Around the Institute

Burka Avenger! (And Other Musings about Advocacy)

September 6, 2013

Narcissism for a Social Cause 

Beth Kanter posted this lighthearted gem a few days ago, asking: are there cases where “selfies” can be used in support of a social cause?  Kanter tracked down a few examples of campaigns using these digital self-portraits in ways that direct attention to the issue—be it reading, immigration reform, education, youth activism—rather than to those fancy shades you just bought last weekend.  As we’ve written before, images can be quite powerful tools in your advocacy arsenal.  And with the “selfie,” there’s even a greater chance of drawing more people to the campaign ‘cause, well, if we see our friends doing it…   

USAID Advocacy Pointers

Next Tuesday, USAID’s Learning Lab is hosting a potentially compelling webinar on strategies for international advocacy titled “The Art of Advocacy.”  Folks from the Agency’s Office of Transition Initiatives will describe the process of developing what they call the “Lebanon Advocacy Index and Toolkit” which helped Lebanon-based staff plan for advocacy programming and channel resources to achieve the desired outcomes.  There’s sure to be a fair number of lessons shared, and a preview of USAID’s forthcoming “Advocacy Resource Center.”  Pretty neat, in our book.

Super Hero for Education

Super heroes and comic books have long been mediums for certain political and social messages: just think of Captain Planet or early super heroes fighting Nazis. Last month, a Pakistani production company, revealed its own version of social vigilantism in the form of Burka Avenger. Burka Avenger’s alter-ego, Jiya, is a school teacher by day and fights for female education by night. The creators hope the cartoon will have a positive impact on literacy and education in Pakistan, and so do we!