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UNESCO Deputy DG calls for new skills for the Internet

Mon, 01/09/2014 - 14:55

“Our use of the Internet is transforming global trade, the workplace and working lives, but which skills do we need to support sustainable development?”

Mr Engida explained that UNESCO sees Media and Information Literacy as covering the range of skills which empower digital citizens to “access, retrieve, understand, evaluate and use, create, as well as share”.

He elaborated how MIL is also a way for Internet users to know their human rights online, such as privacy and free expression, and to be aware of the ethical dimensions of engaging with Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

“Such comprehensive Media and Information Literacy needs to be anchored in the curricula of schools and be part of everybody’s lifelong learning,” he said.

The Deputy Director-General observed that a multi-stakeholder approach sustains an enabling environment for Internet development, including an environment of strengthened Media and Information Literacy. 

He also shared with participants the significance of UNESCO’s Internet-issues study.

UNESCO Deputy Director-General at the inauguration of the National Library of Latvia

Mon, 01/09/2014 - 13:24

The architectural idea of the National Library of Latvia appeared 20 years ago and turned into one of the widely recognized harbingers of the new age in architecture. Designed by the internationally renowned Latvian architect Gunnar Birkerts as a 'castle of light', a metaphor for wisdom, it is described as a world-class building for a world-class library.  It offers a thousand reading places, with shelf space for the library's entire active collection of over 6 million items. The Castle of Light will offer new services in the new building – a multi-media centre, fairy-tale room for children, facilities for training and events, spaces for individual and group work, silent reading rooms and zones of repose opening the view on Daugava River. The external appearance refers to the country Latvia, e.g. architecture of rural farmsteads, complemented with layers of Riga’s historical architectural manifestations. The interior reflects the emerging new age, being a center of digitalized information which is accessible for a global population.

In his inaugural speech today, in Riga, the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Getachew Engida, emphasized the essential role of libraries for promoting the free flow of ideas and for maintaining, increasing and spreading knowledge. He also pointed out that “as repositories of books and other printed material, they are key to promote reading and writing”. In this particular context, the UNESCO representative, praised the significant contribution of the National Library of Latvia to promote learning, reading and access to knowledge and education in the country by developing a national level solution for management, preservation and access of the digitized cultural heritage.

Furthermore, Mr. Engida expressed the firm belief that “the new National Library building is one of the most significant projects of the 21st century in Latvia. I am confident that this ambitious project gives the National Library of Latvia (NLL) an opportunity to become a modern information and cultural center of international importance”.

UNESCO highlights importance of multi-stakeholder model, digital inclusion and human rights-respecting Internet at the 9th Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul

Mon, 01/09/2014 - 12:21

Preceding a lineup of UNESCO events on Internet issues, UNESCO’s Deputy Director General Mr. Getachew Engida, will address the High Level Leaders Meeting and opening ceremony of the 9th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul on 1 and 2 September.

Emphasising UNESCO’s commitment to the IGF and the multi-stakeholder model of Internet Governance, Mr. Engida will invite broad participation in the ongoing UNESCO Internet study and related 2015 conference. He will also focus on the need for digital inclusion, and on online freedom of expression and privacy as part of a human rights-respecting Internet. Furthermore,  UNESCO will host an Open Forum on the Internet Study, to explain its significance and seek responses to the questions developed as a research tool. This Study covers the issues of (i) Access to knowledge and information, (ii) Freedom of Expression, (iii) Privacy and (iv) Ethics and also explore possible options for future actions as related to global Internet governance. 

UNESCO will also take advantage of the occasion to launch the key outcomes of two new research project:

  • Online safety, which explores the safety of journalists and other media actors using digital media, and suggests guidelines and policy recommendations.
  • How Internet intermediaries - including search engines, social media and Internet Service Providers – address freedom of expression issues across a range of jurisdictions, circumstances, technologies and business models.

The program and background documents for these UNESCO events are available at the links below:

The IGF website supports remote participation in these meetings.

Mekong media institutes exchange ideas for region’s first journalist training network

Thu, 28/08/2014 - 11:50

With the support of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and UNESCO, the Fojo Media Institute organized a planning conference in Bangkok, Thailand on 13 and 14 August 2014, attended by representatives of media institutes from the five Mekong countries, with the objective of exploring the feasibility of establishing a sustainable capacity-building network for mid-career journalism training in the region.

The conference saw a lively discussion among the 15 participants, which included representatives of the Myanmar Journalism Institute, Viet Nam Journalist Association Training Centre, Cambodia Communication Institute, Lao Institute of Mass Media and Communication, and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, among other institutions. During the sessions, participants exchanged ideas and shared insightful views on the challenges they faced, such as the lack of qualified journalism trainers and resources, and the absence of a regional platform for exchange in the region.

