UNESCO’s IPDC Bureau to support scores of media projects

UNESCO Member States will meet this week to consider financial support for almost 100 media development projects from around the world that have been proposed to the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

An amount of approximately $1m will be shared out amongst the projects that are selected, with the money coming this year from extra-budgetary contributions made by Andorra, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

The 8-member Bureau of the IPDC will make the decisions at its 59th meeting on 26 and 27 March, at UNESCO Headquarters. This programme was started in 1980, and over the years it has disbursed over $100m to media development projects in developing countries.

During the meeting, the Bureau will also discuss an analytical report on projects that were supported over the past year, as well as how to promote gender mainstreaming in IPDC-funded projects.

Algeria, Bangladesh, Denmark, Ghana, the Netherlands, Niger, Peru and Poland make up the members of the 2015-16 Bureau, as elected by the 39-Member State IPDC Council in November 2014.

The meeting will also discuss IPDC’s four special initiatives – covering the safety of journalists, media development indicators, excellence in journalism education, and knowledge-driven media development.

The agenda of the meeting includes a debate on Friday 27th titled "After Charlie: Strengthening the safety of journalists".

Speakers with expertise about protection of journalists’ safety in Colombia, Kenya, France and the Arab region will share their experiences and engage with Member States.

Other items on the agenda for the Bureau include examining the niche and priorities of IPDC, as well as setting communication and fundraising targets to increase the impact of the Programme.