IPDC Council to meet on 21-23 March
Representatives of the 39 Member States of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) will meet for their 25th session from 21 to 23 March, at UNESCO Headquarters.
One of the main items on the agenda is the presentation of the evaluation report on the reforms of the IPDC, conducted by a team of external evaluators from the University of Oslo, Prof. Helge Rønning and Ms. Kristin Orgeret. While noting some of the challenges still facing the Programme, the report hails the changes that have taken place within the IPDC since the previous evaluation in 2002 and concludes that "all the recommendations that were proposed [in 2002] have been implemented". The presentation will be followed by a debate on the findings of the evaluation.
The Council will also host the award ceremony of the IPDC-UNESCO Prize for Rural Communication. The Prize, consisting of a sum of US$ 20 000, is awarded every two years in recognition of a meritorious and innovative activity in improving communication in rural communities, chiefly in developing countries. The laureate of this year's Prize is Malayala Manorama, a newspaper published in India, Kerala, singled out for its imaginative communication campaign on water conservation. The two other finalists were the Community Media Centre of Banikoara (Benin) and Community Radio Madanpokhara (Nepal).
A full day (22 March) will be devoted to the thematic debate on "Giving Voice to Local Communities: From Community radio to Blogs"; which will be held jointly with the members of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO's Information for All Programme (IFAP).
A follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (Action 9: Media) will also be organized, including a debate on the Plan of Action of WSIS.
Following the 49th Meeting of the IPDC Bureau in late February, which approved funding for 41 projects in 30 developing countries, the IPDC Council plans a discussion on the preparation, financing, implementation and monitoring of IPDC projects.
The Intergovernmental Council is the IPDC's governing body. The Council normally meets in a regular plenary session once every two years.