At its annual meeting held from 20 to 22 March 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the Bureau of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) approved 63 projects aimed at tackling the most urgent priorities in media development worldwide.
The eight-member Bureau, comprising expert representatives from each of UNESCO’s different regional groups, considered 110 proposals submitted this year by media organizations in developing countries across the world.
Thirty-three of the projects approved are in Africa and the Arab region, 16 in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 14 in Asia and the Pacific. All of the projects will contribute to IPDC’s priorities – promoting freedom of expression and media pluralism, developing community media and building the professional skills of journalists.
Among those to receive support were projects from Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the first of which will concentrate on promoting the safety of journalists on a national scale, and the latter aiming to improve the transmission capacity of a community radio to allow it to better serve the rural communities of Sierra Leone’s Koinadugu District.
In Egypt, IPDC support will enable twenty women journalists and media workers to receive training in developmental journalism. A project in Myanmar will see the development and delivery of a 10-month training programme leading to a Diploma in TV broadcasting, ultimately contributing to the emergence of skilled and qualified professionals in Myanmar’s media industry.
A separate project from the Latin American region will involve a comprehensive analysis of the national media landscape in the Dominican Republic, based on UNESCO's Media Development Indicators.
All of the 63 projects will be financed from the IPDC Special Account, a common funding pool of donations by UNESCO Member States, which enables the Programme to ensure a global and strategic approach to media development.
The IPDC Bureau also made a special allocation of US$ 35,000 for the development and application of a set of indicators for measuring the safety of journalists, as an add-on to the Media Development Indicators (MDIs), endorsed by the IPDC Intergovernmental Council in 2008.
A number of strategic documents regarding IPDC’s development were also discussed and approved by the Bureau. These included an overall strategy for strengthening IPDC; a fundraising strategy; a communication and visibility strategy; and an information note on strengthening the MDI initiative.