Building Free Expression Advocacy Capacity in the MENA Region

Year when project approved: 
Approved budget: 
US$29 700.00

The Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region continues to rank poorly in terms of political rights, civil liberties and press freedom, with harassment and threats towards journalists and human rights defenders being a routine occurrence. Instead of improving, the situation is worsening with governments clamping down recently on online freedom of speech leaving journalists too afraid of retribution to report honestly and critically. The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) works actively to fight this oppression of freedom of expression by emphasizing organizational capacity-building, the reporting of violations, and encouraging collaboration between countries on free expression advocacy. The purpose of this project from IFEX is to build the capacity of at least 14 MENA free expression advocates (from IFEX member and partner organizations) by conducting a week-long series of workshops and skills-exchange opportunities during which a campaign strategy building curriculum tailored specifically to the MENA context will be developed for future use. The project will result in participants acquiring the relevant skills and techniques for campaigning and advocacy work which they can consequently apply in their respective national contexts thus contributing to the creation of a more hospitable environment for media development, democratic government and the empowerment of civil society. OBJECTIVE To conduct a series of workshops and skills-exchange opportunities in order to equip 14 MENA-based free expression advocates with the relevant skills and techniques for campaigning and advocacy work in freedom of expression, tailored specifically to the MENA context.

Project details
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Beneficiary name: 
Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression on behalf of International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX)
Beneficiary description: 

Established in 1992, IFEX is a global network of 88 organizations in over 60 countries that monitors, promotes and defends freedom of expression worldwide ? with 9 members in the MENA region. Its mission is to enhance its members' work by creating distinct opportunities for capacity building, joint advocacy and increased visibility. The IFEX Clearing House based in Toronto runs the day to day operations of the network and is managed by founding member organization, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE).

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555 Richmond St. West, Suite 1101 PO Box 407 Toronto Ontario Canada M5V 3B1

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+1 416 515 9622 ext.227 / Fax +1 416 515 7879

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Location and contacts
Responsible UNESCO Regional advisers: 

George Awad,;

UNESCO Field Office:

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Maureen James, IFEX Outreach Development Coordinator,;

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