mobile engagement

SMS Engagement in Pakistan: A Practical Guide for Civil Society, the Humanitarian Sector, and Government

Posted by EKStallings on Dec 19, 2011
SMS Engagement in Pakistan: A Practical Guide for Civil Society, the Humanitarian Sector, and Government data sheet 2471 Views
Linton Williams, Jim, Alex Gilchrist
Publication Date: 
Jun 2011
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Mobile phones are approaching ubiquity in Pakistan. Allowing low cost access to community members across class, linguistic and geographical boundaries,  the mobile phone can be an effective tool to communicate with ordinary people in Pakistan, as well as to learn from them, and even collaborate with them. This guide provides a research-driven and practical guide for using SMS  to  do  so.  It  is  intended  for  both  Pakistani  and international institutions, whether in government, civil society or the humanitarian sector. It represents the findings of its authors only, and, it is hoped, is the first draft of a collaborative document, to which many of its readers might contribute.

This document is intended to provide an understanding both of the range of technical options available for SMS-based communications, and of the ways  in  which  campaigns should be conceived and executed in light of the scope and character of both SMS use and phone use in Pakistan.

It also makes the argument that SMS provides an opportunity to do more with mobilebased communications than simple announcements and polling, useful activities though they are. It argues that the conversational nature of SMS, in Pakistan and elsewhere, allows 


No Releases 'How to Use Mobile for Polling and Engagement'

Posted by CorinneRamey on Jun 23, 2008

MobileActive releases the newest addition to our growing resource hub: Mobile Phones for Polling and Engagement.

Polling via SMS can be a unique way to engage current supporters and attract new audiences. Polls can ask any number of questions, from opinions about an organization to views on a controversial issue. However, perhaps the most valuable aspect of polling isn’t the feedback that organizations receive directly from a poll, but rather the relationships with constituents and growing mobile support base that polls can help build.

Organizations engage in mobile polling for two reasons:

  • to generate a list of mobile numbers to use for future communications and engagement
  • to get an informal sense of constituent views for use on an organization's web site, for generating media coverage, and learn more about a particular segment of its constituency.

Mobile Phones for Polling and Engagement includes a case study of polls conducted by Media Focus on Africa (MFAF) as part of their Election Assistance Campaign, which sought to promote civic participation and discussion of political issues prior to the December 2007 Kenyan elections. Through SMS polling, MFAF asked its constituents some tough questions.

Should politicians accused of corruption be prevented from vying for political seats? Is tribal identity more dominant than the identity of being a Kenyan? Can voting still deliver credible results after the chaotic party nominations and bribery?

The questions were advertised on television, radio shows, and newspaper advertisements. Thousands of Kenyans responded to the polls via SMS on their mobile phones, helping to bring issues of voting and civic participation into the national conversation.