IPDC Bureau allocates over US$ 2,3 million to 93 media development projects
Ninety-three projects aimed at expanding opportunities for free, independent and pluralistic media in developing countries worldwide have received funding at the 55th annual meeting of the Bureau of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), which took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 22 to 24 March. A total of more than US$ 2,3 million was allocated to these projects, which will be implemented in 65 countries.
The majority of the projects approved (39) concern Africa, a UNESCO priority, while 22 will be implemented in Asia and the Pacific, 18 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 12 in the Arab region and 2 in Europe. All of them will contribute to at least one of IPDC's three main priorities, i.e. promoting freedom of expression and media pluralism; development of community media; capacity building of media professionals. They include <a target=_blank href="http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/pdf/IPDC/ipdc55_bureau_mena_project_final.pdf">one larger project</a>, to be financed by Belgium with the endorsement of the IPDC Bureau, which involves a multi-stakeholder assessment of emerging media development needs in the MENA region.
The financing of these projects was made possible thanks to the voluntary contributions of thirteen donors (received or pledged), namely India, Switzerland, Spain, the United States of America, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Belgium, the Russian Federation, Andorra, Sweden, France and Israel, which enabled IPDC to reach a level of funding unsurpassed in the last decade (almost 2,8 million).
The IPDC Bureau, comprised of eight Member States and presided by IPDC Chairman Mr Raghu Menon, also decided to set aside a total of US$ 100,000 to be used for future projects aimed assessing national media landscapes using <a href="http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/intergovernmental-programmes/ipdc/special-initiatives/media-development-indicators-mdis/">UNESCO's Media Development Indicators (MDIs)</a>. Furthermore, the Bureau adopted a Decision increasing the funds allocated from the IPDC Special Account for evaluation activities in order to reinforce the <a target=_blank href="http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001914/191444e.pdf">evaluation of IPDC projects</a> and ensure adequate follow-up.
The next IPDC Bureau meeting will take place from 22 to 24 February 2012.