IPDC provides US$ 2 million to support 85 media development projects across the globe
At its annual meeting held last week at UNESCO HQ, the Bureau of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) allocated two million US dollars to 85 media development projects spread across four continents. Thirty-three of the projects approved are in Africa, 21 in Asia and the Pacific, 18 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 12 in the Arab region and one project is an interregional one.
All of the projects will contribute to IPDC’s priorities – promoting freedom of expression and media pluralism, developing community media and building the professional skills of journalists.
One project in Kenya will train staff from five community radio stations to engage community members in debates on good governance, human rights and gender equality, among others. The project involves live performances on these issues in community social centres. Another project in Timor Leste will provide support for the establishment of the country’s first Press Council, thus promoting self-regulatory mechanisms in the media and strengthening professional journalism standards.
In Colombia, training will be provided to 15 journalists who cover drug trafficking and organized crime to equip them with necessary skills for protecting themselves and for using key investigative journalism techniques. In Algeria, a community web radio, Voix de femmes, run by the national association of female media workers, can now benefit from training and equipment in order to bolster its efforts in promoting gender equality.
All but one of these projects will be financed from the IPDC’s “Special Account”, a common funding pool of donations by UNESCO Member States, which enables the Programme to distribute available funds according to project applications, and following a strategic approach. Through IPDC, Norway will also finance an earmarked “Funds-in-Trust” project aimed at fostering media freedom in Tunisia through the creation of a temporary desk officer position in Tunis.
The IPDC is a multilateral platform within the UN system that expands opportunities for free, independent and pluralistic media in developing countries and countries in transition. Its Bureau is composed of eight representatives of UNESCO Member States, who are specialists in the fields covered by the IPDC.