12,882 The Drum Beat 711, Communicating for the SDGs

The Drum BeatCommunicating for the SDGs – The Drum Beat 711
May 11 2016

In this issue:

GOALS 1-5: Poverty, Hunger, Health, Education, Gender Equality
GOALS 6-11: Water, Energy, Employment, Infrastructure, Equity, Cities
GOALS 12-17: Consumption, Climate, Oceans, Land, Peace, Partnership

Adopted on September 25 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are part of a wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In total, 5 million people from across 88 countries in all the world’s regions took part in the consultation, sharing their vision for the world in 2030. Each of the 17 goals has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years, for a total of 169 targets.

How does strategic use of communication play a role in efforts to meet these goals in communities, countries, and continents around the world? Below you will find access to a single sample CI summary or blog, among many, that illustrates one element of each multifaceted SDG. Share your thinking, experience, and resources and discover more on The CI website at this URL.

From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
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  • 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhereSample CI summary:

    WeFarm is a worldwide peer-to-peer knowledge sharing network, building a bank of the world’s farming knowledge, then making it available to anyone anywhere, in any language, and on any device – even the most basic mobile phone. According to WeFarm, there are 500 million smallholder farmers in the world, most living on less than US$1 a day. Small-scale farmers are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and, at the same time, face many challenges, including lack of access to traditional markets, agricultural inputs, and finance. Every day, small-scale farmers develop a diverse range of innovative, low-cost solutions in response to their many challenges. With the majority of farmers living in remote areas without internet access, they can now share this information with other farmers via mobile phone.

  • 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agricultureSample CI blog:

    To achieve the sustainable development goals, evaluation needs to become an agent of change
    by James Ayodele
    “On 17 and 18 November 2015, the evaluation offices of four food and agriculture Rome-based agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) and CGIAR – hosted a technical seminar to consider the evaluability of the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2)….The main discussions took place in parallel round-table groups under four themes: (i) the relevance of new metrics for the evaluation of SDG2, data revolution and innovative approaches; (ii) partnerships and development actors, dealing with the increasing complexity of development processes; (iii) national monitoring and evaluation systems and data availability; and (iv) demand for and use of evidence from evaluation: understanding the political economy of evidence and developing a joint evaluation agenda for SDG2…” [Dec 2015]

  • 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all agesSample CI summary:

    Communities Deliver: The Critical Role of Communities in Reaching Global Targets to End the AIDS Epidemic
    This report from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and Stop AIDS Alliance draws on multiple sources to document the many ways in which communities are advancing the response to AIDS and to explore evidence for the effectiveness of these responses. Four core areas of community-based responses to HIV include: (i) advocacy, campaigning, and participation in accountability; (ii) community-based service delivery; (iii) participatory community-based research; and (iv) financing through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) and other funders. Each of these areas is illustrated in the report by examples of community-based actions from various countries and contexts around the world. [Aug 2015]

  • 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for allSample CI summary:

    Delaying Child Marriage through Community-Based Skills-Development Programs for Girls: Results from a Randomized Controlled Study in Rural Bangladesh
    by Sajeda Amin, Johana Ahmed, Jyotirmoy Saha, Md., Irfan Hossain, and Eashita Haque
    This report describes the rationale behind, implementation of, and results from the Bangladeshi Association for Life Skills, Income, and Knowledge for Adolescents (BALIKA) project. More than 9,000 in- and out-of-school girls aged 12-18 in 72 communities in 3 districts of Bangladesh that are considered “hotspots” for early marriage participated. Communities were assigned to one of three arms in which girls received either (i) education support through tutoring in math and English; (ii) training on gender rights and negotiation, critical thinking, and decision making; or (iii) livelihoods training in entrepreneurship, mobile phone servicing, photography, and basic first aid. Girls who received extra tutoring or gender-rights awareness training were 31% less likely to marry and those who received jobs training 23% less likely to marry. [Apr 2016]

  • 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girlsSample CI summary:

    Step it Up for Gender Equality Media Compact
    Launched in March 2016 by UN Women during a side event of the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, this alliance of international, regional, and national media outlets is working as gender champions to galvanise attention and concrete action towards the SDGs that are at the core of the 2030 Agenda. The compact brings together a broad coalition of media outlets from every region who work in print, broadcast, and online news media to ensure wide reach and robust efforts towards women’s rights and gender equality – both the standalone SDG (#5) that addresses structural barriers to women’s empowerment and the targets on gender equality in other Goals.


