1 of 5 Palestinian civil society organizations are not on social media. Only 8% of organizations allocate a monthly budget of $500 for their accounts on social media. 59.5% of organizations do not have a social media budget.
Ramallah - Haifa, 18/10/2021 - 7amleh - the Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media released a new survey titled "Assesment of the Digital Performance of Palestinian NGOs," which aims to study and better understand the digital activity of Palestinian civil society organizations in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and Israel, by analyzing the digital presence of said organizations, as well as their investment in media, social media, digital security and digital advocacy. Ultimately, the study aims to shed light on the digital needs of organizations, as well as the challenges they encounter in conveying their messages to their audience.
This survey comes in the aftermath of the digital shift that Palestinian civil society organizations have recently witnessed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which has made it a necessity to stay up-to-date with digital developments. In the case of civil society organizations, this has meant that their presence in the digital world as well as integration of digital campaigning became a major part of their daily work in the past two years. It also made staying up-to-date with the latest digital security techniques fundamental for the safety of their workers.
The survey is based on analyzing the work methodologies of Palestinian NGOs, through examining their presence in the digital space, and demonstrating the challenges that these organizations encounter in their work on digital campaigns and/or managing their pages on social media to communicate with the public. The survey team used multiple methodologies to reach the results presented in the report, including a survey of more than 127 Palestinian organizations, 3 focus groups of representatives from such NGOs, in addition to holding 9 individual interviews with workers in the Palestinian civil sector.
The findings of the survey regarding the media aspect of organizations, revealed a general need stated by nearly all the participants to strengthen the work of organizations in media, as the data showed that about 58% of the organizations do not have a media unit, and 34% do not have a media coordinator.
As for social media, the results of the survey revealed a clear communication gap between organizations and the Palestinian public. The results of the survey showed that one fifth of the NGOs surveyed are not present on social media platforms, and that nearly 60% do not allocate a budget for social media, while 32% are not interested in analysing and monitoring their performance on social media platforms.
As for digital security, the survey showed a need to enhance and raise awareness among organizations in this aspect, especially since institutions in the Palestinian context are more at risk of being targeted in the digital world, as the survey showed that 39% of institutions consider their work sensitive and dangerous, while 40% do not take any measures to strengthen their digital security.
The survey also sheds light on the impact the Coronavirus pandemic had on the work of civil society organizations, and specifically focuses on the shift in the design and form of their events and programs during the pandemic. The study revealed that organizations whose target audience are in Gaza have had to transform their work style by 66%, while those targeting the international audience were the least affected, as their events and programs only changed by 24%.
Generally, the most prominent challenges organizations face have to do with the management of their accounts on social networks. The survey showed that 73.02% of organizations face a challenge in terms of allocating budgets for social media management, and 56.35% face challenges related to workers, professionals and experts in social media management. 42.86% of the organizations face difficulties related to the tools, and 40.48% of the institutions suffer from the difficulty of reaching their target audience, in addition to a group of other challenges, which constitute 7.14% of the numerous challenges that hinder these organizations from continuing their digital work.
This research comes as part of 7amleh’s ongoing work to build and improve the capacity of Palestinian NGOs, to be able to keep up with the developments in the digital world.
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