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Building Peace in the Minds of Men and Women
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IPDC extends financial support for Ebola projects in Africa

Vie, 27/03/2015 - 16:05

The proposals, submitted by proponents in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, are in line with UNESCO's Strategic Response to Ebola, which underlines the need to strengthen communication systems in the above countries.

The funds will be used to enhance community radio infrastructure, issue reporting guidelines, train investigative journalists and mobilize women's participation and engagement in media.

Guy Berger, secretary to the IPDC Secretariat and director of the Freedom of Expression and Media Development Division at UNESCO, reminded the eight-country Bureau members chaired by Albana Shala (Netherlands) that media development interventions introduced during the Ebola outbreak must be sustained through further capacity building.

"If there is already a strong, pluralistic, free and independent media system in a country, then that counts as good preparedness to deal with disaster," he emphasized.

In reinforcing the point, Albana Shala, IPDC Chairperson, argued that "the three countries, which have experienced war and conflict, have not received much support from the IPDC in the past thirty years. They merit our attention now more than ever."

The Bureau members agreed that without information, one inadvertently faces the risk of Ebola contamination in the Mano River Region.

Recent efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone demonstrate commitment to achieving zero status of Ebola cases in 2015 and to strengthening public institutions to contain the disease and its impact.  Attention to the media landscape and its development in all three countries is of paramount importance if the existing media infrastructure is to continue playing a fundamental and long-lasting public service role.

During the past week, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 79 new Ebola cases including 1 in Liberia. Despite large-scale information and education campaigns, many communities are still resistant to the public health messages put out by authorities and international organizations, according to the non-governmental organization, Doctors Without Borders.

Ghanaian media group gives support to UNESCO’s IPDC

Vie, 27/03/2015 - 15:57

Ankomah made the announcement during the ongoing IPDC Bureau meeting at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

He explained: “We recognize the importance of the IPDC in building journalists’ capacity in elections reporting. We thus consider our contribution as part of our effort at building a partnership with the Programme”.

He added that the IPDC had enormous capacity to “influence politicians and policy-makers” on matters of freedom of expression, access to information and the safety of journalists. 

Which is why Ankomah called upon the IPDC to urge its African Member States, including Ghana, to enact a Freedom of Information law, as a way of acceding to the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

Such a move, he explained, would open up government data and ensure journalists were protected from political pressures associated with reporting on sensitive issues.

Acknowledging this contribution, IPDC Chairperson, Albana Shala, thanked Ankomah, saying that the contribution by Allied News Ltd was facilitated by the Ghanaian Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, HE Johanna Odonkor Svanikier .

She said: “This contribution gives the much-needed visibility to the IPDC. Indeed, every contribution helps to sustain this unique inter-governmental programme”.

The IPDC Bureau meeting will conclude later today, after considering such other issues as the IPDC’s niche in the wider media development environment as well as responding to strategic gender issues in programme implementation.

Mr Ankomah shared with the Bureau meeting of the IPDC the role of his media organization in opinion research and their reportage had contributed to the success of Ghana’s elections.

An Asia-Pacific Memory of the World capacity building initiative organized in China

Vie, 27/03/2015 - 15:28

This training workshop seeks to support and equip with necessary skills and nomination strategies under-represented Member States in the Asia Pacific Region or who have no items inscribed on the MOW international register and who lack experience in identifying and promoting their documentary heritage within the framework of the Memory of the World Programme. 31 participants from 7 countries are taking part in the capacity building activity, namely from China, the DPR of Korea, Indonesia, Mongolia, the Solomon Islands, and Viet Nam.  Participants have been selected from national heritage institutions in order to represent National Archives, Historical & Provincial Archives, the National Museum of Myanmar, the Hue Monuments Conservation Center in Viet Nam and the National Library of the DPR of Korea.

The Director-General of the State Archives Administration of China, Mr Yang Dongquan, opened the event by emphasizing the strong commitment of China to the preservation and promotion of documentary and cultural heritage of the Asia Pacific countries at  provincial, national, regional and international levels. Shortly after the Chinese national MOW committee was established, a ‘China Documentary Heritage Programme’ was established in 2000. Over the last 15 years, the Programme contributed to preserve and promote the country’s rich documentary heritage and some 113 items were inscribed on the national MOW register. The Programme not only succeeded in   building bridges for a much needed cooperation among national memory institutions, but also in providing critical financial and technological support for the preservation of endangered archives. As a current MOWCAP Chair, China expressed a strong commitment and wish to play a more active role in promoting the MOW objectives and making the Programme better known not only in the region but also globally by supporting new initiatives.

The UNESCO representative, Ms Iskra Panevska, Programme Specialist at the Knowledge Societies Division, pointed out that the Memory of the World Register has a very deep meaning. She argued that the Memory of the World Programme is not just about documents and books, but that it is deeply anchored in human experiences, it matters for belonging and identity, and carries universal value. She emphasized that from UNESCO’s perspective the Programme encompasses the great diversity of humanity’s expressions, in all languages, in all forms, coming from all cultures and it seeks to safeguard and promote humanity’s unique documentary heritage for the benefit of all. The Programme also aims at encouraging the quest for history and its impact, for knowledge of future generations and for sharpening their value systems.

The workshop will close with a session in which the three teams of participants will present six draft nominations which they have elaborated during the workshop.

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme vision is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance. The Programme is thus intended to protect documentary heritage, and to help networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for the preservation of, and the access to, documentary and archival collections of valuable records.

