioned to create the maximum impact

El fracaso no es siempre una opción. Si tu solución no funciona en los dos próximos años, ¿qué otras aplicaciones de la idea podrías investigar?

Given that smartphone penetration in rural India is set to shoot up, with companies like Micromax and Lava bringing out feature and smartphones at mass market prices. Irrespective of whether voice gains traction, we will be targeting that wave early on to find other applications for the same platform.
By making the project open source, we are ensuring that innovation will continue from the community regardless of our success

Desarrolla la información proporcionada explicando la forma de mantenimiento de la financiación

We are currently grant and donation funded. However, in the long term, we see a possibility of a revenue stream from a hosting service model, where in communities interested in running an audio platform will be able to sign up for an account and manage their own content from an administration interface. We could also supplement this revenue stream by providing paid training programs in citizen journalism and audio content management. A tertiary revenue stream could be advertising and content syndication, where in mainstream media could sponsor some citizen journalists in an area that they are interested in.

Cuéntanos sobre tus alianzas.

Our core funding is through the Knight International Journalism Felowship Program, managed by the International Center for Journalists. We aditionaly work with other organizations at a program level basis, e.g. Ministry of Culture’s Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti recently hosted one training program with us and we have another lined up at the end of September with another agency
We also have many grasroots partners including Sitara and Prasoon. Our grasroots partners help mobilize citizen journalists and folow up on isues raised by the comunity.

¿Con qué clase de equipo (ej., personal laboral, voluntarios, etc.) tienes pensado alcanzar los objetivos de crecimiento identificados en la sección Impacto social?

We invite people with a passion for empowering communities through technology to work with us, particularly individuals and organizations interested in partnering with us on technology, to develop new features for the platform, multilingual people who speak at least one language from the region to moderate and translate messages and finally people interested in following up on messages in action.

Changemakers es un espacio de colaboración y apoyo. Especifica los recursos de la comunidad que necesitarías para el mantenimiento y desarrollo de tu iniciativa. [Selecciona todas las opciones aplicables.]

Inversión, Talento y Recursos Humanos, Marketing y medios, Investigación e información, Colaboración y redes, Ayuda gratuita (de tipo legal, financiero, etc.), Innovación e ideas, Asesoramiento.

Especifica los recursos que podrías ofrecer para colaborar al desarrollo de otras iniciativas. [Selecciona todas las opciones aplicables.]

Talento y Recursos Humanos, Investigación e información, Colaboración y redes, Innovación e ideas, Asesoramiento.

Explica con más detalle las necesidades u ofertas que has mencionado anteriormente o sugiere categorías de apoyo no especificadas en la lista
Define tu empresa, programa, producto o servicio con una o dos frases breves

CGNet Swara: Call 08041137280 and speak to the world in your own voice, from wherever you are, using tools you already have.