[Guest blog post by Emer Beamer, co-founder at Butterfly Works]

In 2010 it was noted on the Ushahidi blog that when running a full Ushahidi campaign, installing the software was only 10% of the work. The Toolkit we have just launched aims to cover the other 90% including a ‘How To’ and a Case Study, plus guidelines for evaluating the efficiency and impact of your campaign. Also the visual graphics we used in our campaigns are in the Kit.
We hope it will inspire and assist others in their campaign design processes.

Butterfly Toolkit No.1 - Social Change Campaigns
Toolkit pdf Cover

The contents are based on our experiences running two peace campaigns using Ushahidi, to name: ‘Unsung Peace Heroes‘  which was run in the aftermath of the post election violence in Kenya, 2008 with early Ushahidi software and later the Building Bridges Peace campaign in 2010. This again was rung with Ushahidi only this time incorporated into a Joomla! Site. In both campaigns we partnered with Media Focus on Africa and NairoBits.

The Toolkit, called Butterfly Toolkit No. 1: Designing social change campaigns also includes the zipped software to run Ushahidi in a Joomla! site and the necessary documentation.


Who’s it for?

Joomla! Developers, Social Change activists, researchers and perhaps you.

Joomla! Developers who want to have the Ushahidi mapping tool incorporated into their Joomal! Sites.
You can see how we combined it here in the Building Bridges site, the advantage to us was that we had more control over the visual styling and could add the functionality, that a project could be updated over time. If you install community builder component swell you can easily expand) you your Ushahidi mapping site with profile functionality for all your users. In the software section can download the software, the documentations and see a demo version.


Toolkit website

Social Change activists who want to know more about how a crossmedia campaign can help their cause. In the How To section of the toolkit there are steps to follow in order to focus, design, run and evaluate your campaign. And for the non-designers out there, we have shared all the graphics, logo, t-shirt designs and poster designs from the Building bridges campaign, for others to use as they please.


Images and designs for download


Researchers, in the Case Study, based on our and Media Focus on Africas’ experiences and the research done by a Kenyan research team we share the lessons learned. We sought answers to questions such as:
– what motivated folk to take part, (was it the competition element or the chance to interact with like minded peacemakers) and
– was it meaningful to their peace work to take part in such a mapping campaign.

We were pleasantly surprised by the engagement expressed by participants and their wish to continue to invest in a sustainable peace movement. On the other hand the prevailing gap between rural and city in patterns of new media usage was confirmed. Despite our best efforts, for example engaging more than 12 rural radio stations and working with Peacenet local counterparts throughout the country, and making it posible to engage with the campaign using only sms or voice, the campaign strategies still favoured an urban public.


Case Study contents



Relevant Links

Butterfly Toolkit No.1: Designing social change campaigns

Building Bridges Peace campaign (website)

Unsung Peace Heroes campaign, (website)

Download the Case study PDF, about Building Bridges campaign

Download the ‘How To’ PDF, Design a Social Change campaign


You, for whatever causes or plans one has, we hope the Toolkit will find many applications. Our partner in Cambodia is using the Toolkit (amongst other strategies) to run a country wide two year fair elections campaign there, in Mexico an underground music group are starting to map and connect the upcoming music scene and in Pakistan a partner is looking into mapping school quality in relation to cases of teacher absenteeism and other indicators.

If you have suggestions we’ll be glad to hear, the software has some known issues which could be improved and if you have plans for social change campaigns we’ll be glad to connect and support if possible. Of course mainly we hope this toolkit will inspire and help other to do social change campaigns for a better world.