Reimagining Online Outreach for Field Programs in the Middle East
This summer I was given a blank directive to help improve the online and social media presence of the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a program of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Near East Affairs. Drawing from Prof. Herb's consistent refrain to spend more time focusing on the problem before working with my team to brainstorm solutions, I started with surveys of my team members and consultations with other teams in the Near East Affairs office tasked with social media. From those consultations, I outlined the user experience and the many challenges my colleagues face when receiving content from program implementers and sharing that content to social media. From there, I leveraged existing relationships within the Bureau to facilitate improved social media workflows, drafted a MEPI Social Media Strategy, presented guidelines to my colleagues on how best to submit content to the outreach team, and networked with other interns in my office who helped my team translate English-language content on the MEPI website into Arabic. Special thanks to my GHD classmates who consulted with me on social media strategy!