UNESCO builds knowledge for protecting journalists

Vie, 27/03/2015 - 14:46

Colombia has evolved a system over 15 years to protect journalists, and this has helped to strongly reduce the numbers of journalists killed in that country, said Carlos Cortés. He presented a wiki that details the way the system works, highlighting the importance of a centrally-driven initiative and integration of protection with legal actions against those who attack journalists.

France’s TV5 Monde has a system in place for rapid response to danger, said Yves Bigot, Director-General of the station. The broadcaster’s protection systems liaise closely with state authorities, but not at the expense of independence of journalists, he noted. Tracking technology enables live monitoring of the safety of international correspondents in the field, who also need to report to editors at least every 12 hours.

He warned that information about local movement could sometimes be compromised by betrayals from associated staff, exposing journalists to kidnapping and ransom demands.

States have a role to play in regulating that media companies should provide protection for journalists, said Monir Zaarour of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). He further stated that after the Charlie Hebdo killings, safety issues had entered into the minds of every journalist and their family worldwide.

Instead of relying on costly international trainers with translators to empower journalists in self-protection, IFJ has developed a programme in Africa and the Arab States to capacitate local trainers to deliver the knowledge and skill.

The stress of working as a journalist needs to be recognised and responded to, said Kenyan psychologist Dinah Kituyi. Her experience assessed journalists in East Africa showed high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as problems of denial and emotional numbing.

Delegates from Denmark, Peru, Sweden, Brazil, Bangladesh, Algeria and Niger took the floor in response to the speakers.

The concept note for this panel states: “in a global world, to stop journalists being killed anywhere, it is necessary to stop the attacks everywhere. There should be no space for “precedents” and copycat killings; instead journalists need to be protected, and perpetrators of attacks must be brought to justice. Sharing experiences and building practical responses will give concrete effect to the basic norm that violence against journalism cannot be permitted.”

The IPDC meeting also served to launch the new UNESCO publication “Building Digital Safety for Journalists”.

UNESCO’s IPDC is key to safety of journalists

Jue, 26/03/2015 - 16:29

He noted that IPDC was a vehicle to share international experiences in the safety of journalists, highlighting lessons that “are no longer distant to Western Europe – such as protection systems for journalists, training of trainers to optimize capacity-building efforts, and support for journalists suffering from trauma.”

Mr Engida added: “the safety of journalists is truly a global effort, and the IPDC’s support for activities in one part of the world can increasingly be of help elsewhere.”

In echoing Engida’s remarks, IPDC Chairperson, Albana Shala, further highlighted IPDC’s role in advocating for journalists' safety online and offline, adding that ‘killings of journalists, if unpunished, tend to make checks on power impossible’.

These IPDC concerns about journalistic safety and other aspects of media development were subsequently taken up in an analytical summary of projects supported by the IPDC over the 2013-2014 period.

In presenting the report, Fackson Banda, a programme specialist responsible for an IPDC initiative called Knowledge-Driven Media Development, pointed out that a significant number of projects supported by IPDC were relevant to the issues.

The IPDC Bureau is currently meeting to examine almost 100 project proposals submitted from all over the world as part of its drive to improve the media condition in terms of freedom of expression, capacity development for journalists and technological innovation.

Debate to cover international sharing of experience about protecting journalists

Mié, 25/03/2015 - 16:57

How Kenya deals with problems of stress on journalists is the subject of discussion by Dinah van Altena Kituyi, an expert speaker in the debate “After Charlie: strengthening the safety of journalists”, scheduled at UNESCO for Friday 27 March.

The event is part of a meeting of the Bureau of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication. The IPDC is the cradle of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

Ms Kituyi will speak about the nightmares, anger and emotional numbing experienced by Kenyan journalists who have been subjected to threats and worse. 

She has extensive experience in counselling media people, including journalists in exile, and is a contributor to the publication “Images that stay forever” about their stress in relation to covering massacres in 2012 and 2013.

The effects of stress are damaged relationships at home, substance abuse and ongoing unhappiness. The recommendations Ms Kituyi will speak about include complementing psychological support with awareness raising and research, and including stress as part of safety training in schools of journalism.  

Another speaker sharing international experience at the meeting is Mr Carlos Cortés, an expert who is researching the development of police protection of journalists in Colombia. He will describe the evolution of different structures that evaluate and respond to journalists under threat.

The Colombian system is widely recognised as a pioneering step whereby a state can ensure that journalists can withstand intimidation and be shielded from attack.

Mr Monir Zaarour, of the International Federation of Journalists, will speak at the meeting on a model of training trainers as a way to maximise skills-sharing amongst journalists in regard to self-protection. This has been implemented especially in the Arab region.

The role of media institutions in terms of supporting the safety of journalists will be covered by Mr Yves Bigot, Director-General of TV5Monde.

Delegations of Member States as well as the media have been invited to the meeting, and a video of the proceedings will be put online in order to spread the information further.

UNESCO’s IPDC Bureau to support scores of media projects

Lun, 23/03/2015 - 16:57

An amount of approximately $1m will be shared out amongst the projects that are selected, with the money coming this year from extra-budgetary contributions made by Andorra, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

The 8-member Bureau of the IPDC will make the decisions at its 59th meeting on 26 and 27 March, at UNESCO Headquarters. This programme was started in 1980, and over the years it has disbursed over $100m to media development projects in developing countries.

During the meeting, the Bureau will also discuss an analytical report on projects that were supported over the past year, as well as how to promote gender mainstreaming in IPDC-funded projects.

Algeria, Bangladesh, Denmark, Ghana, the Netherlands, Niger, Peru and Poland make up the members of the 2015-16 Bureau, as elected by the 39-Member State IPDC Council in November 2014.

