The U.S. Agency for International Development launched a new citizen engagement campaign today aimed at raising awareness to the devastating famine in the Horn of Africa, Administrator Raj Shah announced.
The campaign includes a new website, USAID.gov/FWD and is centered on using a strong online presence and social media to raise awareness, and includes number of new ways of engaging with the public including infographics, tool kits that people can use to learn about the crisis in simple, clear ways and a series of interactive maps to communicate the crisis.
The FWD stands for Famine, War and Drought, the three major crises that have led to the devastation. The campaign includes a text to donate initiative and will includes a series of celebrity PSAs and high profile partnerships with companies like Goolge, Facebook, Twitter and Pepsico.
“We’re particularly excited about the interactive maps,” USAID Director of New Media Haley van Dyck tells FedScoop. “USAID is one of the premiere data collectors in the international development space, and we want to start making that data open, making that data sharable, and using that data to tell stories about the crisis and the work we are doing on the ground in an interactive way.”
She continued, “In the past we release our data in inaccessible formats –mostly PDFs—that are often unable to be used effectively. Today, we have released interactive maps built using open source tools and published the data sets we used to make these maps on data.gov.”