Photo from UNESCO Kabul Photo Biennale | Journalists ©Ahmad Shoaib Samimi

Media Development

UNESCO’s approach to media development includes tailored activities that are context-sensitive, and which also take account of the challenges and opportunities created by the rapidly changing media environment. The special-purpose International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) is a unique multilateral forum in the UN system that mobilises the international community to support media in developing countries through a grant-making process.


Ongoing Initiatives:

  • Capacity building of Afghan Security Forces on freedom of expression and safety of journalists

Increasing journalists safety and freedom of expression through capacity building of security forces through a pilot implementation of the recent Presidential decree stating that Afghan Defense and Security organisations are obliged to insert into their training curricula best practices regarding the safety of journalists and freedom of expression; and set the basis for a longer, substantial programme.

In synergy with the Ministries of Defense, Interior, Justice and Foreign Affairs building the capacities of 50 police officials selected nationally among the trainees, selection of 5 to become trainers, minimum 2 females, receiving further training, creating the conditions for replication and institutionalization.


  • Promotion of gender balance within all Afghan media

Empowered women in media can play a critical role. The proposed project is a baseline survey of media organizations and higher education institutions in 5 provinces to assess the status of women media practitioners, help to develop a methodology for advocating the adoption of a minimum gender in media guidelines, and standards for monitoring and evaluation together with a roadmap for measuring annual progress and achievements. It is the Afghanistan component of a regional project of the consortium South Asian Women's Network (SWAN) -in collaboration with UNESCO- in nine countries. It will contribute to an exchange of regional knowledge and best practices, and will strengthen SWAN's ability to lobby for adoption of its Gender in Media Guidelines using UNESCO's Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media and Beijing + Indicators.

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