The meeting will also discuss IPDC’s four special initiatives – covering the safety of journalists, media development indicators, excellence in journalism education, and knowledge-driven media development.

The agenda of the meeting includes a debate on Friday 27th titled "After Charlie: Strengthening the safety of journalists".

Speakers with expertise about protection of journalists’ safety in Colombia, Kenya, France and the Arab region will share their experiences and engage with Member States.

Other items on the agenda for the Bureau include examining the niche and priorities of IPDC, as well as setting communication and fundraising targets to increase the impact of the Programme.

Building Digital Safety for Journalism: UNESCO launches a new publication

Vie, 20/03/2015 - 16:07

Parallel to the growing digitisation of journalism which brings unprecedented benefits to both producers and consumers of journalism, there are worrying trends that have emerged. This publication thus identifies at least 12 digital threats, including illegal or arbitrary digital surveillance, location tracking, and software and hardware exploits without the knowledge of the target. Further examples that are considered are: phishing, fake domain attacks, Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks, and Denial of Service (DoS).

While not all the people who contribute to journalism are fulltime journalists, the research takes an inclusive approach that is relevant to any actor who is in danger of being targeted for doing journalism. Indeed, many points made are also of direct relevance to human rights defenders in general, to people who are sources for journalists, and even to actors who simply make use of digital communications for personal use.

In examining cases worldwide, this publication serves as a resource for a range of actors.  In a nutshell, it surveys the evolving threats, and assesses preventive, protective and pre-emptive measures. It shows that digital security for journalism encompasses, but also goes beyond, the technical dimension. This publication also gives an overview of actors and initiatives working to address digital safety, as well as identifying gaps in knowledge that call for awareness-raising. Recommendations are made for governments, journalism contributors and sources, news organizations, trainers, corporations and international organisations.

These insights are valuable for policymakers, civil society organisations, media companies, and a range of journalistic actors, offering them enhanced understanding about new challenges to journalism safety. 

The research was enabled under a contribution by the Kingdom of Denmark. The publication will be launched and presented at a number of international events including the forthcoming UNESCO IPDC meeting in Paris, 27 March 2015,  World Press Freedom Day Celebration Event in Riga, 3 May 2015  and 10th Internet Governance Forum in Brazil, 10-13 November 2015.

Other publications in the Internet Freedom series:

Young reporters and producers celebrate World Radio Day 2015 in Kenya

Mié, 18/03/2015 - 10:28

The celebrations brought together 55 participants working in community radios, university radio stations, youth organizations, media organizations, and the United Nations staff.  The 2-day event aimed at increasing the level of participation of young people in radio taking into account media ethics as producers of radio contents with media literacy skills and mobilizing and encouraging main stream media and community radios to promote access to information, freedom of expression and youth empowerment through their programs.

During the opening of the celebrations, Nasser Ega-Musa, Director of United Nations Information Centre said that “I am delighted that this year’s World Radio Day 2015 celebrations focuses on youth and media. It’s important to note that the youth are critical constituent in our society and therefore we should never ignore them. It’s my sincere belief that this year’s celebrations will amplify youth voices and increase their level of participation in radio and other forms of media in Kenya and the world.”

At the training on 12 February Victor Bwire, Deputy Director for Media Council of Kenya took participants through the code of ethics for journalism practice in Kenya, principles of ethical journalism and media literacy skills.  Anthony Arusi, a Producer and Reporter at Mwanedu FM in Voi County said that “I would like to sincerely thank UNESCO for inviting me to attend the world radio day celebrations and also for offering me training on code of ethic and media literacy. I believe the knowledge that I have gained from the training on code of ethics and media literacy will greatly assist me to ethically generate and package content for broadcast at our radio station. ” 

At the official celebrations youth participants presented their 5-7 minutes pre-recorded radio programmes from their stations on issues affecting young people in their geographical areas of coverage. The programmes included themes such as: Stigmatization – The Dilemma faced by young mothers in Kenya; Youth and Drugs; Youth empowerment; Youth and Democracy and Clutches of extremism among others. The programmes were produced in English and Swahili.

A plenary discussion was held after the presentations where participants engaged with a panel comprising of representatives from UNESCO, Media Council of Kenya, UN Information Centre for Kenya and Kenya National Commission for UNESCO - on issues relating to youth perspectives of media in Kenya.  Salome Ayugi, a fourth year journalism student at Maseno University said that “I am happy to have been invited to the World Radio Day 2015 celebrations. It provided me with an opportunity to share my experience and challenges of working as a producer and reporter at my university’s radio station in Kisumu County.”

Nyondo Nyae Kengo, a Producer and Reporter at Kwale Ranet FM stated “I wish to thank UNESCO for inviting me to attend the training workshop on code of ethics and media literacy; and, the World Radio Day celebrations. It’s now my duty as a journalist to go apply the knowledge that I have gained at my radio station in Kwale County“.

The World Radio Day 2015 celebrations focused on young women and men with a call for greater social inclusion of the generation under 30 years old, which accounts for more than half of the world’s population, and underlines the power of radio to contribute to this objective. It advocated for inclusion of young people in conceiving and producing radio programmes; production of radio programmes; and, production of programmes by and for young people.  This activity was organised as part of UNESCO’s on-going SIDA funded project titled: “Empowering local Radios with ICTs” in Kenya.

The preservation of invaluable documentary heritage in Tanzania supported by UNESCO and the European Union

Mar, 17/03/2015 - 11:19

Thus, for instance, the audio visual records at the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation are an important testimony to the rich heritage that requires continuous attention for its effective preservation. All these and other similar records would perish if consolidated efforts to preserve them were not undertaken.

