RNW Media awarded €1.5 million by the Dutch Postcode Lottery

The Dutch Postcode Lottery (Nationale Postcode Loterij) has awarded €1.5 million to RNW Media to continue its crucial work in building online communities to connect and engage with young people in places where their human rights are under threat. These online communities allow young people to confidently claim their rights, assume their place in society and shape a better future.

The funding providing by the Dutch Postcode Lottery will focus on the vital work of RNW Media to further develop its digital media interventions, ensure digital literacy and digital agency and prevent online censorship. This grant builds upon the existing partnership between RNW Media and the Dutch Postcode Lottery that was established in 2018 to invest in RNW Media’s work.

Responding to the news, Jacqueline Lampe, CEO of RNW Media, said: “There are over 1.8 billion young people in the world today, 90% of whom live in developing countries. Yet so many of them do not have the possibility to unleash their true potential. In some places their rights are under threat or they can’t access reliable information and services related to important life topics such as sexual and reproductive health or multiple viewpoints on a political event, a taboo social topic or even their desired job. We at RNW Media strive to create online platforms for young people and open the way for them to explore a world beyond their reach. Thanks to the players of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, we are able to continue to work with our country partners and engage with as many young people as possible so they can make informed decisions.”

Understanding users through data
RNW Media’s Data Lake is a one-of-a-kind system in the NGO sector to capture digital data that gives us the insights needed to engage with young people. It comprises all of the data from our country partner platforms (websites and social media) in its raw form, with a dashboard enabling real time analysis to see what topics are ‘trending’. Young people participate in surveys, opinion polls and online discussions on our platforms and give us insight into what matters to them, what topics they find useful and how they think we can facilitate their aspirations. These valuable insights help us set up contextualised and targeted content and digital media strategies to cater to their needs. With the support of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, we can further develop our Data Lake system and its dashboards and so continue to serve young people’s needs. The Data Lake also helps our partners access research data on niche topics from love, sex and relationships to press freedom to the accessibility of young people to the job market and much more.

Digital accessibility & censorship
The funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery will also help us to find out ways to develop more accessible online communities. In many of the countries where we work, access to the internet can be limited, reliable information is scarce or censorship makes it impossible for young people to come together online. Many topics are taboo or too sensitive and discussing them without a safe inclusive space is impossible. We are constantly looking for new techniques to combat censorship and the spread of disinformation, as well as finding ways to get essential information to our users. With funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery, we will research and test different techniques to reach our communities even in restrictive settings and find new ways to help young people access online communities easier and faster.