By the end of the conference, the media institutes agreed to jointly develop a roadmap outlining the way forward in order to establish a regional professional journalist training network and the concrete steps that had to be taken. This proposal would be submitted to potential donors when seeking funding for the project.

The media sector in the region has seen improvement over the years but much more can be done, and the establishment of this capacity-building network could be key to accelerating the process. By leveraging the strengths and capacities of the media institutes involved, the network will allow for better cross-border coordination among media institutes and a more efficient allocation of resources to boost journalist professionalism, and ultimately contribute to media development in the region.

Improving gender equality in Asia-Pacific media: A new study by UNESCO, UN Women and IFJ

Thu, 28/08/2014 - 11:34

In order to accurately inform the debate on gender equality in the media and formulate concrete actions that relevant stakeholders in the region can take to improve the situation, and as a follow-up to the Global Forum on Media and Gender that took place in Bangkok in 2013, UNESCO and UN Women have partnered with the International Federation of Journalists Asia-Pacific (IFJ) to conduct a Research Study on Media and Gender in Asia-Pacific.

Building on IFJ’s earlier research in this area, the study will look at a sample of countries in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan), South East Asia (Malaysia, Cambodia) and the Pacific (Vanuatu). The study is guided by UNESCO’s Gender Sensitive Indicators for the Media and will use a combination of country-based surveys, media content analysis and case studies to gather data in areas such as:

  • the situation of women in the media;
  • the number of women in senior, decision-making positions and the issues affecting this representation;
  • the role that unions, associations and women´s networks could and do play and expectations of their actions; and
  • best practice case studies of campaigns, media workplaces as well as coverage and representation of women.

Based on the findings, the study will assess strategies to improve the situation of women in media and identify key indicators for women journalists’ safety at work.

The recommendations arising from this study will be presented to regional and global fora related to the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) +20 review process and the post-2015 development framework, ultimately aiming to inform relevant global, regional and national policies and programmes. A first draft of the report will be tabled at the Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Bangkok in November 2014, and the final report is expected to be presented at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2015.

Media in the post-2015 development agenda

Thu, 28/08/2014 - 09:50

The motivation is in a declaration called the Bali Road Map, adopted by more than 300 participants on Thursday, 28 August 2014 at a conference titled “Global Media Forum: The Role of Media in Realizing the Future We Want For All”, with the hashtag #media4future.

Coming from more than 40 different countries, the participants included 50 speakers who discussed issues ranging from investigative journalism, ethics, gender equality, and media and information literacy.

The event also included 75 young people from 22 countries across the Asia and Pacific, who took part in an earlier training programme about media and civic participation and then operated a youth newsroom during the proceedings.

UNESCO and Indonesia’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology were co-hosts of the Global Media Forum. Collaborating bodies were the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO, Indonesian Press Council and the UN Information Centre.

Closing the conference, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova described freedom of expression as “a force for innovation, for poverty eradication, for the rule of law, for good governance”, and as essential to sustainable development.

She cited the decision by UNESCO Member States at the 2013 UNESCO General Conference that “freedom of expression and universal access to knowledge and its preservation -- including, among others, through free, pluralistic and independent media, both offline and online -- [are] indispensable elements for flourishing democracies and to foster citizen participation [and must be] reflected in the post-2015 development agenda”.

The Bali Road Map calls on UNESCO to take forward the call for free expression and independent media to be part of the SDGs, with the Organization’s Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN’s Open Working Group, and to other international and regional organisations.

The Road Map also encourages media outlets, media professionals and social media users to raise awareness about how free expression relates to development, and to generate information about development issues.

It urges governments “to respect freedom of expression, including press freedom and the right to seek and receive information, as fundamental rights as well as enablers of the post-2015 development agenda goals”.

Improving the quality of journalism education at Yangon University

Wed, 27/08/2014 - 17:19

As a first step, and in order to strengthen the training capacity of NMC’s faculty members, three journalism education workshops were conducted between October 2013 and March 2014 for NMC’s department heads and journalism department faculty members. During the workshops, participants were trained on the features of the enhanced BA in Journalism curriculum. Participants produced draft syllabi for a broad range of journalism-related courses, both theoretical and practical, with the assistance of visiting scholars and experts.

The workshops were then followed by summer internships for NMC’s journalism teachers with Mizzima Media Group and Yangon Media Group, which helped to familiarize them with the daily operations of a newsroom. Five books, including UNESCO’s Freedom of Expression Toolkit and Reporting and Writing News – A Basic Handbook, were also translated into Burmese and used as course materials for the upcoming academic year.

