Building our Clinton Commitment

Those following kiwanja's work will remember last September's invitation to the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, where we proposed the "FrontlineSMS Ambassadors Programme" as our 2009/2010 Commitment. This Commitment was announced live on-stage during the ‘Poverty and Information’ workshop on the final day, and I also had the huge honour of meeting President Clinton in person, who presented me with our Commitment certificate. kiwanja-President-Clinton-CGi2008

Of course, now the work really starts. Since New York much has happened, including the receipt of a significant grant from the Hewlett Foundation. Portions of this funding will be used in the coming weeks to kick off the first phase of the Ambassadors Programme, which is part of wider efforts to promote the use of FrontlineSMS among the NGO community. This first initiative will be based around Josh Nesbit's innovative health-based efforts in Malawi, and Josh - who will be project managing the work - will provide updates nearer the time via his blog and Twitter feed.

Future initiatives will take in other key target areas where FrontlineSMS has shown its versatility. These include agriculture, education, conservation and human rights, among others. For regular updates feel free to subscribe to the blog RSS or FrontlineSMS Twitter feeds.

Call to arms: Meeting our Clinton Commitment

It's not every day you get to glance around the room and see the likes of Bono, Al Gore, Mohammed Ali, Tony and Cherie Blair, Olusegun Obasanjo, John McCain, Bill Gates, the Queen of Jordan and Bill Clinton. I'm just back from an incredible week where I did just that, thanks to a complimentary invitation to this year's Clinton Global Initiative (CGi) annual meeting in New York. cgi-11

Despite the line-up there wasn't too much time to get star-struck. Condition of membership - worth a whopping $20,000 - is that new CGi members make a 'commitment', outlining an idea which, when implemented, is expected to "impact on the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world over the next ten years". kiwanja's commitment might not reach such dizzy heights, but it was deemed significant enough to be announced live on-stage during the 'Poverty and Information' workshop on Friday.

kiwanja's commitment - the FrontlineSMS Ambassadors Programme - seeks to increase the scale of FrontlineSMS use among the global grassroots NGO community. By the end of 2010 our commitment is to reach an additional 5,000 users through a combination of:

  • Identifying leading international organisations working in key areas of education, energy and climate change, global health and healthcare delivery, and poverty alleviation

  • Training Ambassadors within each organisation how to use FrontlineSMS and how to leverage the software's rapid prototyping capabilities in order to meet needs and outcomes

  • Charging individual Ambassadors within each organisation with the promotion and implementation of FrontlineSMS use within their organisations and organisational area of influence

  • Recruiting teams of volunteer Ambassadors from civil society

  • Enabling individual Ambassadors to report use, constituency impacts and measurable outcomes derived through FrontlineSMS implementation

  • The development of a FrontlineSMS Ambassadors website and resource centre

The commitment is due to start in January 2009. Between now and then we're going to need help in two critical areas. If you're a web developer interested in volunteering a little time to help us get a site together, please get in touch. Or, if you have project management skills and are interested in helping plan and co-ordinate this exciting new Programme, drop me a line. Alternatively, if you know anyone else who might be interested in helping out in either of these areas, please let them know. If you're new to FrontlineSMS and want to find out a little more, check out this recent Blog post, or check out the project website.

Help empower the grassroots NGO community, and help take FrontlineSMS to new heights.

Make your own commitment to help us reach ours.