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May 13, 2019

Social Media Advocacy in Action: United Nations Road Safety Week

Last week, the Global Health Advocacy Incubator engaged partners, experts and global advocates to convene a Twitter chat to mark United Nations Road Safety Week. Participants in more than 25 countries joined the conversation, generating more than 500 posts and earning 4.5 million impressions – an enormous reach for the international road safety community.

GHAI currently supports advocacy campaigns to save lives on the roads in five countries. UN Road Safety Week brings global attention to one of the leading causes of death, especially for children, and our digital media experts seized the moment, putting together a toolkit to support local coalitions working to advance laws that save lives on the roads.

Our technical assistance and hands-on, 24-hour-a-day strategic support led advocacy coalitions in Tanzania, India and the Philippines to engage with each other, the international road safety community, and key leaders and policymakers in their respective countries through the Twitter chat. These meaningful connections build important momentum for the policy change these local advocates are working to advance. The Twitter chat showed the depth and reach of the road safety community, as a number of key partners also engaged with the online conversation, including AAP Global Health, NCD Child, and Humanity and Inclusion.

Media advocacy continues to drive success in a number of GHAI policy change campaigns, but beyond the traditional earned media strategy, capitalizing on and creating new digital media opportunities has proven to be a vital way to engage with policymakers highly attuned to public opinion and viral content, as well as to build capacity of organizations and advocates ready to tell their stories online.