The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is launching CrowdOutAIDS.org, an online collaborative project to crowdsource its new strategy on youth and HIV—a first in the UN system.
Crowdsourcing is a technique used to rapidly engage large numbers of interested people to develop strategies, solve problems or propose relevant and fresh ideas. With around 3000 young people aged 15-24 becoming infected with HIV daily, leveraging new modes of communication and online collaboration with young people is essential for an effective response to HIV.
“We’re asking youth around the world to debate, draft and work with UNAIDS to implement this new strategy,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “It is absolutely critical that we engage young people—not as recipients of our messages but as the actors and creators of change.”
CrowdOutAIDS.org is a completely new way for UNAIDS to develop policy on HIV. It will use crowdsourcing technologies and familiar online tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Renren to ensure youth engagement and action in the AIDS response.
CrowdOutAIDS.org follows a four-step model and is open to anyone aged 15-29. Young people will be able to shape the new strategy from conceptualization to final drafting via a wiki-platform.
“It is important to involve young people in policy development in order for our views, expectations and aspirations to be fully represented,” said Jennifer Ehidiamen, a blogger and journalist from Nigeria, and online content curator for CrowdOutAIDS.org. “CrowdOutAIDS.org is an innovative way to build a strong community, interested in sharing solution-based ideas and actions on AIDS.”
The project will run over a period of two months with the final crowdsourced strategy being produced in January, 2012.
To find out more, visit www.CrowdOutAIDS.org, and follow @UNAIDS and #CrowdOutAIDS on Twitter