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 three special initiatives that have reinforced its programmatic approach to media development.
- 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.
- 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.
- Having recognized Journalism Education as a major issue to be addressed in Africa, UNESCO has identified twelve African institutions that have the potential to become centres of excellence in journalism education. IPDC has provided support to a number of these institutions to help them reach the defined level of excellence within the next 4-5 years.
In addition to these Special 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.