That is why UNESCO and the European Union are teaming up through the 10th European Development Fund support for culture in order to collect, document, preserve and commemorate the mosaic of Africa's irreplaceable documentary heritage accumulated in Tanzania during the period of the independence movements.

Through this support, and with the additional resources secured for a total amount of near one million euros, training on the digitization of photographic and audio records have been delivered to archivists and information professionals from the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, the National Museum of Tanzania, Tanzania National Records and Archives and the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation. Also, interviews of the remaining witnesses of the liberation movements are underway, and the refurbishment of the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation's rich audio-visual archives is in progress as well. At the same time, the General Survey of tangible Tanzania’s Heritage Archives Collections is ongoing and will be recorded and distributed through an electronic database that is currently being developed.

When asked about the involvement of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation in this major initiative, Mr Gallus Abeid, representing the Foundation, is very positive about the work undertaken on the preservation of the heritage archives: "We really hope all these efforts will end up with a recognition by registration of these sets of archives in the Memory of the World Programme of UNESCO".

Dr Boyan Radoykov, Chief of the Universal Access and Preservation Section in UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division underscores: “People and societies must realize that documentary heritage in all its forms, and especially the one of outstanding and universal value, is constantly under attack and threat of destruction, and that consenting to its disappearance would be the biggest failure of our times. For many years, UNESCO, together with its members and partners is striving to raise the awareness of national authorities and other relevant stakeholders about the necessity to improve the conditions for the preservation of, and the increased access to the common heritage of humanity. The project in Tanzania is the perfect illustration of these institutional efforts.

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme vision is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance. The Programme is thus intended to protect documentary heritage, and to help networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for the preservation of, and the access to, documentary and archival collections of valuable records.

UNESCO’s Open Access (OA) Curriculum is now online

Lun, 16/03/2015 - 09:20

Within the overall framework of the organization’s strategy on OA, the recent launch of OA curricula for Researchers and Library Schools by UNESCO highlights its efforts for enhancing capacities to deal with Open Access issues. The carefully designed and developed sets of OA curricula for researchers and library and information professionals are based on two needs assessment surveys, and several rounds of face-to-face and online consultations with relevant stakeholders.

These curricula will soon be converted into self-directed e-learning tools, which will enable users to self-assess their knowledge on Open Access and take a learning pace that is initiated and directed by the learners themselves. UNESCO also aims to strengthen this initiative by translating the OA curricula into several languages that will increase their reach and impact.

The complete set of five OA modules for researchers and four OA modules for library schools is now available online and can be downloaded by clicking the following links:

Curriculum for Library Schools

Curriculum for Researchers

UNESCO promotes Open Access (OA), with particular emphasis on scientific information (journal articles, conference papers and datasets of various kinds) emanating from publicly funded research. Working with partners, UNESCO works to improve awareness about the benefits of OA among policy makers, researchers and knowledge managers. Through its global network of Field OfficesInstitutes and Centers, UNESCO facilitates the development and adoption of OA-enabling policies. In addition, UNESCO engages in global OA debates and cooperates with local, regional and global initiatives in support of OA.

IFAP contributes to CONNECTing the Dot’s success

Jue, 12/03/2015 - 16:44

Also present at the CONNECTing the Dot conference were partners and network members of UNESCO’s intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP), who participated as panelists, discussants rapporteurs and supported the drafting of the outcome document adopted by the conference.

Since receiving a mandate from UNESCO’s General Conference at its 37th session  in November 2013 to conduct the Internet study, a series of consultations, surveys and other processes have been undertaken to advance this work and IFAP has been closely following and contributing to this process. As a consultative and advisory body to the Organization that supports Member States to create and implement national information policy and strategy frameworks that support the building of knowledge societies, IFAP was ideally placed for playing this role.

In his intervention during the opening ceremony, the Chairperson of the Executive Board, His Excellency Ambassador Mohamed Amr, paid noticeable tribute to IFAP’s important contribution by underlining: “From the outset, I would like to thank the intergovernmental Information for All Programme, which has been closely associated with the organization of the Connecting the Dots Conference. As I am certain you all know, IFAP is one of the most important frameworks for international cooperation in our global effort to build inclusive knowledge societies.”

Ms Chafica Haddad, Chair of the IFAP Council, played an active role throughout the event, and also participated in the High-level governmental dialogue and the Multistakeholder Input Coordinating Group responsible  for guiding the preparation of the Outcome Document. Ms Haddad also used the conference as an opportunity to raise the visibility of IFAP’s policy tools such as the National Information Society Policy Template and to highlight upcoming events on the IFAP calendar. As Ms Haddad explained in her intervention, “IFAP has long recognized the power of increased access to information as a vehicle and tool for positive social transformation and development and the importance of engaging and empowering youth. Accordingly IFAP will be organizing an international conference at UNESCO on the Internet as a tool for development of youth against all forms of extremism and radicalism in June 2015. The conference will share experiences amongst experts and policy-makers on policy interventions and develop pilot projects which benefit youth and serve as a learning lab to closer link policy, practitioners, academics and stakeholders”.

Current and past members of the IFAP Bureau and its Working Groups, many of whom were in Paris to attend the 24th IFAP Bureau immediately following the CONNECTing the Dot conference  also contributed significantly to the discussions.

Reflecting on the outcomes of the two-day event Dr Indrajit Banerjee, Director of the Knowledge Societies Division and  Secretary of IFAP had this to say: By helping to bring the right people together around the right agenda, IFAP is contributing to crafting innovative solutions to the challenges that all societies face today. The study and outcome document are an important landmark that will orient UNESCO’s response to the opportunities and challenges of cybserpace.

