International Programme for the Development of Communication
The Intergovernmental Council of the IPDC is the standard-setting and policy-making body of the Programme. In line with this role, the Council has in recent years launched various initiatives that have reinforced its programmatic approach to media development.
Media Development Indicators (MDIs)
The Council has developed and endorsed in 2008 a comprehensive set of Media Development Indicators, which are currently being applied in various countries to assess their media landscapes, identify the gaps, and propose evidence-based recommendations on how to address them.
Safety of Journalists
The Council has also taken on a central role in promoting the safety of journalists and, in particular, in monitoring the judicial follow-up of the killings of media professionals condemned each year by the UNESCO Director-General. Since 2008, the IPDC has encouraged Member States to submit information, on a voluntary basis, on the status of the judicial inquiries conducted on each of the killings condemned by UNESCO, for inclusion in a public report submitted every two years to the IPDC Council by the Director-General. Within the context of the endorsement of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity by the UN Chief Executives Board, the IPDC also developed the Journalists Safety Indicators (JSI). The JSI was developed based on Media Development Indicators (MDI), with a purpose to pinpoint significant matters that show, or impact upon, the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity. Within the framework of Sustainable Develeopment Goals (SDGs), the IPDC’s strategy since 2017 to enhance safety of journalists at national levels is to strengthen national mechanisms to monitor and report on safety of journalists. This effort contributes to SDG Indicator 16.10.1, of which UNESCO serves as the contributing agency.
Global Initiative for Excellence in Journalism Education
The Global Initiative for Excellence in Journalism Education (GIEJE) is an IPDC special initiative since 2007 supporting journalism education as “essential to bring out the potential of media systems to foster democracy, dialogue and development”. This initiative is built on work relating to the publication “Model Curriculum for Journalism Education” and established Criteria and Indicators for Quality Journalism Training Institutions. The Model Curricula is an IPDC publication launched in 2007 at the request of Member States at the first World Journalism Education Congress (WJEC-1) convened in Singapore. It provides frameworks for specialized syllabi in order to set standards based on good practice internationally, as a resource on which stakeholders around the world can draw to improve the quality of journalism education in their countries. By the end of 2012, they had been adapted by at least seventy journalism schools in sixty countries in diverse linguistic, social and cultural contexts. Work towards this special initiative also include the UNESCO Series on Journalism Education, Centres of excellence in journalism education, staff training, learning materials and resources, enhancing institutional governance and management systems, media monitoring, creating networks between journalism education institutions and media.
Knowledge-Driven Media Development (KDMD)
IPDC has a clear role to play in 2014-21 in regard to knowledge development and circulation. It is significant that UNESCO has diagnosed the current historical period as one entailing the construction of knowledge societies. As such, it becomes increasingly relevant for IPDC to promote knowledge-driven media development (KDMD). In light of this, the IPDC Bureau, at its 57th meeting held in March 2013, approved the concept of KDMD as a new Special Initiative of the IPDC.
In addition to these Initiatives, the IPDC Council has since its creation acted as a forum for policy debate on emerging media development issues. The thematic debates organized during its biennial sessions provide an opportunity for Member States, experts and professional organizations to discuss specific media questions and priorities.