Message in-a-box toolkit

Message in-a-box

Message in-a-box provides advocates with a host of tools and tactics for communicating a cause. It includes a set of strategic guides to using communications tools for social change, together with a suite of open source tools to get you making your own media. The toolkit is designed for small and medium-sized NGOs, advocates, and citizen journalists to help them create and distribute content for their advocacy efforts while exploring the constantly evolving world of campaigning and communications.


Recent years have seen a massive shift both in who produces media and how that media is produced. Free software tools and 'do it yourself' web applications are opening up new means of content creation and new channels for distribution for NGOs, journalists and individuals.


Despite the fact that these tools are free, there are still obstacles to NGOs using them effectively to make a difference to the marginalised communities they are working with.


Message in-a-box provides accessible and effective training materials on selected free software tools and web applications with a focus on giving people what they need to know in order to create and distribute content. The materials cover print publishing, using images, internet, audio, video and mobile phones.


The toolkit contains:

  • Strategy and tactics: Planning guides to help you choose the right medium for your campaign, plan your production and use your resources effectively.
  • How-tos: Quick projects to help you get started with open source tools.
  • Tools: More detailed tutorials and downloads for selected tools to help you create and distribute content.


“This manual is an excellent tool for citizen empowerment and it should be made available in every spoken language. I am presently working as a knowledge and communications consultant for an NGO and on my free time I update an advocacy volunteer group's blog. The information found in Message-in-a-Box is very useful and the examples can be adapted to our cause, which is the environment. This is an excellent manual and I would recommend it to anyone interested in promoting a cause.”
Anonymous, Latin America 



You'll find it on the Message in-a-box website and also as a booklet and DVD to enable those without internet access to make the most of the content. If you would like to order a copy for yourself or copies for an event you're organising, see our Order Toolkits and Guides page


This toolkit was first published in November 2008 and an updated version in September 2009. All the content is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.