The intergovernmental Information for All Programme was established in 2001. It provides a platform for international policy discussions, cooperation and the development of guidelines for action in the area of access to information and knowledge. The Programme supports Member States to develop and implement national information policy and strategy frameworks.

With Patronage of UNESCO and the YouthMobile Initiative, Telefónica Educación Digital launches the Mobile for Change app competition

Jue, 12/03/2015 - 15:35

Under the framework of International Women’s Day with a specific focus on gender equality, this global app competition targets women and young people by empowering them to develop mobile solutions for social good. Young people interested in learning about App development can apply what they learn from the free MOOCs offered on the MiríadaX platform and gain the necessary skills to produce their own App.

For the creation of the Apps, participants must use AllJoyn™, a free and open source software project by the AllSeen Alliance and the Qualcomm® Vuforia™ platform as well as the applications-development environment  App Inventor for Android devices.

“With this initiative we want to support app developers that are looking forward to using their talent in addressing a social welfare issue", says Sergio San Martín, project leader at Telefónica Educación Digital. We expect all submitted mobile applications must be aligned to the competition’s theme of social and environmental change, which includes education, entrepreneurship, healthy lifestyles, art and creativity, environmental sustainability, public safety, social inclusion, and empowerment of women.”

UNESCO’s patronage affirms Telefónica Educación Digital’s initiative, which upholds the important use of mobile technology to promote the building of knowledge societies and the participation of young people for achieving the upcoming new Sustainable Development Goals.

“UNESCO is confident that this event will contribute to the aims of its YouthMobile Initiative,” says Davide Storti, Programme Specialist of UNESCO. “The YouthMobile Initiative empowers young people all across the world to create mobile applications to address sustainable development challenges facing their communities, such as illiteracy and unemployment.”

The competition has a general category and two special categories, one dedicated to Apps aimed at the empowerment of women and the other for young people between 18 and 25 years of age. Each category will have five finalists, of which three will be prize winners. The first prize in each category is attendance at a VatorSplash event (including air travel, accommodations, and a financial award of 1,500 Euros), where the winner can learn from the best and exchange experiences with international investors. In addition, the winners will be supported with computer equipment and training.

Mobile for Change is expecting to attract over 3000 people with a minimum of 300 actual competition apps submitted. Participants will be mainly residing in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, but other language speakers are welcome to enter, too.

It is still possible to register online on the competition’s official web page. The 25th of March begins the period in which each participant can upload his or her App. The voting begins on the 16 of May and the winners will be announced on 26 June in a final event.

About Telefónica Educación Digital

Telefónica Digital Education is part of the Telefónica Group company specializing in providing online learning solutions for Education. It is the company of Telefónica that specializes in online training solutions and Digital Education. It has 400 Professional Digital Education programs in five countries:  Spain, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Chile, as well as more than 300 customers across Europe, Latin America, Central America, and North America.  Telefónica Digital Education provides training to 4 million students across platforms and has a content factory with more than 20,000 hours per year of production.

About UNESCO YouthMobile

The global objective of YouthMobile is by 2017 to have empowered at least 25,000 young people worldwide, particularly young women, with both the high-level skills and confidence to develop, promote, and sell at least 5,000 locally relevant mobile applications (apps) that solve local issues of sustainable development, and provide self-generated, viable employment opportunities in the mobile/ICT industry.

UNESCO Memory of the World Australian Register achieves 50 entries

Jue, 12/03/2015 - 15:28

At a special ceremony for the occasion, Professor Marie Bashir, former Governor of New South Wales, presented certificates of inscription for three new entries on the UNESCO Memory of the World Australian Register.  This takes the total number of entries to 50 since the Register was inaugurated in 2001. The new entries inscribed on 5 March are:

  • Records of the European War Collecting Project, established by the Trustees of the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales in 1918
  • The Gallipoli Letter, written by Keith Murdoch, 23 September 1915, held by the National Library of Australia
  • The Board for Anthropological Research Collections, 1923-1974, held by the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide.

“It’s very timely to have two records that contribute to our understanding of the First World War inscribed in the same year as the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign,” said Roslyn Russell, Chair of the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Committee.

Certificate recipients Nat Williams (National Library of Australia), Alex Byrne (State Library of NSW ) and Susan Coppin (University of Adelaide) with Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO and Roslyn Russell, Chair of the Australian Memory of the World Committee, after the ceremony.

The UNESCO Australian Memory of the World register contains a select list of Australia's unique, irreplaceable and influential documents. It includes four sets of records from the National Archives: landmark constitutional documents of the Commonwealth of Australia; Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin’s design drawings for the national capital; records of displaced persons- Europeans who migrated to Australia after World War II; records of the High Court of Australia and the F.E. Williams Papuan photographic collection.

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme vision is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance. The Programme is thus intended to protect documentary heritage, and to help networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for the preservation of, and the access to, documentary and archival collections of valuable records.

Watch Live: UNESCO-UN Women give center stage to gender and media in New York

Mié, 11/03/2015 - 16:30

Several decades of research have clearly shown that, despite some improvement, women remain consistently underrepresented in media staffing at all levels, including in executive decision making, and misrepresented in media content.

Director-General of UNESCO, in her message on the International Women’s Day, stated “2015 is the year to review achievements and look to the challenges that remain, as well as to untapped potential and opportunities. This is especially important as States shape a new global sustainable development agenda.”

