Unfortunately, the philosophy of ‘build it and they shall come’ rarely works. It would be nice if a great digital project simply took off through word-of-mouth and little else, but even the very best projects require marketing, awareness raising and a strategy to get people using them. Mzalendo in Kenya became one of – if not the – first parliamentary monitoring sites in Africa when it launched a couple of years ago. The site allows users to find their MPs, look at the allocations of constituency development funds and read Hansard transcripts of parliamentary debates and access the constitution. In the year from February 2012 to 2013, the site gained some 1.13 million pageviews, 60% of which came from people aged 18-35. In addition, data garnered from the site has been used in news reports and articles in several Kenyan newspapers and websites. In order to further increase their profile and raise the visibility of their work, we have awarded Mzalendo Trust a grant of £14,714.30. The money will be used to hire a programme assistant to help with social media marketing, host two media workshops with journalists and pay for online ad space. Mzalendo hope to be able to drive traffic to their site, get more Facebook likes, Twitter followers and – by extension – increase awareness of parliamentary matters in Kenya.
Grant awarded to Mzalendo
Awarded on 17 Sep 2014
Democratic participation and civil society, Free flow of information
Grant amount £14,714.30