The development of new independent media in Myanmar will require professionals with a sound journalism education. In this regard, NMC’s multi-faceted efforts aim at ensuring that aspiring journalists in Myanmar start off with a solid foundation, and are able to contribute to strengthening the role of media in a democratic society.

The International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries. The Programme not only provides support for media projects but also seeks to enable media capacity building and to secure a healthy environment for the growth of free and pluralistic media.

Impunity issue is relevant to the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Wed, 27/08/2014 - 15:55

The panel took place in the context of the forthcoming International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. Set for 2 November, this date has been proclaimed by the UN General Assembly.

Speaking about impunity, Indonesian Press Council member Mr Yosep Adi Prasetyo listed 11 still unresolved cases of killings of journalists in his country between 1986 and 2010. He urged the creation of a “Working Group Handling Violence against Journalists” and called for memoranda of understandings with police, attorney general, Supreme Court and the Witness and Victim Protection Agency.

Ms Prima Jesusa Quinsayas of the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists reported that in her country there had been only 14 convictions for the killings of 145 journalists, adding that even so “none have involved the masterminds”.

She welcomed her government’s response to set up special task forces to tackle media murders, and called for quick response teams with private lawyers to help police investigators build strong cases against suspects.

Ms Gayethry Venkiteswaran, Head of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, said there was a need to educate the region’s media about the impunity issue, such as through a journalism fellowship that SEAPA was operating this year.

The UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity was commended by Jesper Hojberg, Executive Director of International Media Support. “We need to emphasise strong national mechanisms to advance the Plan at country-level,” he said.

Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO, Guy Berger, noted that the latest version of the draft Sustainable Development Goals of the Open Working Group highlighted three times the importance, for development, of the "rule of law”.

“Combined with references to ‘public access to information’ and ‘fundamental freedoms’, this provided a direct link to impunity as development issue,” said Berger.

“UNESCO has indicators to measure progress in the fight against impunity, which show that this issue can be measured as part of the development process,” he added.

UNESCO YouthMobile partners with the Developer School of Kenya to train mobile apps makers

Wed, 27/08/2014 - 12:17

A series of intensive training workshops on mobile application development for youth for sustainable development in Kenya has been ongoing over the summer in Nairobi, Kenya.

From 17 July 2014, 40 young people were provided with mobile app development training. The workshops were held within the framework of the new and innovative UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative in partnership with the Dev School and Kenya National Commission for UNESCO.

The UNESCO Eastern Africa Office provided extensive assistance to the training initiatives.

The YouthMobile Initiative aims to empower youth with the high-level skills and confidence to create mobile apps that are locally-relevant and contribute to the reduction of chronic youth unemployment.

The global objective is to engage at least 25,000 young people and sell at least 5,000 mobile apps by 2017.

At a time when the world is looking for new ways to build peace and sustainable development, encouraging innovation and creativity of youth of the world will be vital in effectively addressing these challenges. 

The Nairobi workshop was held in partnership with the Dev School, a start-up from Kenya with aspirations to introduce coding to youth across the nation.

Founded in 2013 by a young Kenyan Ms Martha Njeri Chelimo, the Dev School has now successfully run two rounds of training in Nairobi. In these workshops, students are able to extensively study programming languages, mobile platforms, web application frameworks, front end development, writing and entrepreneurship.

The 40 young people who participated in this summer’s workshop were taught mobile app development from the MIT App Inventor curriculum. The students were guided by peer trainers in building Android applications and focused on creating apps that would solve specific local problems.

Linus Onyango, Chairperson at the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO Youth Forum, said: “The Mobile Application Training has been the most exciting and innovative undertaking related to ICT in which the UNESCO Youth forum Kenya has participated. The mobile Application training has been on for six weeks now and the attendance has been amazing, the class is always full and the trainers have been great in giving the learners an introduction to mobile apps development. I would like to thank UNESCO’s Regional Office, the Dev School, the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO and the Kenyan youth for making Nairobi YouthMobile a success.”

Since the Dev School’s inception, the number of students participating in workshops has been steadily increasing. Graduating students have had great success in finding employment within the growing IT industry in Kenya.

Anita, a member of the Social Sciences Committee at the UNESCO Youth Forum Kenya, marvels, “I have never known that tech can be so much fun. Doing the YouthMobile training has made me so eager to complete my final project!”

A hackathon has been scheduled for September, where students will be required to fully develop their final mobile applications for presentation. In the hackathon, the students will build Android applications in the following areas: education, unemployment, culture, water and sustainable development.

