Cyprus Mail

Mahallae: a new digital engagement platform

As it nears its full launch date, Mahallae, the pioneering online platform for civic engagement, is organising a series of events that will take place in the buffer zone.

The platform will first be introduced to the public as part of a meet-up event at the Home for Cooperation on January 23. Next, later in the week, a workshop will take place on the morning of January 24, to help participants come up with innovative ideas for the Mahallae Challenges that will be announced in March of this year, guiding participants to come up with creative, out of the box solutions that use technology for social change.

First in a series of events, Mahallae will be introduced to the public during a meet-up event on January 23, 2014 at the Home for Cooperation. During the event, guests will have the opportunity to interact with the creative teams, whose efforts are hosted on the platform. The event is designed to not only give the public a chance to learn more about the platform but also to test various interactive tools which combine technology with civic engagement. Speaking about the series of events, members of the Mahallae team Mehmet Erdoğan and Ellada Evangelou expressed their excitement for this project. “We are excited to have the opportunity to present the public with another taste of the Mahallae platform”, said Mehmet, to which Ellada added “The final platform will not only incorporate interactive tools such as games, videos and apps, but also it will be a space for inter-regional civil society collaborations to take place as well.”

During a workshop later in the week, the creative team behind Mahallae will help participants come up with innovative ideas for the Mahallae Challenges that will be announced in March of this year, by taking them through a process of facilitated brainstorming. With five hands-on activities, the workshop will give participants tools to help think outside the box and find creative solutions that use technology for social change. Participants are also given a chance come up with concrete ideas that they may later use to submit to the Challenge when it is officially announced.

In early 2014, Mahallae will launch its first Challenge, inviting social innovators to come up with innovative ideas to tackle challenges in different areas relating to social cohesion and reconciliation. Winning ideas will receive grants to be developed into projects.

The workshop will take place at the Home For Cooperation, between 09:30 and 14:00.

For both events, guests are encouraged to RSVP beforehand to [email protected] .

Mahallae is designed as a digital neighborhood that incorporates innovation and digital technology into the work of civil society and those looking to create positive change in their neighbourhoods and communities. The platform includes games, tools and resources; it has a space where people can come together to create new initiatives and receive support and funding; finally, it will feature stories of civic engagement and social change.

The digital neighborhood aims to reach not only the local Cypriot audiences, but people in the Middle East, North Africa and Central/Eastern European regions.

The efforts for the establishment of the Mahallae platform builds on the longstanding partnership between UNDP-Action for Cooperation and Trust and Cypriot civil society. Built in collaboration with the Mahallae and bringing together a number of civil society actors together, including Peace Players, Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC), Management Centre, the NGO Support Centre, Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR), Mediators and Conflict Resolution Trainers, Youth Power, and Language Bridge. More information on mahallae can be found at the Mahallae Facebook Page or Mahallae Twitter account.

“Mahallae is an excellent documentation of civic engagement efforts of Cypriot civil society through the years. It also allows good practices and examples to be shared with the peoples of different countries involved in  civic engagement efforts. It is an innovative tool that shows what people can do by joining forces” said Ellada Evangelou of the Mahallae team.

For more information please contact Ellada Evangelou at [email protected] or Mehmet Erdogan at [email protected]  .


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