For the strategic use of new media


Our Book on the Strategic Use of New Media is Out!

Posted: December 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Sawtna is pleased to announce the publication of its Guidebook for the Strategic Use of New Media for Peaceful Social Change, authored by Dalia Haj-Omar. This is a practical guide promoting the strategic use of social media and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) for advocacy and peaceful change in Sudan and beyond. It targets the Sudanese civil society in its most diverse sense, including journalists, pro-democracy activists, youth movement members and humanitarian workers, as well as individual citizens desiring to increase their participation in public affairs. The guidebook accompanies the digital platform, “Sawtna”, launched in mid-2014 online at, on Twitter (@sawtna) and on Facebook  (

The guidebook draws from the experiences of social movements and civil society in Sudan, as well as Egypt, Iran and Kenya; in addition to civil society in other countries that used ICTs innovatively in digitally advocating for peaceful social change. The guide is a stimulating combination of case studies, interviews, analysis and infographics to help readers sharpen their digital communications and design better online campaigns; as well as be aware of global digital security challenges.

The guide is divided into five chapters covering blogging, Twitter, crisis mapping, crowdfunding and digital security. Highlights include an interview with the Sudanese online cartoonist Khalid Albaih, a case study on the digital campaign for the release of the Nuba Mountains activist Jamila Khamis, and a conversation with Amir Ahmad Nasr, one of Sudan’s first bloggers and the author of the book My Isl@m. Additionally, there are interviews with international civil society practitioners, including experts on crisis mapping and digital security. On the organizational side, the guide emphasizes the process and steps needed to launch social media advocacy campaigns, as well as crowdfunding campaigns.

The Guidebook is available in English and Arabic and can be downloaded fully or as separate PDF chapters below this announcement. Hard copies are available upon request with priority going to the Sudanese civil society. To request a hard copy, send us a message via the “contact us” page on Sawtna’s website.


Printabl PDFs

Sawtna Guidebook – All Chapters – English

Chapter 1: Blogging

  • Overview of the global conversation between activists and scholars of the internet and social media about the impact of ICTs on collective action.
  • Exploration of the Egyptian blogosphere before the 2011 revolution and the Sudanese blogosphere.
  • Why blogging still matters in the age of Facebook and Twitter.

Chapter 2: Twitter

  • Introduction to the micro-blogging social media platform Twitter.
  • The uses of Twitter and the extent of its global reach.
  • Interview with Sudanese cartoonist Khalid Albaih.
  • How to organize a successful social media campaign.
  • Case studies from Iran and Sudan on using Twitter for campaigns.

Chapter 3: Crisis Mapping

  • Introduction to basic concepts related to crowdsourcing with a focus on crisis mapping.
  • Discussion of different crisis mapping platforms, including Ushahidi.
  • Interview with Rebecca Chiao on fighting sexual harassment in Egypt through crisis mapping.
  • Interview with Fareed Zain regarding Sudan Vote Monitor.

Chapter 4: Crowdfunding

  • Introduction to the concept of crowdfunding.
  • Discussion of two crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
  • Crowdfunding in action in Sudan: #Nafeer.
  • Interview with Dimah Abdulkarim on crowdfunding for the Our Sudan film.

Chapter 5: Digital Security

  • Why digital security matters, especially in Sudan.
  • Internet freedoms in Sudan.
  • Protection against viruses, spyware and malware.
  • Using phones and mobile devices securely.
  • Resources for digital activists at risk.
  • Interview with Eric Johnson on the basics of digital security.
  • Interview with Abdel-Rahman El-Mahdi on the digital security challenges of Sudanese civil society.