More than 40 diplomats participated in an informal meeting on media development issues convened by Albana Shala, the Chair of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), on 25 January 2017.
Convened especially for Council members of the IPDC as well as donors to the programme, the event took place at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, France.
Participants discussed new initiatives launched by the Programme as well as documents on IPDC governance issues as well as the upcoming evaluation of the Programme. Last November’s IPDC Council mandated a consultation on governance and gave the go-ahead for an evaluation.
No decisions were taken at the meeting, but the IPDC Chair said that the draft documents would be revised in the light of comments made. Member States also have a fortnight for any further comments on the two documents circulated during the meeting.
According to Ms Shala, the terms of reference for the evaluation will continue to be honed and outstanding funds sought for the exercise, so that the exercise can proceed. The inception report will be shared with Member States, and another informal information meeting may be convened later in the year once the evaluation has concluded.
The Chair also announced with gratitude several contributions to IPDC projects. These include Defining Internet Universality Indicators, supported by Sweden, and Training judicial authorities in Africa on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists through massive Open Online Course (MOOC) supported by Denmark.
She further noted several IPDC components of a multisectoral project on the Prevention of violent extremism through youth empowerment, jointly supported by the UN Center for Counter-Terrorism (UNCCT) and Canada.
The representative of Spain announced a generous contribution to the Programme by this country, which will allow IPDC to support media initiatives that strengthen gender equality and the participation of youth.
Since 1980, the international community has been continuously mobilized to support media development through the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), the only intergovernmental programme in the UN system that aims to strengthen media capacity in developing countries.
Since its creation, IPDC has secured US$ 105 million in extra-budgetary funds and supported over 1,700 media development projects in 140 countries.
The IPDC Chair alerted the participants of increasing interest by grassroots actors in IPDC projects. “Over 120 applications which been received for possible funding by the IPDC”. Of 109 projects which have been validated for IPDC Bureau consideration, these include the following:
- Community radio (21 projects)
- Gender in media (19 projects)
- Data collection and reporting for SDG 16.10 (2 projects)
- Hate speech in media (6 projects)
- ICTs/digital innovation training for journalists (7 projects)
- Investigative journalism training (10 projects)
- Journalism curricula review/improvement in formal schools of journalism (3 projects)
- Journalists safety protection (16 projects)
- Legislative and Policy reform on Press freedom law (6 projects)
- Legislative and Policy reform on Right to Information (3 projects)
- Media research (6 projects)
- Training for climate change/environmental reporting (9 projects)
- Training for elections reporting (1 project)