2013 Rio Raffle: How Your Ticket Helps

Last year we achieved incredible things because of your support.

Thanks to our 2012 Rio Raffle, Catalytic Communities has increasingly shaped the international debate on favelas by disseminating community perspectives and strengthening the field for active community participation.

Some Highlights:

200+ articles published annually on RioOnWatch.
Social media reach grew from 14,000 in January 2012 to 127,000 this June (9-fold growth).
CatComm has become a reference organization for international media and researchers looking for community perspectives on Rio de Janeiro.
CatComm has been instrumental in changing Rio’s evictions strategy, with successes coming after our New York Times Op-Ed and thanks to specific targeted media actions.

Examples of Our Work:



RioOnWatch’s achievements reflect the growing interest in Rio de Janeiro’s development, the increasing diversity and quality of our reporting, and the growing use of the site by opinion leaders.

  • 200+ articles published annually.
  • 52 community journalists have pitched stories from all regions of the city, with 13 selected for payment and publication.
  • quadrupling of total monthly RioOnWatch site visits from 2,750 in January 2012 to 12,000 today.
  • Accompanying this expansion is a dramatic growth in our social media reach, from 14,000 in January 2012 to an all-time high of 127,000 in June 2013.

International Favela Perceptions Survey and Media Monitoring

Providencia photo

Our Favela Perceptions Survey is the the only multi-city and longitudinal international survey of its kind. Conducted now in 8 cities over 3 years, the study confirms the large divide between the reality of favelas as experienced by those who visit them and the perceptions depicted historically by the media.

  • Conclusions drawn from a total 762 responses from global cities on 4 continents in our 2013 survey.
  • Our findings concluded that visiting a favela significantly changes perceptions: 64% of international respondents who hadn’t been to a favela in Rio viewed them unfavorably, while only 28% of those who had visited viewed them as such.
  • A full summary of these findings will be released shortly.
  • Media monitoring and language-tracking of mainstream international coverage of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas and local commentary on media by local residents.

2013 New York Times Debate Protests

Media Engagement

Engagement with the international media to shape the dialogue surrounding favelas has been an increasingly important part of our work.

  • Articles on Rio’s transformations now systematically include favela perspectives and commentary from residents, much of which has been advocated and facilitated by CatComm.
  • Three Opinion pieces published in the New York Times.
  • Interviews requested for numerous media outlets on all continents.

Next Up:

2011 Community Journalism program field tripIn addition to maintaining our efforts listed above, the expansion of our Community Journalism Initiative within RioOnWatch, and launching a favela qualities research & policy organizational portal, this year’s Raffle will support our new Community Organizing Workshops, to be launched in September.

With the Rio Raffle’s success, by the end of the year we will:

  1. Maintain and expand RioOnWatch, the best source of favela news and perspectives in English and now a go-to source for international researchers and media outlets from around the world, to expand to include 20 more community journalists and in-depth research pieces;
  2. Train 320 community leaders in 16 favelas spread across Rio in Community PlanningEvictions Resistance Techniques and Intro to Gentrification by the end of the year, including both training and follow-up;
  3. Implement customized Community Sanitation pilot biodigester projects and workshops with partners in four favelas developing a model for community-based sanitation to expand and take advantage of strategic visibility in the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup.
  4. Benefit tens of thousands of favela residents through on-going support of projects resulting from these workshops and community media programs.
Should we reach only a fraction of this goal, one or each of these programs will be scaled down as a result. Though the goal–$35,000–seems daunting, it is actually attainable, with the help of friends and collaborators like you.