Preparation of Round Table on C4D kicks off in Ecuador
The first meeting of the Organizing Committee of the forthcoming Round Table on Communication for Development (C4D) in Ecuador took place last month in Quito. The meeting initiated the evaluation of C4D in the country and stressed the need to reconsider the concept of "development".
The meeting of the Organizing Committee was prepared by UNESCO's Quito Office in collaboration with the International Center for the Advanced Study of Communication in Latin America (CIESPAL). The Committee, which gathers representatives of the Ecuadorian government, universities, civil society organizations, community media and NGOs, will ensure the organization of all content aspects of the forthcoming Round Table on C4D in Ecuador, to be held in February 2011. This exercise is expected to evaluate the situation of C4D in the country and to report to the 12th UN Inter-agency Round Table on C4D that will take place in India at the end of 2011.
The Organizing Committee stressed the need to reconsider the concept of "development", since this term is associated with a mere economic wealth. In Ecuador it has been substituted by the Quechuan concept of sumak kawsay, or "good living" (buen vivir, in Spanish), which considers different parameters other than financial prosperity, such as ecological balance as an alternative to constant growth. Therefore, and taking in account that the current Ecuadorian Constitution is partially structured around this concept, the Ecuadorian Organizing Committee proposed to consider buen vivir as a new perspective instead of "development".
In this first meeting, the Committee assigned the three background papers to be prepared for the Round Table to three different experts. The papers will analyse communication for development as implemented by the United Nations system in Ecuador; grass root best practices in communication for development; and national policy on C4D in the country.
Similar round tables are also being prepared in other parts of Latin America, in Central and South Asia, and in East Africa. They aim to establish dialogue, share information and experience at national level on C4D concepts, as well as practices used by such development actors as UN country teams, academia, government partners, civil society, media training institutions and other relevant bodies. These round tables also seek to assess national media capacity and relevant communication for development policies using UNESCO's <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=26032&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Media Development Indicators</a> as a diagnostic tool.
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