Jakarta, February 7, 2023 - On Safer Internet Day, ASEAN Foundation, with the support of Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, hosted the ASEAN Youth Advisory Group (ASEAN YAG) Regional Workshop from February 6th to 8th, 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The event was a part of ASEAN Digital Literacy Programme (ASEAN DLP) which aims to combat misinformation and disinformation by providing digital literacy training for youth, teachers, parents, the elderly, community leaders and government officials. The mission is in line with the slogan of Safer Internet Day, “Together for a Better Internet".
Through this workshop, nineteen youth members of ASEAN YAG from ten ASEAN countries were trained as the agent of change who will play an important role in raising the awareness about the importance of digital literacy to their peers and communities. The regional training equipped members of ASEAN YAG with the necessary knowledge and skill needed to run the awareness campaign they have planned. Media campaign strategy, formulating key messages, and engaging the grassroot community were some of the insights they have learned from the experts.
Furthermore, their media literacy awareness campaign could be extended to the regional level and have a greater impact on the ASEAN Community. They will also be involved in in-depth research and the establishment of an e-learning platform.
“Each of ASEAN Youth Advisory Group members we have appointed last year have impressive digital literacy insights, extensive grassroot network, and deep understanding of local context. They will run digital literacy campaigns in their communities to combat misinformation and disinformation, helping create a safer digital space in the region together with our local implementing partners and master trainers," said Dr. Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation.
After a year of implementation, ASEAN Foundation has successfully held 89 Training of Trainers with around 1,000 Master Trainers across the region in collaboration with 14 local implementing partners. As of early January 2023, over 68,000 people have benefited from 134 online and offline digital literacy workshops. It includes 283 Master Trainers and 16,240 participants in Indonesia. ASEAN DLP aims to reach more than 100,000 people in a 2-year period.
"We have seen how digitalization has accelerated the development of many key sectors in ASEAN in the last three years. However, the drastic acceleration of digital transformation has also contributed to the explosive growth of disinformation, misinformation, as well as misleading and harmful information in the region. The ASEAN Digital Literacy Program, organized by ASEAN Foundation with support from Google.org, is a crucial initiative. Its combination of activities that include training-of-trainers and ASEAN Youth Advisory Group will help raise the digital literacy awareness and skills of more than 100,000 people, including disadvantaged communities, so that they themselves can fight back against misinformation and create a safer internet for everyone,” said H.E. Amb. Heng Sarith, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Cambodia to ASEAN/Chair of AF BOT.
With a $1.5 million grant support from Google.org, ASEAN Foundation will continue its efforts to address misinformation and other online safety issues in all ten ASEAN member countries.
“We are proud to support the ASEAN Foundation in empowering people across the region with crucial media literacy and online safety skills that will be key in enabling them to remain vigilant as they navigate an increasingly online world. There is no doubt that the youth advisory group members present today will play a pivotal role in reaching deep within their communities to leverage various technologies and empower themselves, as well as those around them, to tackle misinformation. We are looking forward to the strides that this initiative will bring in creating a safer digital space within the ASEAN region,” Marija Ralic, Lead for Google.org APAC.
The ASEAN Youth Advisory Group Regional Workshop was also attended by ASEAN Senior Official Meeting on Responsible Information and Assistant Director Education, Youth and Sports Division, ASEAN Secretariat who delivered a panel discussion about Safer Internet Day, together with Common Room Network