During Global Media and Information Literacy Week, the ASEAN Foundation – with support from Google.org, Google's philanthropic arm – is hosting the ASEAN Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) Impact Forum in Bali, Indonesia from November 14-16, 2023.

Held under the theme "Navigating Digital Resilience: Empowering ASEAN Communities through Digital Literacy", the impact forum highlights the achievements and impacts of the of two-year programme's implementation in the 10 ASEAN Member States.

Additionally, the ASEAN DLP's mission to combat 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 some 1,451 Master Trainers across the region, in collaboration with 15 local implementing partners.

As of November 2023, the programme 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 Cambodia, the programme has empowered 89 Master Trainers and 7,165 participants, and has worked with Kampuchea Action to Promote Education (KAPE) 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 Raksa Ma, a Cambodian ASEAN YAG member who initiated PUTHI. 
The campaign aims to bring cyber crime awareness to first-year university students by providing them with a basic cyber-security course. 

PUTHI received support from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPTC), American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP), snoopedu, and the Italian Cambodia Business Association (ICBA).

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 aims 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, hailed the programme's shared efforts in "developing a digitally inclusive" region.

"The achievement of ASEAN DLP is a collective accomplishment involving the active participation and dedication of all stakeholders involved in the programme.

"Having a shared purpose of creating a safer digital space has brought us one step closer towards 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,” he said.

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 organisations is 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,” she said. 

Previously, Google.org supported the ASEAN Foundation with a $1.5 million grant to aid the implementation of ASEAN DLP from 2022 to 2024.

KAPE, as the implementing partner, has recorded great awareness among Cambodians in playing an active role in fighting misinformation and disinformation.

Sophanak Sar, EdTech Coordinator at KAPE, said: “KAPE is proud to be part of ASEAN DLP in building safer digital spaces. 

"During the four months of the programme, we have educated more than 7,200 people in 15 provinces across Cambodia who will be the agents of change, amplifying digital literacy awareness to their community.“

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, and positive online participation, as well as 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 organisation 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.

Key figures from the ASEAN Secretariat, Members of the Board of Trustees of the ASEAN Foundation and government representatives, as well as representatives from Google, UNESCO and VERA Files, attended the ASEAN DLP Impact Forum. 

About the ASEAN Foundation

Three decades after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established, its leaders recognised that there remained inadequate shared prosperity, ASEAN awareness and contact among the people of ASEAN. 

It was to address these concerns that the bloc's leaders established the ASEAN Foundation during the ASEAN 30th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on December 15, 1997.

The ASEAN Foundation is an organisation from and for the people of ASEAN. The Foundation exists because of one vision – to build a cohesive and prosperous ASEAN Community. 

As an ASEAN body, the Foundation is tasked to support the regional bloc mainly in promoting awareness, identity, interaction and development of the people of ASEAN. 

For more information about the ASEAN Foundation, visit: www.aseanfoundation.org.

About Google.org 

Google.org, Google’s philanthropy arm, brings the best of Google to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges combining funding, product donations and technical expertise to support underserved communities and provide opportunity for everyone. 

Google.org engages nonprofits, social enterprises and civic entities who make a significant impact on the communities they serve, and whose work has the potential to produce scalable, meaningful change.