Watch Live at 10:00am in New York on March 12, 2015

The event will address one of the 12 Critical  Areas of Concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, “Women and the Media”, putting the spotlight on the importance of media regulatory and self-regulatory measures and the need for global partnerships. This will help give momentum to global efforts to promote gender equality in and through the media and contribute to the discussion in the context of the 20-year review the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action during the 59th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Ultimately, it will also contribute to shaping an ambitious Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The event will build on the partnerships amongst UNESCO, UN WOMEN, the Islamic Scientific Education and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), and others which co-organized the first Global Forum on Media and Gender held in Bangkok, Thailand (2-4 December 2013). The Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG), a pioneering network of over 500 media, non-governmental as well as governmental organizations was the key outcome of that Forum. Nordic Council of Ministers and GAMAG are supporters of this Side Event.

The two main objectives of the event are:

  • Increase awareness among stakeholder groups of the importance of policies within the media and at the national level, to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in and through media and highlight existing measures and best practices in this regard;
  • Highlight the Global Alliance on Media and Gender as a partnership to accelerate the implementation and systematic follow-up of Strategic Objective (SO) J of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and to nurture global efforts to promote gender equality in and through the media.

The session will be a panel discussion, having Ms Annette Young (France24) as the moderator and speakers as follows:

  • Ms Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO,
  • Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women,
  • Ms Eygló Harðardóttir, Minister of Social Affairs and Housing and Minister of Nordic Cooperation, Republic of Iceland,
  • Ms Geena Davis, Academy Award-Winning Actor, Founder and Chair of Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media,
  • Ms Colleen Lowe Morna, CEO of the Gender Links and Chair of GAMAG
  • Mr Matt Winkler, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Bloomberg.

Watch Live at 10:00am in New York on March 12, 2015

UNESCO Women Make the News 2015: Beyond International Women’s Day

Mié, 11/03/2015 - 16:18

The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, a Vice-Chair of the International Steering Committee for the Global Alliance on Media and Gender and the broadcasting network with the largest population reach speaks of the necessity of gender equality in the media and has released this video in support of Women Make the News 2015. Dr Javad Mottaghi, Secretary-General of the ABU, said in the video “ABU can reach over 3 billion people through its 270 members in 64 countries, and have invited their members to consider joining the Women Make the News initiative.” UNESCO invites all broadcasting/print unions, and association to do the same.

Following successful launch of Women Make the News, the initiative is continuing beyond International Women’s Day to keep up the momentum throughout 2015 and linked to upcoming events such as:

  • International Gender and Media Side Event of the Fifty-ninth Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (Beijing+20)

on March 12, 2015 at 10:00am in New York.  Watch Live!

  • World Press Freedom Day, 2-4 May 2015
  • Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in September 2015;
  • Joint Donor Framework International Conference on Gender and Media in November 2015
  • First General Assembly of GAMAG in November 2015
  • And the on-going 70th Anniversary Celebration of UNESCO 

Launched annually on the occasion of the International Women’s Day (8 March), Women Make the News is a global initiative. It aims at fixing global attention on an issue relating to gender equality in and through the media, driving debate and encouraging action-oriented solutions until global objectives are met. It has been fifteen years since UNESCO started the Women Make the News initiative.   

The WMN 2015 advocacy efforts is focussing on (1) promoting commitment of media partners to increase in female sources interviewed in the news to at least 30% and (2) inviting international development organizations as well as private corporations to pledge to be a part of a donor framework to support the activities of GAMAG

Media professionals and practitioners, NGOs, academics, government entities and individuals can still produce short audio/video clips to generate discussions and increase public awareness on women and the media, which is one of the critical areas of concern of the BDPA (Strategic Objective J). The audio/video clips will be featured on the Women Make the News 2015 website. The contents submitted will be distributed online based on the UNESCO’s Open Access Policy.

The Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG), as a dynamic structure, operates on an open membership basis. The Alliance has over 600 members and aims to reach 1000 over the 2015 period.. Click to Join GAMAG. The GAMAG International Steering Committee meeting in Geneva had positive outputs.

For more information, please visit: www.unesco.org/new/en/wmn.

Contact, Alton Grizzle, a.grizzle(at)unesco.org

IPDC Supports Mongolia-Nepal South-South and people-to-people cooperation on community radio

Mié, 11/03/2015 - 11:54

During the week-long trip, Ms. Munkhburen was accompanied by the CRAMO’s Vice President Mr. Chuluunsuren Enkhbayar and by Ms. Chadraabal Otgontugs, manager of “Voice of Hotgoid” located in the rural Tsagaan-Uul County of the Khuvsgul province. On 6-13 February, the Mongolian delegation visited the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal (ACORAB), and travelled to Vijaya FM in Parasi, Lumbini FM, and Gandaki FM in Pokhara. While in Kathmandu, they met with the Regional Coordinator of AMARC Asia-Pacific Mr. Suman Basnet, and joined fellow broadcasters in celebrating the 2015 World Radio Day.

CRAMO’s experience-sharing mission to Nepal was made possible by the IPDC Project “Supporting the Development of a Sustainable Community Radio Movement in Mongolia.” Under this project, consultations were organized with community radio representatives from ten counties on January 2015 to discuss their challenges and recommendations for community media's sustainable development. Based on the consultations, CRAMO is developing an Engagement and Sustainability Plan for community media development in Mongolia. Furthermore, this project has supported awareness-raising activities to sensitize over 100 Mongolian community leaders, local and national decision-makers about the role of community media.

