Journal: Public Diplomacy & Social Networking

02 Diplomacy, 11 Society, Mobile, Real Time

State to award grants to increase social networking in the Middle East, North Africa

By Gautham Nagesh 10/09/2009

The State Department recently unveiled a pilot program that will award up to $5 million in grants to expand the use of social networking technologies in the Middle East with the goal of increasing citizen engagement and civic participation.

In an announcement released on Sept. 25, the department said it will award five organizations between $500,000 and $2.5 million to expand the availability of social networking and new media capabilities in the Middle East and North Africa. The program is sponsored by the Middle East Partnership Initiative, part of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department.

Phi Beta Iota: On balance, positive.  More positive would be a global initiative to give away cell phones and free connectivity to the five billion poor starting in India and China.

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