11,393 The Communication Initiative, The Drum Beat, Blogs: Policy Analysis and Insight from the Network

The Drum Beat
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Blogs: Policy Analysis and Insight from the Network
THIS ISSUE INCLUDES:
AN INVITATION TO BLOG!
BLOGS ON CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND PARTICIPATION
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE IN BLOGGING
BLOGS ON HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM
BLOGS ON TECH ACTION
Do you have something to say about policy and media issues related to communication for development (C4D)? Please consider blogging about it!

This issue of The Drum Beat is an invitation – and, hopefully, inspiration – to join an open group of bloggers who actively contribute their voices to the Policy Blogs section of The Communication Initiative (The CI) website, which has emerged through a partnership with BBC Media Action. In this issue, you will find a small sampling of policy-focused thinking that has been submitted so far in 2013 to The CI’s blog space from across the globe.

The focus of this issue is on these bloggers’ voices, but our hope is to spark your own contribution and to engage you in other ways so that blogging becomes a conversation. Even if you do not blog, please read, rate, and comment on the blogs featured below – as well as the other blogs in the rich collection located here. The bloggers appreciate your feedback!

From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
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VOICES: CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND PARTICIPATION
1. Strategic Communications in Development: Art to Science
From Adnan R. Amin: “…Recently, I was researching communications and campaigns on Local Governance [in Bangladesh]….The key insight uncovered was that citizens see the government as a ‘ruler’ – and not a process open for participation….Yet the donor-prescribed strategy sought to create demand for public services without really investigating whether the populace was willing to, or even capable of, acting as a pressure-group…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
2. Looking to 2015: On gender equality and communication rights
From Sarah Macharia: “Communication rights are essential human rights that enable democratic participation, the exercise of civil and cultural rights, and access to, use and contribution to knowledge….Vigilance is necessary to ensure that communication rights, for women and marginalized groups especially, secure space and remain on the agenda in the processes underway, in the lead up to the 2015 events of the Beijing +20 review, adoption of a post-2015 development framework and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 15- year review…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
3. Dr King’s dream remains a pipe-dream for Southern Africa
From Vusumuzi Sifile: “…When Martin Luther King Jr. made his world famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on 28 August 1963, he inspired hope among millions of the downtrodden and impoverished in America and beyond….[A]s Africans, as we also reflect on one of the greatest speeches ever delivered, it is important to join hands and fight for the fulfilment of King’s dream….But for the dream to be realized, there are a number of hurdles that need to be removed, the main one being corruption….It is incumbent upon the media to expose graft and bring together different stakeholders to not only debate but act…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.

4. Social Innovation Counts
From Manuel Manrique Castro: “…There is recognition of Medellín [Colombia] as the most innovative city in the world, emphasizing the infrastructure; and, as has been said, we must strengthen the same spirit in the social field, particularly in the new generations and protection of those lives. And the arrival of the distinction may also be encouragement for finding creative responses capable of comparable social development work aimed at addressing the physical, with originality, meaning the basic needs of the population…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
5. Vote of confidence
From Sushama Pandey: “60-year-old Supari Badi and 20-year-old Mina Nepali live in the small town of Mangalsen in the remote far west of Nepal. Both widows, they belong to the Dalit community, one of the most marginalised groups in Nepal. I spoke to Supari and Mina [who took] part in the radio programme Sudoor Sawal….[Mina said:] “When I came to know about the importance of the election and my vote through Sudoor Sawal, I so much wanted to be a part of the election.”….November will be the first time she’ll cast her vote…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
6. Visualising voting in rural Cambodia
From Mark Bryson: “Lots of young people will be of voting age for the first time this year but they are a quiet majority, discouraged from speaking up in public and taking part in civic life. BBC Media Action’s multimedia youth engagement initiative, Loy9, aims to address that by giving young Cambodians information and ideas to help them get involved in life outside their homes and school. One of the current aims of Loy9 is to explain what their National Assembly is…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
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WAYS TO PARTICIPATE IN BLOGGING
BLOG!

The CI wants to hear from you! Just click here to contribute. We ask bloggers to freely register on our site (through the login/register button), so the blog submission will be attributed to your own user name. Once logged in, the blog button appears at the top of your screen – all that is needed is a title and description and your blog content – add an image if you wish. We will check with you when publishing your work. If you have any questions or need assistance with registering or submitting your blog, simply send an email tojlevy@comminit.com.

RATE EACH BLOG

There is a 5-star rating system available for each blog post. You can rate the blog post according to the question “How useful did you find the knowledge and contacts on this page to your work?” – ratings range from “Awesome” (5 stars) to “Poor” (1 star).

Please take a moment to rate each post after reading – this will serve to provide new readers and the bloggers themselves with a sense of how relevant the posts are to your development work.

INTERACT WITH CI BLOGGERS

Have you read a blog through The Drum Beat that you agreed or disagreed with? Let the blogger know! Go to the Policy Blogs website and click on “Post a Comment or Question” below any of the blogs.

INVITE OTHERS TO BLOG

Does this Drum Beat issue and these blogs bring to mind a colleague or friend who has something inspired to communicate to the C4D field in the realm of policy and media issues? If so, please forward this Drum Beat to them via email, provide them with its URL, tell them about it on Facebook or Twitter, and/or guide them directly to the Policy Blogs website. Thank you for helping spread the word.