Among the project’s direct beneficiaries, Mr. Ulziisaikhan, radio manager of “Taigyn ayalguu” community radio in the Tsagaannur County of the Khuvsgul province, said he was happy that the training built his capacity to fund-raise with local and development funds. For other radio managers, the exchange was also the occasion to share how tackling daily practical challenges such as heating radio station premises during the extreme harsh Mongolian winters, as highlighted by the radio manager of “Ulaahkhusyn dolgiin” in the Ulaankhus County of the Bayan-Ulgii province. At the same time,  the Chair of the Board of the “Tavan tesiin dolgion” community radio in the Tes County of the Uvs province took the opportunity to discuss with peers from other community media the lack of ICT and Internet literacy among radio volunteers.

UNESCO Beijing Office’s Adviser for Communication and Information Andrea Cairola said that the experience-sharing trip was conceived as an ideal “relay” between one of the countries in the Asia-Pacific where community radio was introduced sustainably and successfully, also helped by IPDC’s support to the first Nepali community media Radio Sagarmatha in 1995 (for more details see the 2008 publication Pioneering Community Radio – Impacts of IPDC Assistance in Nepal.

Mongolia introduced community radio only in recent years, with UNESCO supporting the establishment of ten community radio stations in remote soums/counties targeting ethnic and disadvantaged minorities (in Tolbo, Bayannuur, Buyant and Ulaankhussoums of Bayan-Ulgii province; Tsagaannuur, Ulaan-Uul and Tsagaan-Uul of Huvsgul province; Altai of Khovd; and Zuungobi and Tessoums of Uvsaimag province - for more details see this web-story and reportage). UNESCO also provided capacity building for the establishment of CRAMO, and assistance to the development of community media friendly legislation in line with the recommendations of an assessment based on UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators.

Learning about these activities, the IPDC Chair Albana Shala said that: “such South-South cooperation and with a focus on long-term sustainability are examples of what the Programme would like to foster.”  

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.

OERisation at University of Nairobi, Kenya

Mié, 11/03/2015 - 11:01

For a number of years, efforts have been made to promote Open Education Resources (OER) in Kenya. Adoption is not yet high, yet the need is obvious. Numerous academic institutions have been establishing OERs in the country and the urge to learn more about OERs continue. The number of faculty members utilizing OERs continues to grow demonstrating an appreciation and demand for the same. In a bid to promote Open Solution for knowledge Societies and also enhance accessibility, UNESCO supported the OERisation of the four pilot courses at the University of Nairobi.  The selected pilot courses included:

  • Information Studies; a course unit offered to masters students at the school of Biological and Physical Sciences,
  • Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship; a course unit offered to undergraduate students at the college of Biological;
  • Physical Sciences, Audit and Control; a course unit offered to both undergraduate and master’s students in different departments at the College of Biological
  • Physical Sciences and Database Systems; a course unit offered to both undergraduate and graduate masters students in different departments at the College of Biological and Physical Sciences.

The selection and design of the four courses was done by Dr. Tonny Omwansa who is the head of the University of Nairobi’s innovation Centre (the C4DLab) and his two assistants; Selina Ochukut; a graduate student at the school of computing and informatics and Elton Maiyo; an intern at C4Dlab.

The University of Nairobi established a multidisciplinary Centre of excellence known as Computing for Development (C4D) center. This Centre serves as the technology research and development arm of the University. The objectives of the C4Dlab are to provide national leadership in computing and ICT research, carry out research in technology priority areas approved by the board, incubate innovative ideas and potential commercial products from the Lab’s research efforts and University community, build research capacity in computing and ICT research and promote innovation by creating an atmosphere of idea generation, evaluation, development and dissemination.

The head of the University of Nairobi’s innovation Centre, the C4DLab stated; “Having been involved in OERizing, through the support of UNESCO, I have come to appreciate the subject matter at a deep level. This was an opportunity to learn more about OERisation and in the process created more valuable, locally relevant and useful courses”.

Creative Commons featured this OERisation pilot at their launch of School of Open Africa (SOO-Africa) event presided over by senior officials from Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, as reported here.

“The presentation, aligned to School of Open Africa objective of universal access to education stimulated an exciting OER conversation among participating professors from several universities, policy makers, copyright law course graduands, other education stakeholders and SOO-Africa supporters present at the event,” said Alex Gakuru, Regional  Coordinator -  Africa, Creative Commons.

The educational products generated by C4DLab demonstrated quality alternative Open knowledge co-creation and mode of delivery that got the attention of and support from the government of Kenya, he adds.

The four courses OERised were successfully uploaded at the OERCommons platform.

(See the link: https://www.oercommons.org/search?f.search=c4dlab)

This activity falls within UNESCO’s mandate to assisting educational planners and teacher training course developers to prepare teachers for making effective use of technology solutions.  This activity is a direct follow-up to the 2012 World Congress on Open Educational Resources which released the Paris Declaration on OERs calling on Governments to openly license all educational materials produced with public funds. Supported by a generous grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (USA), UNESCO is working with the Governments of Kenya, Oman, Bahrain, and Indonesia to implement dynamic and relevant policies to guide and recognize teachers and learners to find, adapt, use, develop, and share open educational resources.

Under the same framework, the Hewlett Foundation and the European Commission are currently funding a similar initiative for the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). As a direct outcome from the first NOUN OpenupEd workshop last September and the second workshop held in February, the NOUN OER-MOOC Project seeks to transform all 1,600+ courses of NOUN into full-featured OERs as well as launch new open-licensed MOOC versions of the courses to increase access and quality to higher education.

Learn more about Open Education opportunities near you and around the world at Open Education Week.

