Bali, Indonesia, November 15, 2023 – On Global Media and Information Literacy Week, the ASEAN Foundation, with support from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, hosted the ASEAN Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) Impact Forum in Bali, Indonesia from November 14 to 16, 2023. Under the theme “Navigating Digital Resilience: Empowering ASEAN Communities through Digital Literacy,” the impact forum highlights the achievements and impact of 2-year program implementation in ten ASEAN Member States.
Additionally, ASEAN DLP mission in combating misinformation and disinformation by providing digital literacy training across ASEAN countries also aligns perfectly with UNESCO’s theme for this year’s Global Media and Information Literacy Week, “Media and Information Literacy in Digital Spaces: A Collective Global Agenda.”
After nearly two years of implementation, ASEAN DLP has successfully conducted 61 Training of Trainers sessions, involving approximately 1,451 Master Trainers across the region, in collaboration with 15 local implementing partners. As of November 2023, the program has seen 193,955 individuals benefiting from 2,647 digital literacy workshops. This exceeds ASEAN DLP’s initial target of reaching 100,000 people within a two-year period.
In the Philippines, the program has empowered 214 Master Trainers and 41,340 participants and has worked with Break the Fake Movement and Limitless Lab as a local implementing partner.
Furthermore, the ASEAN Youth Advisory Group (YAG) has conducted 12 impactful online and on-site digital literacy campaigns across ASEAN countries, directly benefiting 3,881 individuals and achieving an impressive combined social media reach of over 930,000.
One of the campaigns is run by Miguel Lopez, an ASEAN YAG member from the Philippines, who initiated The Real Deal. The campaign aims to address digital misinformation and disinformation and issues on mental health. The campaign successfully trained 158 youth and reached 31,583 people through a social media campaign.
The ASEAN DLP Impact Forum brings together local implementing partners, Master Trainers, mentors, ASEAN YAG members, representatives of Google.org, the ASEAN Secretariat, and members of the Board of Trustees of the ASEAN Foundation to celebrate these remarkable achievements. Through a grand assembly, insightful panel discussions, and engaging workshops on various digital literacy topics, the forum aimed to raise awareness of digital literacy, foster collaboration among stakeholders, and provide the necessary tools and strategies needed to promote digital inclusion and address digital challenges across ASEAN.
Dr. Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, shared, “The achievement of ASEAN DLP is a collective accomplishment involving the active participation and dedication of all stakeholders involved in the program. Having a shared purpose of creating a safer digital space has brought us one step closer to the vision of developing a digitally inclusive Southeast Asia. Equipped with digital literacy knowledge and skills, the ASEAN DLP beneficiaries are the agents of change in the fight against online disinformation and misinformation in their respective communities.”
Marija Ralic, Lead for Google.org APAC, expressed her pride in supporting ASEAN DLP, “The ASEAN Foundation’s Digital Literacy Programme has achieved remarkable results and also touched lives, sparking positive change across Southeast Asia. The commitment, dedication, and passion demonstrated by all participants, trainers, and organizations are truly inspiring and we are proud to support this initiative through Google.org. As we continue on our journey toward a safer internet, let us draw inspiration from these stories of transformation and empowerment. ” Previously , Google.org supported the ASEAN Foundation with a $1.5 million grant to aid the implementation of ASEAN DLP from 2022 to 2024.
DigitalClassASEAN.org Spearheads Digital Literacy Efforts Across ASEAN
As part of its commitment to enhancing digital literacy across the region, ASEAN DLP has launched its digital literacy e-learning platform, DigitalClassASEAN.org. The platform targets not only the youth but also educators, community leaders, government officials, the elderly, and people with disabilities. It prioritises inclusivity and accessibility, offering tools to assist individuals with disabilities in their learning journey.
DigitalClassASEAN.org offers five main modules covering essential and relevant topics in digital literacy, namely digital citizenship, media and information literacy, misinformation and disinformation, positive online participation, and other special topics, including social media etiquette, digital parenting, and avoiding online scams. The ASEAN Foundation collaborated with the Break the Fake Movement, ASEAN DLP’s local implementing partner and a fact-checking organization in the Philippines, for module development. Both the modules and the platform are available in eight ASEAN local languages: Bahasa Indonesia, Melayu, Khmer, Tagalog, Thai, Lao, Burmese, and Vietnamese. Upon completing all chapters, learners will receive a downloadable certificate of accomplishment.
The ASEAN DLP Impact Forum was attended by key figures from the ASEAN Secretariat, Members of the Board of Trustees of the ASEAN Foundation, government representatives, Google representatives, UNESCO and VERA Files.