The annual Asia Liberty Forum (ALF) 2019 conference was held between 28th of February to 1st of March in Colombo, the capital city of South Asian nation of Sri Lanka. The program was organized by the Atlas Network and co-organized by Advocata Institute of Srilanka. The co-sponsors of the program were Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF, Germany) and the Acton Institute (US). The forum saw more than 300 attendees from 40 different countries working in liberty moment from the different part of the world.
Out of many inspiring sessions, Bikalpa an Alternative was invited for one of the plenary discussions session on “Amplifying Your Message”. Speakers for the session were Basanta Adhikari (Bikalpa an Alternative, Nepal), Anthea Haryoko (Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia) and Khaliun Chimeddorj (Silk Road Foundation, Mongolia). The following discussion was focused on how Atlas Networks partners are reaching wider audiences in their respective regions and across the continents of Asia.
During his presentation, Basanta Adhikari highlighted the activities that Bikalpa was engaged with to promote the values of individual and economic freedom in the region. He also talked on the issues and activities that were able to bring change in public policy and perception of the common people. The activities included online engagement to counter populist narratives and the role of visual media and how Bikalpa was able to have an influence on its audience through short videos that precisely pointed out the policy flaws while also resonating with their sentiments.
Bikalpa was one of the finalist for 2019 Asia Liberty Award alongside with the other two organization from Indonesia and Philippines and won the Asia Liberty Award 2019 for its success in promoting the ideas of freedom throughout Nepal with its series of compelling and popular video series, which reveals the destructive results of big government while highlighting the positive impacts of free enterprise through an extremely popular and effective medium.
Visual media has been one of the effective advocacy tools for Bikalpa to sensitize people on policy related issues. Bikalpa is also a pioneer public policy think tank working in eastern part of Nepal who has been raising their voice on public policy and political economy through the means of visual media platform. One of the video “Why is Nepal Poor?” was viewed by the more than 3 million people and shared more than 65,000 times through various social media platforms. Altogether Bikalpa videos have more than 6.7 million views and 116,000 shares through various social media platforms.
Besides this, Bikalpa’s visual media officer, Punam Giri was a part at the Asia Liberty Think Tank Essential Trainings where participants from various Asian countries made their participation. The training provided hands-on interactive and practical skills training on the essential elements from strategic planning strategies to fundraising planning, and from marketing and messaging from an emotional perspective to focused project planning and execution. Punam Giri also pitched his idea at “Crowdsource for Liberty and in front of the audience of Asia Liberty Forum.