Since 1980, the international community has been mobilized to support media development through the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), the only intergovernmental programme in the UN system that aims to strengthen media capacity in developing countries. Since its creation, IPDC has secured US$ 105 million in extra-budgetary funds and supported over 1,700 media development projects in 140 countries.
The overall responsibility for the Programme lies with the Intergovernmental Council of IPDC, which meets every two years to assess the work carried out by the Programme. It consists of representatives from 39 countries elected by the General Conference of UNESCO. The IPDC Bureau of eight Member States meets once a year and identifies projects worth supporting out of some 200 submissions received every year.
Within the context of the new 2030 Development Agenda, the IPDC Council decided, at its 30th session, to proceed with the initiative to commission a new evaluation of the Programme. The evaluation shall take into account how globalization and digitization have changed the communication systems, their functions as well as management practices and markets. Such changes have affected the activities of IPDC as well as UNESCO’s general work regarding media and communication. The main purpose of the evaluation is to assess the niche and impact of IPDC and to generate recommendations for the future.
The meeting will also discuss new projects and initiatives launched by the Programme, such as Defining Internet Universality Indicators, supported by Sweden; Training judicial authorities in Africa on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists through massive Open Online Course (MOOC), supported by Denmark; and several IPDC components of a multisectoral project on the Prevention of violent extremism through youth empowerment, jointly supported by the UN Center for Counter-Terrorism (UNCCT) and Canada.
The meeting will also consider the organization of the second IPDC Talks, an event convened in association with the Information for All Programme (IFAP) and supported by The Netherlands and Lithuania to mark the celebration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information.