Social media can be defined as web-based applications that enable end-users to interchange electronic content. There are different forms of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, Storify, Slideshare, among several others. These tools have emerged in recent years as a powerful and widespread communication platform and are being used in a wide range of areas such as agricultural and rural development, environmental protection, education, public health, or disaster communication and management.
Recognizing the prevalence of social media and its potential for socio-economic development, and in response to the increasing demand from the region for capacity building resource in this area, the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology Development (UN-APCICT/ESCAP) organized a “Regional Workshop on Social Media for Development” on 30 June – 2 July 2014 in Incheon, Republic of Korea, with the following key objectives:
• Facilitate regional dialogue among various stakeholders from the government, development organizations, civil society, academia and private sector on the potential and applications of social networks for development;
• Promote an exchange of perspectives, experiences, and lessons learned;
• Build capacities of government officials and ICT4D stakeholders on effective deployment of social media in development;
• Promote APCICT’s latest Academy Module on Social Media for Development as a learning resource for government officials and policymakers of countries in Asia and the Pacific.
The three day workshop with more than 40 participants from 31 countries were attended by government officials, public information officers, ICTD and social media experts and practitioners from Asia and the Pacific countries. The workshop was divided into 6 main sessions: Social Media & Society, Social Media & Governance, Social Media as Development Tool, Social Media Applications in Development, Social Media & Disaster Risk Management and Social Media & Public Communications.
YPARD Nepal representative has received an official invitation as one of the panelists on the session- Social Media Applications in Development, and I joined the event via Skype to speak about using social media to engage youth in agricultural development from Nepalese scenario. I felt really proud to attend the event and to share our initiatives about what we are doing at YPARD Nepal. Thanks to Mr. Michael Riggs (Program Officer, UN-APCICT/ESCAP) for offering me big opportunity!