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Monday, March 27, 2006

IPDC to fund 14 new projects with N109m

FOURTEEN new projects related to International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) in developing countries have received funding worth US$850,000, about N109,246,250 million.

Although details of the new projects are still sketchy, most of the beneficiaries are among the Least Developing Countries (LDCs), the development came as IPDC, an intergovernmental council of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) ended its three-day meeting in Paris.

The meeting, which is 25th session of IPDC also saw the re-election of IPDC Bureau chief, Torben Krogh, just as the prize for Rural Communication was presented to Malayala Manorama, a mainstream daily newspaper published in Kerala, India.

The US$ 20,000 Prize was attributed in recognition of Malayala Manorama’s innovative communication campaign, “Pala Thulli”, aimed at raising awareness among the people of Kerala on the importance of water conservation as a solution to the problem of droughts in the region.
IPDC also is planning to launch a broad consultation to develop indicators for media development.

This, UNESCO said, will enable media professionals, policy makers, development agencies, implementers and project proponents to analyze the various elements of a media system and to identify areas where support is essentially required.

The IPDC Council held its 25th session at UNESCO headquarters from 21 to 23 March, equally provided an occasion for the representatives of the 39 member states to discuss the activities of the programme, assess its achievements, and appreciate the important reforms that the programme has undergone in recent years.

According to the UN body, the report evaluating these reforms, conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Oslo, was presented to the members of council. Member states are however, expressed their satisfaction with the results of the evaluation and praised the progress made by the IPDC, which according to the report, “has put a remarkable effort in implementing the reforms of working methods”.

In addition, they reiterated the crucial role played by the programme in contributing to sustainable development, democracy and good governance through the strengthening of media capacities in the developing countries.

UNESCO noted that the 25th council session confirmed once again IPDC’s role as a forum for reflexion and discussion among its members, experts and professional organizations.

A thematic debate was organized in cooperation with UNESCO’s Information for All Programme (IFAP) on “Giving Voice to Local Communities: From Community Radio to Blogs”.

Among the invited panelists were: Jo Tacchi, Senior Research Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology, Steve Buckley, President of the World Association of Community radio Broadcasters, Alexander Neville, Director of the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA), and Daniel Simmons, of Article 19.

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