This guide provides instructions on how to design and deliver an interactive training course through an app-based messaging platform. Drawing from Grassroot’s pilot teaching leadership and storytelling through WhatsApp, we share tips on pedagogy, participant engagement, and the technical aspects of launching a distance-learning course. Part I of the guide describes the pilot course and Part II delves into the details of teaching on WhatsApp. Along with MIT GOV/LAB, our collaborative research partner, we also include lessons on evaluation and learning.

This is a work in progress and we want to hear from you. Please be in touch if you use the guide and give us your recommendations (;

Suggested Citation: Mohlabane, Katlego and Alisa Zomer. 2020. “Teaching on WhatsApp: Leadership and Storytelling for Grassroots Community Organizers”, Grassroot (South Africa) and MIT Governance Lab (United States).

Related resources:

  • Course materials for the first two sessions available online.
  • Research results from the pilot “A Novel Approach to Civic Pedagogy: Training Grassroots Organizers on WhatsApp” available online.