Blog.
All about our Smart Donations trial
with Oxfam Austraila.

Shine a Light on Refugees

In a series of blogs, we’re going to explain the details of each different 'Smart Donation' you can sign up for through the Smart Donations app over the duration of the pilot.

In a series of blogs, we’re going to explain the details of each different ‘Smart Donation’ you can sign up for through the Smart Donations app. There are five themes in total, based on a range of different conditions and data sources, and which can be used to donate to a number of different Oxfam Australia projects. In each post, we’ll explain the causes, conditions and data involved, and give some examples of how the Smart Donation might play out.

What is this Smart Donation about?

The ‘Shine a Light on Refugees’ Smart Donation is about highlighting the issues facing refugees, and the role of online conversation. With this Smart Donation - whenever key politicians discuss refugees on Twitter, you can take action and make a small donation to Oxfam’s projects supporting refugees. In this way, while others are talking about refugees and migration, you can take an action that really makes a difference.

Beneficiary: Oxfam Refugee Projects

Funds from this Smart Donation will support Oxfam Australia’s refugee projects. These projects protect people in crisis and advocate for systems and laws to protect and help people. Oxfam advocates for people’s rights to asylum, to obtain assistance and be protected from abuse and that individual governments and the international community protect civilians from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Oxfam works to ensure governments act according to their obligations, including at home. Conditions: What can we use to trigger a donation? When relying on data from Twitter we have to be quite specific. In this Smart Donation, we can look at tweets from specific accounts, and when they use specific keywords related to refugees and migration. We have chosen a set of politicians across the political spectrum and a range of keywords. Political figures include: Peter Dutton @PeterDutton_MP; Kristina Kennelly @KKeneall; Nick McKim @NickMcKim ; Rex Patrick @Senator_Patrick or Behrouz Boochani @BehrouzBoochani. Keywords and hashtags include: #letthemstay; #hometoBilo; refugees; migrants; Medevac; Border protection; Manus Island; Nauru With this quite simple Smart Donation, we cannot determine the politics at play, we simply ask: is this issue or keyword being discussed by different political figures; and if it is, we can trigger a donation. You can choose one of our predefined plans, which look at tweets from all of the politicians and some of the keywords we’re monitoring, or you can use the ‘Smart Donation builder’ to craft your own donations based on specific politicians and keywords.

What data do we trust to validate these conditions?

h4> For this Smart Donation, we take data directly from specified public twitter accounts of prominent political figures across the political spectrum. We do not currently include retweets, only tweets authored by the accounts themselves. We are automatically pulling tweets from Twitter around every 15 minutes and parse the messages according to the keywords listed above.

So how might these work?

Emily pledges to donate $0.50 (up to $5) each time any of the key politicians above tweet about the ‘Medevac Bill’.

Since parliament is debating the repeal of the Medevac Bill at the moment Emily feels its timely for her to pledge of $0.50 each time any of the key politicians tweet about it. For instance, if one of the politicians tweeted as below, $0.50 would automatically be donated to Oxfam Australia’s refugee projects. In this way, while politicians are debating refugees, her donation can make a difference.

Tom uses the Smart Donation builder to make a pledge based on a special concern he has…

Tom agrees with Oxfam’s recent findings that lifting Australia’s humanitarian intake will increase the Australian economy and the number of jobs, and like Oxfam, would like other Australians to see the big picture. As someone who is pro-immigration, Tom decides he will make donations to counter the rhetoric of those who are generally anti-immigration. So, Tom uses the Smart Donation builder to make a pledge of $0.50 every time politicians with opposing views tweet the words “refugees”, “migrants” or “Medevac”.