The 60th meeting of the Bureau of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) ended last Friday with the approval of 51 new media development projects to be financed and implemented this year.
In addition, six new special projects will be launched in areas such as the safety of journalists, combatting the radicalization of youth through the media and improving the media coverage of migration and refugees.
From improving journalists’ capacity for election coverage in Chad to conducting policy reform on community media in Nepal, the new set of IPDC-supported projects addresses a wide range of issues, with the most recurrent being the safety of journalists, capacity building for community media, coverage of elections, media self-regulation, media law/policy reform and access to information.
Most projects had important gender-sensitive components – a clear response to the IPDC’s implementation of a gender checklist in project submission.
The IPDC bureau meeting, chaired by Ms. Albana Shala, also decided to consolidate the programme’s flagship special initiatives, including by enhancing the IPDC’s unique monitoring and reporting system on the safety of journalists and impunity issues.
In this regard, the meeting, held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, underscored the need for the IPDC to provide opportunities for Member States to pilot national protection and reporting mechanisms on safety, along with conducting new national assessments based on the Journalism Safety Indicators (JSIs).
The Bureau members also stressed follow-up action in the areas of combatting radicalization and improving coverage of refugee-related issues.
Algeria, Bangladesh, Peru, Poland, Denmark, Niger, Ghana and the Netherlands make up the members of the 2015-2016 Bureau, as elected by the 39 Member State IPDC Council in November 2014.
The IPDC was set up in 1980 as the only intergovernmental programme in the UN system mandated 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.