To find out more about the UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative, follow us on Twitter @YouthMobile_ or visit our website: www.youthmobile.org

Openly-licensed photos from the Workshop will be available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/125945777(at)N02/

UNESCO is organizing similar YouthMobile workshops in South Sudan, Nigeria, Lebanon and Jordan.

Call for proposals: Research on Internet governance principles

Tue, 26/08/2014 - 16:05

The UNESCO study on “Internet governance principles: Declarations, normative frameworks and accountability measures” will provide a comprehensive review of key initiatives on Internet governance principles which have been developed by various stakeholders, and analyze the extent to which various declarations have been used as normative instruments. It will also examine the compatibility of existing documents with respect to UNESCO’s mandate, offer an online resource with open access to documents and data, and inform options for future UNESCO actions.

The research could cover the following key questions: What international and regional normative documents related to access to information, freedom of expression, privacy and ethical dimensions of the information society have been developed? What networks and observatories exist to identify developments regarding Internet governance? How does UNESCO’s draft concept of Internet universality fit into existing documents? Is there a gap that needs to be filled to cover the areas under UNESCO’s mandate?

The study should be made available in English in the first instance and be further translated if resources are identified. It will be published under Creative Commons license and made available in pdf and epub formats.

Interested parties should submit their proposals to Ms Xianhong Hu: x.hu(at)unesco.org, by 20 September 2014. Proposals should include:

  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae;
  • a statement indicating how the candidate's qualifications and experience make him/her suitable for the assignment;
  • an indication of the approach he/she would adopt to carry out the assignment;
  • the overall cost of the assignment in US dollars.

More information on the this call for proposals is available in the Background document. To elaborate on the scope of the study UNESCO will provide the selected contractor with a detailed concept note.

UNESCO and partners released Research Agenda for the Global Alliance on Media and Gender

Tue, 26/08/2014 - 10:53

The publication addresses both knowledge and actions linked to gender and media issues. It analyses existing research findings and their links to policies, foregrounds existing research gaps, and recommends research and policy actions to be taken by the Global Alliance on Media and Gender and other stakeholders globally.

Media and Gender: A Scholarly Agenda covers a range of concerns highlighting major themes including violence against women; women in leadership/decision making of media; gender and media policies and strategies; journalism education, and media and information literacy. It was launched during the IAMCR Hyderabad conference, India, in July 2014.

The preparation of this resource is a follow-up to the Global Forum on Media and Gender held in Bangkok in December 2013, which gave rise to the groundbreaking Global Alliance on Media and Gender. By bringing together multiple stakeholders such as media organizations, civil society, academics, government entities, and development agencies - UNESCO hopes to ensure dialogue to promote and accelerate a more sustainable gender-sensitive approach in and through the media.

The launch of the publication was made possible through successful partnership between UNESCO and IAMCR, a worldwide professional organization working in the field of media and communication research. The Gender and Communication Section of IAMCR has led several initiatives regarding gender equality issues.

As this is the first edition of the research agenda, we encourage you to offer feedback for future editions by joining the related GAMAG discussion. If you are not yet a member of GAMAG please join this global movement.

Request for Quotation Extended to 26 August 2014: Research on “Licensing online free expression”

Tue, 19/08/2014 - 16:43

Interested parties should submit (i) proposal (ii) budget by 26 August 2014.

The study will be published under Creative Commons licence and made available in pdf and epub formats.

Background:

UNESCO is the United Nations specialized agency with a mandate to defend and promote freedom of expression and its corollary press freedom. By Resolution 52 of the 37th General Conference in 2013, UNESCO is mandated to conduct a comprehensive and consultative study on Internet-related issues (http://www.unesco.org/new/internetstudy), the results of which should include options that inform the Organization’s reporting to the 38th General Conference in 2015. The study includes freedom of expression and privacy, amongst its issues of concern. A focus that has been identified that concerns both two rights is the licensing of online journalistic expression. Restricting access to using a means of communication is a matter directly related to press freedom.  It has emerged as a complimentary approach to the longer-standing practices of filtering and blocking which impact particularly on the right to seek and receive information.  States reported to have introduced some kind of requirement for online publishing include Singapore, Jordan and Russia.

From the point of view of international standards, free expression is the norm, and restrictions the exception.  In this light, the registration of journalists and media outlets has been evaluated as to its necessity, proportionality and legitimate purpose.  When registration serves as licensing, strict tests are needed to ensure legitimacy. Historically, the licensing of broadcasting has been justifiable as a method to regulate the allocation of limited transmission frequencies, and to impose conditions on this use of a public resource. Given the infinite possibilities for private publishing on print or online, the same rationale for licensing does not apply, and open access prevails. International practice therefore points to permission free journalism online, subject only to the legitimate limited restrictions that apply to free expression in general, such as based on the rights of others (eg. Defamation) or public safety (eg. Incitement to violence).

