SMUG & Icebreakers Uganda

SMUG & Icebreakers Uganda
KAMPALA, 2017
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The team consisted of two CSO representatives Grace from SMUG and Elvis from Icebreakers. They were matched with a creative team headed up by DATA4CHANGE alumni Sarah from Lebanon. Their team consisted of Fridah (graphic designer from Kenya), Kollin (developer from Uganda) , Solomon (data analyst from Ethiopia, and Bjorn (journalist from Sweden).

The team consisted of two CSO representatives Grace from SMUG and Elvis from Icebreakers. They were matched with a creative team headed up by DATA4CHANGE alumni Sarah from Lebanon. Their team consisted of Fridah (graphic designer from Kenya), Kollin (developer from Uganda) , Solomon (data analyst from Ethiopia, and Bjorn (journalist from Sweden).

Having two CSOs collaborate on a campaign was a first at DATA4CHANGE, but the SMUG and Icebreaker team was able to collaborate on what has proven to be one of the most successful campaigns in both organisations’ recent history.

Both organisations have experience of working on mental health issues in the LGBT population in Uganda. SMUG run a project on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and the mental health repercussions from that and Icebreakers run clinics where clients come with physical and mental health issues.

Neither organisation had any substantial data on these issues but had a lot of qualitative reports and information. Together with their creative team they went on an open data hunt to create a joint campaign on mental health for the Ugandan LGBT community.

 

THE DATA

This project is a perfect example of how you can create something really useful and powerful using open data and adding CSO qualitative information to create something that resonates with the target audience. The team went on a joint data hunt and they found a number of datasets that they could use to generate a debate about mental health in the LGBT community, they included datasets from WHO, AFRO, Makerere University/Karolinska institute, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, UN Database on violence against women and more. Coupled with first person testimonies from Ugandan LGBT people suffering from mental health issues the team were able to create a data-driven campaign.

OBJECTIVES

The campaign has three goals. Firstly, inform LGBT people how to recognise signs of mental health issues. This is because mental health is still a taboo subject and in some Ugandan dialects there is not even a word for “depression”.

Secondly, the campaign wanted to tackling the stigma of mental health in and tell sufferers that “you are not alone”. Thirdly, it wanted to provide concrete and practical help.

 

RESULT

The team created a multiplatform campaign consisting of a mobile-first design website with easy to understand infographics and case studies, social media assets based on the data and case studies, interactive quiz that can be shared on social media and whatsapp, as well as a Facebook ChatBot and a Toll Free Help Line that people can call.

In addition to this the creative team helped the CSOs to design and print posters, T-shirts, pamphlets (available in English and Lunganda) and more. Although it was launched in December 2017, See The Invisible campaign is still going strong today and there is now an private Facebook support group that also does regular meet-ups in real life around Uganda where people can discuss mental health issues in a safe and supportive environment.

The #SeeTheInvisible campaign was the most successful online campaign we did in 2017 because we even got people who volunteered on their own — this rarely happens — to tell their story about mental health and depression. As a result we now have various community leaders and members of the public quoting the campaign while speaking about mental health issues, as well as international journalists wanting to know more about the campaign and writing about it.
— Grace Waitherero, Head of Communication, Sexual Minorities Uganda
Bronwen Robertsonk-17