UNESCO YouthMobile and Technovation announce strategic collaboration to give young women more opportunities in mobile app development

Vie, 06/03/2015 - 10:22

The collaboration builds on the experience of many worldwide initiatives that introduce young people to computer science programming (learning-to-code) and problem solving (coding-to-learn). It also seeks to build on experiences targeting young women who are vastly underrepresented in every aspect of this field. Finally, it builds on the consideration that for millions of young people, the smartphone in their pocket is today, a very powerful computer – in the future it will likely be their only computer -- and they will use it for nearly every aspect of their lives: communicating, learning, taking pictures, and playing games.

“Technovation is honoured to team up with UNESCO’s Youth Mobile Initiative to scale our mobile app start-up competition around the world.  Our collaboration with UNESCO enables us to reach, inspire, and train more girls and women to create solutions for local community issues.  These girls also develop the skills to build a mobile app start up and lead the next generation of tech innovators.” – Tara Chklovski, CEO, Technovation and Iridescent.

“We’re absolutely excited to collaborate with Technovation,” says Abel Caine, co-lead of YouthMobile. “Its mission to inspire and educate young women to solve real-world problems through mobile App development is at the core of UNESCO in mobilizing partners from civil society to contribute towards the realization of its overarching objectives and priorities of building inclusive knowledge societies.”

This collaboration will significantly broaden the reach of the programmes and its impact on target beneficiaries. Technovation will contribute its unique curricula for mobile applications development as openly licensed material, which UNESCO will then promote and adapt, in particular for content localization and translation to local languages. Moreover, UNESCO and Technovation will collaborate to empower key stakeholders in Member States to develop training opportunities for young people in mobile apps development.

About YouthMobile

The global objective of YouthMobile is by 2017 to have empowered at least 25,000 young people worldwide, particularly young women, with both the high-level skills and confidence to develop, promote, and sell at least 5,000 locally relevant mobile applications (apps) that solve local issues of sustainable development, and provide self-generated, viable employment opportunities in the mobile/ICT industry.

About Technovation

Technovation’s mission is to inspire and educate girls and women to solve real-world problems through technology. Technovation began as a pilot program in 2010 with just 45 girls. Over the past five years, it has transformed from an in-person program taught by Technovation staff to a global competition reaching thousands of girls in 28 countries. Technovation is a program of Iridescent, a 501c3 non-profit that trains engineers and scientists to mentor young people, inspire them to develop a sense of wonder about the world, and guide them in tackling real world challenges.

A multi-stakeholder gathering adopts an Outcome Document at the CONNECTing the Dots conference

Vie, 06/03/2015 - 09:53

The non-binding Outcome Document emerged from two days of intense discussion on the draft UNESCO Internet Study which is titled “Keystones to Foster Inclusive Knowledge Societies:  Access to information and knowledge, Freedom of Expression, Privacy and Ethics on a Global Internet”.

The Outcome Document reflects the process of finalizing the Study and the options which it proposes for UNESCO member states to consider.

Proposed in the Document is affirmation of the human rights principles that underpin UNESCO’s approach to Internet-related issues, and support for the Internet Universality principles that promote a Human Rights-based, Open Internet, which is Accessible to all and characterized by Multistakeholder participation (R.O.A.M).

The study and its options follow an almost year-long process, which involved, inter alia, several rounds of consultation with member states and other actors, as well as almost 200 major responses to an online questionnaire. 

Ahead of the conference, the draft study and Outcome Statement were put online in open consultation with stakeholders. Responses came from Brazil, France, Germany, India, Sweden, United Kingdom, the United States, the Council of Europe, the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Freedom Online Coalition, the World Association of Newspapers, Association of Progressive Communication, and several other NGOs and individuals.

During the conference itself, 16 breakout sessions saw comments made on both the draft study and outcomes document, and two specialised open drafting sessions were also attended by many of the participants.

The deliberations dealt with the Internet-related issues within, and the relationships between, Access, Ethics, Freedom of Expression and Privacy issues related to the Internet. They shed new light on a people-centred perspective of Internet, including issues of empowerment and rights online.  

A multistakeholder group worked continuously during the conference to synthesise several rounds of feedback into an outcome document that could reflect the points of consensus. The group suggested that a number of proposals to add more detail and additional debates into the final Outcome Document, would be better reflected with the study.

Leading the multistakeholder group was Mr William Dutton, Quello Professor, Michigan State University, who had earlier helped UNESCO to synthesise the many responses and inputs into the draft study. Dutton will now assist with refining the study during March to incorporate insights from the Conference.

Other group members, reflecting a range of constituencies, included Ms Albana Shala, Chair of UNESCO’s International Programme for Development of Communication (IPDC); Ms Chafica Haddad, Chair of UNESCO’s Information For All Programme (IFAP); Mr Jānis Kārkliņš, Chair of Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) for Internet Governance Forum; Ms Constance Bommelaer, Internet Society (ISOC); Ms Ellen Blackler, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC); Ms Anriette Esterhuysen, Association for Progressive Communication (APC);  Ms Rana Sabbagh, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) and Mr Erick Iriarte, IALaw.

Thanking the participants after the adoption of the Outcome Document, the Deputy Director General of UNESCO Mr Getachew Engida said: “The Internet and all new information and communication must be at the heart of the post-2015 agenda - as a transformational force and a foundation for building the knowledge societies we need.”

He continued:  “This is the importance of R.O.A.M principles for inspiring a human rights-based, open Internet that is accessible to all and characterized by multi-stakeholder participation.”

The Outcome Document will be forwarded to the UNESCO Executive Board, where Member States may decide to recommend it to the 38th General Conference of UNESCO in November 2015.

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