Reinforcing the norm whereby individuals do not need registration or license to publish online, the Internet has also historically afforded a degree of anonymity. This has allowed for free expression in cases where individuals chose to keep their identity private, and which thereby made possible a volume of journalistic content in the public sphere that would not otherwise have appeared.

At the same time, as recognized in the recent UNESCO report “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development”, an increasing number of countries are introducing registration and either formal or de facto licensing for online access or availability, and particularly for the use of access for the purposes of online publishing.  This trend risks becoming an exclusionary device on the one hand – entailing prior censorship, and on the other hand, serving as a mechanism that enforces self-censorship by curbing the bounds of publishing in ways that go beyond legitimate limitation. In some cases, the responsibility required of licensed online publishers extends to user comments on their platform.

Existing research

Aside from UNESCO’s recent publication World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development that refers in parts to this new development, not much comprehensive information exists on the topic. Research such as that produced by Open Net, Reporters sans Frontiers and Freedom House has focused more on issues of blocking, filtering and attacks on existing online content. The Netizen Report however signals a range of emerging cases, which lend themselves to further follow-up and analysis.

Issues and Purpose

The issue of by-permission publishing online raises complex issues for assessments of recent policy, legal, and regulatory regimes, and research should address:

  • Any distinctions made between registration and licensing for this form of expression within such by-permission publishing regulatory regimes;
  • Assessment of de-registration or license suspension / withdrawal provisions, and redress procedures;
  • Assessment of how anonymity (an enabler of privacy) features in these regimes;
  • Assessments of the actors deemed covered by these regimes;
  • Assessments of the liability imposed by registration/licensing for user generated content and comment;
  • Assessments of jurisdictional dimensions involved;
  • Assessment of the conditionalities for approved access to online publishing within such regimes;
  • Assessment of the sanctions and penalities, in regard to proportionality principles, that are applied uniquely to online publishing;
  • How by-permission online publishing is monitored and implemented (by ISPs, social networks, etc).

The purpose this proposed research is to provide contemporary and evidence-based answers to these questions, thereby producing new information that can assist all stakeholders with interests in the topic and in particular contribute to the UNESCO study on Internet-related issues.  With the latter in mind, it will be important to complete the research by the end of November 2014.

Research process

The process requires:

a. A mapping of 10-20 countries with recent regulatory changes in this area; this mapping can be done on a template, allowing for quantitative tabulation of results. 

b. Overview of the issues, and review of developments worldwide in the past two years.

c.  A qualitative analysis of the early phases of implementation of new regimes.

d. Finally, general recommendations are needed about what steps could ensure alignment of measures with international standards.

An editorial board of volunteer experts would be valuable to add insight and provide peer review for the study.

Contents and distribution:

The envisioned output document will provisionally be as follows:

PAGES

Total

Executive summary

2

Introduction

2

Overview

8

Methodology

3

Statistical findings

10

Qualitative findings

10

Conclusions and Recommendations

20

Bibliography

10

Totals

65

 

The study should be made available in English in the first instance, and be further translated if resources permit. It will be published under Creative Commons licence (i.e. for free download), and made available in pdf and epub formats. 

To elaborate on the scope of the study UNESCO will provide the selected contractor with an extensive concept note.

Interested parties should submit (i) proposal (ii) budget by 26 August 2014 to: c.hammarberg(at)unesco.org and x.hu(at)unesco.org.

Online content coordinator: Call for proposals

Tue, 12/08/2014 - 12:24

13 February is World Radio Day — a day to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information and freedom of expression over the airwaves. As radio continues to evolve in the digital age, it remains the medium that reaches the widest audience worldwide and that has appropriated new information and communication technology to boost its audience.

UNESCO encourages all countries to celebrate World Radio Day by planning activities in partnership with regional, national and international broadcasters, non-governmental organizations, the media and the public. World Radio Day was proclaimed by UNESCO in 2011 and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012.

If you are interested in this assignment, please send a written proposal in line with the Terms of Reference, in English or French, to projectrecruitementci(at)unesco.org on or before 12 September 2014 at 12 a.m. Paris time. Please state “Online Content Coordinator” in the subject of the e-mail.

For more information on World Radio Day, please visit: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/world-radio-day

GAPMIL’s statement on the occasion of the International Youth Day 2014

Mon, 11/08/2014 - 17:13

The mental health of young people truly does matter, and we urge all MIL enthusiasts around the world to use the occasion of the International Youth Day to help young people achieve their full potential and highlight the role of MIL in this regard.

