This project will address the information gap which exists in the South Caucasus - Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan - between human rights issues and how these issues reach populations, which is not through evidence, but largely through anecdotes, myth, rumor, and outside agendas - both political and special interest.
JumpStart sees three problems contributing to this information gap which we are in a position to address. The first is the culture of sensationalism in the South Caucasus media which precludes prioritizing facts over rumor rather than being a source of accurate information and effectively equipping citizens to make better decisions about issues within society. The second is the limitations of advocacy groups and CSOs who, while they maybe are used to working with data, aren’t often able to present it to audiences in consumable and attractive ways. The third is a lack of meeting points between these two groups - media organizations which have the audience and CSOs which have the evidence - and culture of cooperation between both.
JumpStart seeks to tackle these problems head-on by continuing and building on the work begun two years ago through Visualizing the News in Georgia (VNG) and then Visualizing for Data-driven Advocacy (VDA). We will continue to partner with CSOs and media organizations to develop their data literacy, inspire them by showing how technology, design, and creativity can engage, and to equip them with tools and technologies built to meet their needs. This project will strengthen media and CSO organizations capacities to find, use, and communicate important evidence to better report human rights and social issues to citizens.