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VOICES: HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM
7. Uno más uno (One Plus One)
From Manuel Manrique Castro: “Luis Fernando was a young businessman, who, when faced with the prospect of progressively losing his own sight, decided to invest his energy in promoting preventive eye care for children….Música para Ver (Music for Seeing)…consists of a series of concerts of different types of music designed to raise awareness about the importance of eye care and treatment….Several years ago in one of the [Uno Más Uno] Foundation’s public presentations, the journalists present were blindfolded and asked to make their way through a small labyrinth. This brief experience gave them an idea – much more vivid than a thousand words could possibly convey – of what it is like to be blind…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
8. Health innovation: how to spread new ideas fast?
From Yvonne MacPherson and Caroline Sugg: “…[A] 17-year-old listener to BBC Media Action’s Abugida radio show in Ethiopia, wrote to us to say, “Abugida has helped and encouraged me to make some very important decisions. The radio programme has inspired me to discuss sexual and reproductive health with my friends at school and even with my parents. I was overjoyed when my mother declared that she had decided not to have my sisters circumcised after all [after listening to the programme]….Well-designed health innovation initiatives tend to combine interpersonal and group discussion approaches with mass media and mobile phones to achieve impact at scale…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
9. Polio Eradication: key choices for the end-game
From Sebastian Taylor: “…The killing of polio vaccinators in Pakistan and then Nigeria in late 2012 and early 2013 has raised the stakes once again….It is sometimes assumed that…a country programme can go either ‘ramp up’ (with increasing support from security agencies) or ‘ramp down’ (maintaining delivery of OPV [oral polio vaccine] but within a wider package of meaningful and demanded interventions). And here, then, is the point. The Polio Eradication Initiative is no longer operating in a world in which one monumental proposition, operationalized under a single monolithic strategy, makes sense…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.

    See also:

The Drum Beat 647 – Key Choices for the Polio End-Game

10. Reaching the Unreached – Ideas matter but vision even more
From Vikas Nath: “In mid-April [2013] over a thousand participants from India and abroad gathered in Mumbai. The venue was the high-energy Sankalp Forum…an annual affair which attracts…[those who] have come up with some smart ideas to solve these problems be it in the area of health, education, environment or energy….One such entrepreneur was Dr. Ashwin Naik who co-founded the Vaatsalya chain of hospitals….[His story illustrated that] daring entrepreneurs and visionary investors within a country can come together and create social enterprises which provide quality health care services for its citizens at a lower cost…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
11. CSR, Crisis and a Model for Change
From Soraya Carvajal B.: “What role should Corporate/Business Social Responsibility (CSR) play in today’s society, and particularly in the context of a crisis? …[This was one of the] questions…debated in the forum on ‘CSR Activism’ which was organised by the Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales, ICEI. [One presenter,] María José Caballero, Campaign Director for Greenpeace, spoke of their work denouncing corporate behaviour and seeking to change those behaviours which can have a human impact….A good part of the success of their campaigns can be explained by their use of short, clear messages, as well as the unexpected and the ability to creatively change, while using the power of social networks…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
12. Local Problem – Global Solutions
From Petru Botnaru: “In 2003, in the Vorniceni village, Republic of Moldova…75 cases of Hepatitis A were identified. This motivated the first step of solving the problem – creating The Moldovan Network of Rural Volunteering Centers for Water (MNRVCW), which was done in 2003 – with main activities including the 7th European Youth Water Parliament; the Project ‘Democratization of Dniester River Governance’ (2008-2010), which…had as a goal to improve the management of 4 Dniester tributaries…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
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Please do submit your own blog(s) on themes and ideas on which you have ideas that you wish to share. If you are registered (through a free process) with The CI, please click here or send your text (and/or your questions) to jlevy@comminit.com
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VOICES: TECH ACTION
13. Open Data: Transforming the Fight Against Global Hunger
From Lizzy Leighty: “In Othidhe, Kenya, a female farmer head of household has just received a SMS [text] message from the Ministry of Agriculture’s farmer extension services, providing her with an 8 day weather forecast in her local language….The farmer is able to make an informed, ‘climate-smart’ decision and plant a crop with the highest probability of a successful harvest, and provide food security for her family….Creating an open data ecosystem to drive agricultural intensification worldwide offers a realistic and exciting opportunity for the international community to gain momentum in the global fight against hunger.”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
14. Mobile Phone and the Transformation of Lives: a tale of two Communities in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone
From Steven Sam: “…evidence obtained during an exploratory trip to Sierra Leone towards my PhD project on the mobile phone and marginalised youth in March 2013 suggests that access to a mobile phone has benefited poor people by offering them an efficient way of communicating and accessing livelihood information. Among such beneficiaries identified are the fishing community in Tombo and the agricultural community in Pujehun.”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
15. How can ICTs improve the lives of children and youth living in cities?
From Linda Raftree: “The process by which people engage is just as important as the end product. If new technologies are involved, participation needs special attention to ensure no one is being marginalized and the data is interpreted by local people, and they play a role in gathering it and learning, sharing and discussing during the process….We can’t forget the young people and adolescents that we are working with – what do we want them to gain out of this? Critical thinking, problem solving skills? This is what will serve them. Educational systems need to address the pedagogy…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
16. Information: Journalism or Show?
From Soraya Carvajal: “…[W]hile technology is a powerful tool for knowledge, for getting closer to others, a tool for freedom, creation, space, discussion, all without limits, it also has the potential to drive ignorance, lies, false news; it has the ability to instigate rumours….Information is much more complicated, it requires context, confirmation, contrast, one needs to know where it comes from, who sent it, why, and for what purpose….[I]n today’s journalism speed, immediacy, both are valued more than rigor…”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST AND CONTRIBUTE COMMENTS.
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For a range of thinking on media and communication for development, please SEE MORE blogs on The CI’s Policy Blog site.
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This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership – Partners: ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Calandria, DFID, FAO, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Inter-American Development Bank, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, MISA, Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, The Rockefeller Foundation, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, STEPS International, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, USAID, The Wellcome Trust, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
Please send additional project, evaluation, strategic thinking, and materials information on communication for development at any time. Send to drumbeat@comminit.com

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

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