At the level of GAPMIL, we shall continue to pursue programmes and initiatives that put the health and well-being of young people on the forefront of global discourse.

The Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) is committed to supporting children and youth in their efforts to engage in meaningful participation in our world which is driven by information, media and technology. Media and information literacy (MIL) is concerned with developing citizens’ critical understanding of information and media, as well as the roles these play in all aspects of their daily lives and in society as a whole.

MIL is also concerned with supporting young people to become active citizens as they navigate the plethora of information and media messages that they encounter, and as they explore the potential positive and negative aspects of information and media content.

The type of information we access, whether through electronic media, Internet, books, or face-to-face interactions can influence our behavior, the way we see ourselves and others. Media and information literacy competencies and access to media and information technology are all important to ensure children’s and youth’s full-fledged development and participation in inclusive, just and healthy societies.

Note

GAPMIL was launched in June 2013 in Abuja, Nigeria, by UNESCO, UNAOC, and other partners, during the Global Forum for Partnerships on MIL, incorporating the International Conference on MIL and Intercultural Dialogue.

It aims to promote media and information literacy (MIL) as a means to open and inclusive development.  For more information on GAPMIL, please visit: http://www.unesco.org/new/.../gapmil_framework_and_action_plan

UNESCO and Zain launches YouthMobile in South Sudan

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:43

At a time when South Sudan is looking for new ways to build peace and sustainable development, empowering the youth to be innovative will expand their horizons and sustain the hope of a new outlook to address local needs.

The YouthMobile Initiative aims to address the challenge of youth unemployment and economic stagnation in South Sudan by conducting comprehensive workshops in order to enhance ICT skill-levels among local youth. It is UNESCO’s hope that these workshops will result in sustainable job creation and innovative approaches in solving locally-relevant issues. 

“Given the transformative effect of ICT and its potential to propel development and create knowledge based economies, investing in the youth of South Sudan with mobile application development skills is literally placing wealth into their hands” says  Salah Khaled, UNESCO Representative in South Sudan.

The UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative aims to directly engage young people—with particular attention to young women—to acquire the high-level skills and confidence to develop, promote, and sell mobile applications. By 2017, UNESCO is seeking to train over 25,000 young people to release at least 5,000 mobile applications globally especially in areas of sustainable development.

The YouthMobile workshop in Juba coincides with the celebration of International Youth Day in South Sudan, which is celebrated globally on 12 August each year and was established by the United Nations in 1999 as a means of raising awareness of issues affecting young people around the world.

The two-week training workshop will be conducted by The Dev School, a Kenyan NGO that has successfully run similar training sessions for young people in Kenya.

Ms.  Martha Chumo, Director of The Dev School was one of the distinguished delegates in the YouthMobile Experts Meeting held at UNESCO Headquarters in March 2014. The meeting enabled world-leading training providers of mobile applications development for young people to share best practices with each other as well as design a strategy to reach a critical mass of young people like those in South Sudan.

The training workshop will take place at the College of Computer Science and Information, University of Juba, who are supporting this initiative with the provision of 40 computers to be used for the practical sessions.

Zain South Sudan, a mobile telecommunications provider, will offer 20 Android mobile phones with prepaid data access as well as raising awareness of this initiative. This partnership is pivotal to having the workshop succeed and be replicated to ensure more youth in South Sudan are equipped with mobile application development skills.

To further achieve the overall objective of the YouthMobile Initiative, Zain and The Dev School will also organize competitions to extensively highlight the best mobile apps in the region, providing the young South Sudanese developers with significant exposure to networking opportunities, ultimately contributing to their employability.

“We are proud to be part of this initiative with UNESCO and The Dev School to contribute to the development of the Youth in South Sudan,” pointed out Zain South Sudan CEO Basel Manasrah. “It is one of Zain South Sudan’s core values to invest in the communities in which we operate, and investing in youth is investing in the future of the country.”

To find out more about the Workshop, follow us on Twitter with #JubaYouthMobile.

Openly-licensed photos from the Workshop will be available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/125945777(at)N02/

To find out more about the UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative, follow us on Twitter @YouthMobile_ or visit our website: www.youthmobile.org

UNESCO is organizing similar YouthMobile workshops in Kenya, Nigeria and Lebanon.

Empowering local radios with ICTs: UNESCO is seeking a project assistant

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 11:57

The incumbent will, among other things, help in the execution and coordination of the project; track progress towards the attainment of benchmarks and expected results; be responsible for the website permanent updates as well as social media actions; liaise and follow-up partnerships; help control budget expenses.

