After examining 114 project proposals submitted by local organizations in developing countries, the 61st Meeting of the IPDC Bureau in Paris approved 45 new projects this week.
The eight Member States of the Bureau deliberated for two days and agreed finally to support national media development projects in 38 countries.
Elected in 2016 by the 39 members of the Council, the Bureau also voted support for six regional projects and one international venture.
Community media, safety of journalists and gender in the media were the most supported areas this year, followed by investigative journalism and legislative and policy reform on press freedom law.
In addition to this, and thanks to a generous contribution made by The Netherlands, a series of larger scale projects and initiatives will also be supported to promote access to information and the safety of journalists around the world.
Bureau members were also able to assess progress on projects recently launched through IPDC, such as the Post COP 21: Strengthening media capacity to monitor and report on climate change in Asia Pacific (supported by Malaysia); and Defining Internet Universality Indicators (supported by Sweden).
Updates were also given on the projects Journalists and Media – Governance in the Gambia (supported by the European Union), and Training judicial authorities in Africa on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists through a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) (supported by Denmark).
IPDC Bureau members further received reports on the Programme’s four Special Initiatives: 1) The Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity; 2) Media-related Indicators: Media Development Indicators (MDIs) and Journalists Safety Indicators (JSIs); 3) Global Initiative for Excellence in Journalism Education; and 4) Knowledge-Driven Media Development: Follow-up to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Chaired by Ms. Albana Shala (The Netherlands), the current IPDC Bureau is made up of representatives of Bangladesh, Denmark, Ecuador, Ghana, Niger, Oman, Poland and Zambia.
The IPDC was set up in 1980 as a specialised intergovernmental programme in the UN system to mobilize international support in order to contribute to sustainable development, democracy and good governance by strengthening the capacities of free and independent media.
Since its creation, IPDC has channeled more than US$ 106 million to 1,800 media development projects in 140 countries.