ActionAid Australia, formerly Austcare, is currently in the process of launching the new brand and has taken a unique approach to open its work up to the Australian public.

The organisation will drop Stilgherrian, an independent political blogger and writer for Crikey.com, into a remote area of the United Republic of Tanzania.

ActionAid has charged Stilgherrian to set up a live video outpost in the remote region, training the local community to use it, thus enabling their voice to be heard and broadcast across the internet.

Using the power of social media for political change ActionAid Australia will raise the bar on much-needed awareness on the reality of life for the poor and marginalised in developing countries, as well as directly question corporate social responsibility policies, bringing the public into the heart of the debate.

Archie Law, CEO, ActionAid Australia said:

We know from research that for the public to engage with social causes, they need to see outcomes from their dollar donations, not just the devastation. This activity demonstrates both in the most visible way.

Law continued:

We know that engaging with social media is an important part of communicating with our supporters, that’s why we’ve chosen to launch in this way. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that any anti-poverty agency around the world has established blog outposts in this way. Using social media sites such as Twitter as well as engaging with bloggers also gives us a great way of reaching out to the Australian public in a more direct way.

Stilgherrian has only been outside of Australia once, on a holiday to Thailand. In Australia he is known as a vocal and often irreverent political commentator, however we are aware we will need to mentor and support him, as he will face things many people never see in a lifetime. We hope this opens up the conversation on the issues of social negligence, and our social responsibilities regardless of where we live in the world.

In typical social media style, Stilgherrian announced the ambitious project on his personal blog: http://stilgherrian.com/toto/project-toto-the-secretmission-has-begun/#more-4303

Over the coming weeks, a number of other initiatives will be revealed as part of this program. There will be numerous cultural and technology issues to address, both from Silgherrians’ reporting and the set up of the technology left in the field. The social activity will invite open discourse with ActionAid Australia as to solving those issues, getting them on the political agenda right through to enabling the unheard voice from the ground to live broadcast and be heard web-wide.

Law finished:

“We hope that Stilgherrian’s inaugural journey will be successful to generate the interest and engagement with what our organisation does and consequently paves the way for us to send other Australian bloggers into other countries to set up a community of blog outreach posts around the world, for the silenced voice to be heard and the social activist to be released.”