The project addresses people’s lack of access to information, particularly to news relevant to development and covered in a comprehensible language, such as breaking local news, information on the basic services available to them and, in general, on relevant social issues. It intends to increase the quality of local radio programming and broadcasting by fully integrating the use of ICTs, strengthening local reporting on issues of public interest and engaging poor people’s participation in development. With a focus on free and open-source applications, the project will help radio broadcasters improve editorial content and interaction with their audiences.

How to apply

If you are interested in this assignment, please send a written proposal in line with the Terms of reference, in English or French, to projectrecruitmentci(at)unesco.org on or before 31 August 2014 at 12 a.m. Paris time.

Your written application should comprise:

  •  an up to date curriculum vitae, including three references from previous employers,
  • a proposal of approach for the assignment, and
  • a competitive fee per month, which should be quoted in US dollars or in Euros only.

Any additional information you may request will be sent to you as soon as possible. However, any delay in providing such information will not be considered a reason for extending the date for submission of your proposal.

Kindly note as well that, until the selection of contractor is made and the contract is formally signed by UNESCO, the Organization has not undertaken any commitment, whether oral or written to you or other prospective contractors.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Women candidates are encouraged to apply as well as persons with disabilities. UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

Thank you for your interest in this UNESCO call. We look forward to receiving your proposal in due time.

Contact: projectrecruitmentci(at)unesco.org

UNESCO-supported community radio plays major role in fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone

Mon, 04/08/2014 - 17:38

Koinadugu is the only district in Sierra Leone where there have been no cases of Ebola so far, though it borders the Republic of Guinea, where the current Ebola outbreak was first reported. The district’s council, together with other organizations, set up an Ebola Task Force, which has been very effective using the radio to pass on information to the community.

Coverage of Radio Bintumani was limited, until recently, due to a lack of a standby generator and transmission equipment. Through its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), UNESCO provided $20,000, which has enabled the radio station to broadcast for longer hours and with wider coverage, reaching the entire district.

An Ebola outbreak was first reported in the Republic of Guinea in March 2014. Since then, Ebola has spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to WHO, by 30 July 2014 there were 1440 suspected cases and 826 reported deaths. This outbreak is the most lethal of the five known strains of the virus. It is called Ebola Zaire and can kill up to 9 out of 10 infected people. The present case fatality rate in this outbreak is around 60%.

The severity of the outbreak is a result of weaknesses in national healthcare systems, community fear, resistance and stigmatization, inappropriate use of personal protective equipment and unsafe burial practices. During the current outbreak, most of the disease has spread through human-to-human transmission.

Request for Quotation: Research on licensing online free expression

Wed, 30/07/2014 - 10:21

Interested parties should submit (i) proposal (ii) budget by 12 August 2014.

The study will be published under Creative Commons licence and made available in pdf and epub formats.

Background

UNESCO is the United Nations specialized agency with a mandate to defend and promote freedom of expression and its corollary press freedom. By Resolution 52 of the 37th General Conference in 2013, UNESCO is mandated to conduct a comprehensive and consultative study on Internet-related issues (http://www.unesco.org/new/internetstudy), the results of which should include options that inform the Organization’s reporting to the 38th General Conference in 2015. The study includes freedom of expression and privacy, amongst its issues of concern. A focus that has been identified that concerns both two rights is the licensing of online journalistic expression. Restricting access to using a means of communication is a matter directly related to press freedom.  It has emerged as a complimentary approach to the longer-standing practices of filtering and blocking which impact particularly on the right to seek and receive information.  States reported to have introduced some kind of requirement for online publishing include Singapore, Jordan and Russia.

From the point of view of international standards, free expression is the norm, and restrictions the exception.  In this light, the registration of journalists and media outlets has been evaluated as to its necessity, proportionality and legitimate purpose.  When registration serves as licensing, strict tests are needed to ensure legitimacy. Historically, the licensing of broadcasting has been justifiable as a method to regulate the allocation of limited transmission frequencies, and to impose conditions on this use of a public resource. Given the infinite possibilities for private publishing on print or online, the same rationale for licensing does not apply, and open access prevails. International practice therefore points to permission free journalism online, subject only to the legitimate limited restrictions that apply to free expression in general, such as based on the rights of others (e.g. Defamation) or public safety (e.g. Incitement to violence).

Reinforcing the norm whereby individuals do not need registration or license to publish online, the Internet has also historically afforded a degree of anonymity. This has allowed for free expression in cases where individuals chose to keep their identity private, and which thereby made possible a volume of journalistic content in the public sphere that would not otherwise have appeared.

At the same time, as recognized in the recent UNESCO report “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development”, an increasing number of countries are introducing registration and either formal or de facto licensing for online access or availability, and particularly for the use of access for the purposes of online publishing.  This trend risks becoming an exclusionary device on the one hand – entailing prior censorship, and on the other hand, serving as a mechanism that enforces self-censorship by curbing the bounds of publishing in ways that go beyond legitimate limitation. In some cases, the responsibility required of licensed online publishers extends to user comments on their platform.

Existing research

Aside from UNESCO’s recent publication World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development that refers in parts to this new development, not much comprehensive information exists on the topic. Research such as that produced by Open Net, Reporters sans Frontiers and Freedom House has focused more on issues of blocking, filtering and attacks on existing online content. The Netizen Report however signals a range of emerging cases, which lend themselves to further follow-up and analysis.

Issues and Purpose

The issue of by-permission publishing online raises complex issues for assessments of recent policy, legal, and regulatory regimes, and research should address:  

  • Any distinctions made between registration and licensing for this form of expression within such by-permission publishing regulatory regimes;
  • Assessment of de-registration or license suspension / withdrawal provisions, and redress procedures;
  • Assessment of how anonymity (an enabler of privacy) features in these regimes;
  • Assessments of the actors deemed covered by these regimes;
  • Assessments of the liability imposed by registration/licensing for user generated content and comment;
  • Assessments of jurisdictional dimensions involved;
  • Assessment of the conditionalities for approved access to online publishing within such regimes;
  • Assessment of the sanctions and penalities, in regard to proportionality principles, that are applied uniquely to online publishing;
  • How by-permission online publishing is monitored and implemented (by ISPs, social networks, etc).

The purpose this proposed research is to provide contemporary and evidence-based answers to these questions, thereby producing new information that can assist all stakeholders with interests in the topic and in particular contribute to the UNESCO study on Internet-related issues.  With the latter in mind, it will be important to complete the research by the end of November 2014.

Research process

The process requires:

  1. A mapping of 10-20 countries with recent regulatory changes in this area; this mapping can be done on a template, allowing for quantitative tabulation of results. 
  2. Overview of the issues, and review of developments worldwide in the past two years.
  3. A qualitative analysis of the early phases of implementation of new regimes.
  4. Finally, general recommendations are needed about what steps could ensure alignment of measures with international standards.

An editorial board of volunteer experts would be valuable to add insight and provide peer review for the study.

Contents and distribution

The envisioned output document will provisionally be as follows:

PAGES

Total


Executive summary

2

Introduction

2

Overview

8

Methodology

3

Statistical findings

10

Qualitative findings

10

Conclusions and Recommendations

20

Bibliography

10

Totals

65

The study should be made available in English in the first instance, and be further translated if resources permit. It will be published under Creative Commons licence (i.e. for free download), and made available in pdf and epub formats. 

To elaborate on the scope of the study UNESCO will provide the selected contractor with an extensive concept note.

Interested parties should submit (i) proposal (ii) budget by 12 August 2014 to: c.hammarberg(at)unesco.org and x.hu(at)unesco.org.

Workshop for the development of an OER-based course on the ICT Competency Framework in Kenya

Tue, 29/07/2014 - 15:43

This Workshop was a direct follow up to Implementation Strategy developed during the National Stakeholders’ Consultation held in the framework of this project, in June 2013. It also follows a series of preliminary workshops held in the Spring of 2014 which aimed develop a curriculum map, and brought together representatives of national stakeholder institutions responsible and/or active in teacher training in Kenya, namely,  The International University of Professional Studies (formerly Inoorero University), Kenya Education Management Institute; Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), Kenya Ministry of Education, Kenya National Commission (KNATCOM), Kenya Technical Teachers College, National ICT Innovation and Integration Centre, CEMESTEA, Strathmore University,  and the Teachers Service Commission – Kenya

The Workshop focused on the review and finalization of the course. The majority of the 15 units of the Kenyan ICT CFT (KICT CFT) course were finalized during the meeting and prepared for final editing before release on 18 August 2014 for the pilot training session for facilitators.   The course materials are being developed on an open source learning management system(Moodle) and during the Workshop, this course was enabled to be available on mobile devices. It was also decided that all Word documents would be converted to ePub to facilitate its accessibility to persons with disabilities.  

The training courses will be launched with two face-to-face training sessions of course facilitators in late August 2014 to prepare for their piloting in 2 sessions of the online course for teacher trainers to be held over a period of 12 weeks from in September 2014 to November 2014.

This activity is part of UNESCO’s continued efforts of promoting the application of ICTs to enhance the quality of and access to education, including the stimulation of production, sharing and access to open educational resources (OERs).  After the adoption of the Paris OER Declaration in 2012 UNESCO, this activity is being implemented with the financial support of the Hewlett Foundation, in 3 countries (Indonesia, Kenya, Oman).

Pages