#ICTforWomanity is a learning network that shares news, opportunities, and knowledge on how information and communication technology (ICT)/new media prevents violence against women (VAW). The Womanity Foundation is encouraging innovating ventures who have a successful programme using ICT to prevent VAW to come forward and join the network, which is an effort to: share learning around Womanity’s annual award; grow a global tech-for-gender movement that will act as a safe space to exchange information and knowledge on how ICTs can prevent VAW; collect and analyse data to assess the effectiveness of ICT solutions addressing women’s safety; and increase awareness in the mainstream media of ICT-based tools to prevent VAW.

Click here to join


  • 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for allSample CI summary:

    Post 2015 Hygiene Advocacy Toolkit
    This evidence-based resource outlines why hygiene must be a priority in the SDGs. Developed by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW), in cooperation with the UNICEF/World Health Organization Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Advocacy and Communications Group, it is intended for use in making a case for hygiene in the following sectors: water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); health; nutrition; education; poverty; and gender equality – by providing definitions, evidence, strategies, and talking points to be used “as a whole, or on a stand-alone basis depending on the context and audience”. The contents include a question and answer format with explicit reasoning for fitting hygiene into the Global Goals and beyond. Talking points are followed by various means of advocating and advocacy letter instructions, including a sample. [Mar 2015]

  • 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for allSample CI summary:

    Energy for Radio: A Guide for Practitioners
    by Michael Bycroft
    The Catholic Media Council (CAMECO) found that a lack of reliable public energy was a problem for radio practitioners in Africa and other parts of the world. This guide is intended to support radio managers and operators as they tackle the energy issue at their station. It is designed to increase understanding about the various energy sources and technologies, especially electricity generators, wind and hydro turbines, solar, and hybrid systems; it also provides information on assessment of energy needs, storage, protection, and regulation, issues identified by the author as important to making “informed decisions.” [Jan 2010]

  • 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for allSample CI summary:

    Klahan9 Cambodia
    The Klahan9 programme, developed in Cambodia by BBC Media Action, combines radio, phone, internet, and a TV drama series to give career guidance and employment tips to young Cambodians 15-30 years old. The shows cover a range of topics: from how to search for employment opportunities more effectively, CV-writing and interviewing skills, workplace safety, employee rights and responsibilities, economic migration, and the risks posed by human traffickers.

  • 9. Building resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovationSample CI summary:

    SDG ICT Playbook: From Innovation to Impact
    Throughout the resource, key points in bullet list format outline benefits, trends, and challenges related to each of the 10 technologies; recommendations are offered for what nonprofits, governments, and the private sector can do to enhance the impact of these technologies toward the SDGs. For example, with regard to SDG #9, the playbook recommends, among other things that local governments should “[i]ncrease affordable Internet access through regulatory reforms that foster market competition, establish an independent regulator, reduce tariffs, encourage shared use of passive network infrastructure, incentivize network operators to expand coverage and make open, transparent frequency spectrum allocations that favor innovations designed to close the Internet gap.” Technology providers are encouraged to evaluate factors such as whether current services can be adapted to be viable in low-density settings through use of connectivity innovations. And all organisations ! should, according to the playbook, adopt strategies to extend the benefits of existing networks in advance of universal internet access by investing in things like occasionally-connected applications and portable storage/Wi-Fi devices that can be used by individuals traveling in and out of unconnected environments. [Sep 2015]

  • 10. Reduce inequality within and among countriesSample CI summary:

    Stand Up and Fight: Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Solomon Islands
    This report published by the Equal Rights Trust presents evidence of the extent of discrimination and inequality experienced by groups including: women; persons with disabilities; lesbian, gay and bisexual persons; and persons living with HIV in Solomon Islands. The absence of an effective legal and policy framework on discrimination coupled with the tendency for people to identify strongly as members of kinship groups or residents of a particular island, rather than as Solomon Islanders, has promoted difference and fostered ethnic tension, resulting in a failure of the state to meet obligations to protect human rights. [Jan 2016]

  • 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainableSample CI summary:

    Cities without Violence against Women, Safe Cities for All
    Launched in 2006 by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)/UN women, Safe Cities intends to improve the safety and well-being of women in 5 major cities, especially in the most economically poor and marginalised areas of these cities: New Delhi, India; Cairo, Egypt; Quito, Ecuador; Kigali, Rwanda; and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. For example, bolstering the role of women’s organisations in preventing gender-based violence in cities was coupled with efforts to promote cooperation between these organisations and governments so as to build a political and territorial agenda to ensure the mainstreaming of gender equality policies, as well as the incorporation of women’s perspectives into public safety policies.




  • 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patternsSample CI summary:

    YouthXchange works with young people, educators, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), trainers, policymakers, the media, and youth leaders around the world through national partners in more than 45 countries. At the national and local levels, partners conduct YouthXchange training and capacity-building activities, supported by the YouthXchange training kit on responsible consumption and thematic and regional YouthXchange publications, as well as the interactive Youth X Change website. [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)/United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)]

  • 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (taking note of agreements made by the UNFCCC forum)Sample CI summary:

    Local Perspectives on Climate Change: Participatory Video in Somotillo, Nicaragua
    by Manon Koningstein and Shadi Azadegan
    A team of researchers from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), CCAFS, and the CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics (Humidtropics) conducted a participatory video (PV) project in Somotillo, Nicaragua to: (i) increase participants’ awareness of ways they can influence and mitigate the effects of climate change; (ii) empower local groups to take part in a process of analysis and response that celebrates indigenous knowledge and practice; (iii) better understand gender differences as they relate to climate change adaptation and mitigation; and (iv) generate knowledge and information that situates future projects in the local context, creating inclusive climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. [2015]

  • 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable developmentSample CI blog:

    Getting communities to drive environmental sustainability-Case for Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) in Zambia
    by Lilian Kiefer
    “…Considering that some of the causes of environmental degradation are a result of livelihood human activity, leaving out the community in the conceptualisation, design and implementation of response strategies is a sure way to fail as it compromises the impact. Local communities require empowerment to diversity into alternative sources of sustainable livelihood and poverty reduction strategies, positive sustainable usage of environment and natural resources for livelihoods, and application of conservation principles….Over-reliance on this resource, poor fishing methods and overfishing, inadequate law enforcement, and lack of community involvement in fisheries management have made it difficult for this natural resource to renew itself to sustainable levels…” [Jan 2016]

  • 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity lossSample CI blog:

    Sowing sovereignty of native corn – Sembrando soberanía de maíz nativo
    by Mae Londono Rubio
    “Amid the imposing central mountain range, specifically in the town of Chinavita, Boyacá, [Colombia,] the peasant collective Native Seed Corn held the First Workshop: Food and Territory. The workshop was a commitment to the recognition of maize [corn] as sacred food of indigenous peoples and a call to the necessary revival of sowing and rescuing the preparing of ancestral foods such as chicha and maíz bread….[It] wove a space for reflection about the gradual disappearance of agro-biodiversity of native maize, the consequent reduction of the area of peasant planting and the disturbing increase in transgenic agroindustrial production of a toxic corn without history that not only ignores the cultural and spiritual conditions of corn as a food, but also pollutes the environment and monopolizes its production, pushing the Colombian people away from their natural right to food sovereignty…” [April 2015]

  • 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levelsSample CI blog:

    Gender, Peace and Communication in the post-2015 debate…and why communication should be more than a cross cutting approach
    by Valentina Baú
    “…From a mainstream media perspective, gender equality in peace-building can be promoted by portraying the truthful role that women can (or do) play in the reconstruction process. Broadcasting women’s voices and concerns, showing their involvement in peace-related activities, and highlighting their contribution to peace at the household level is helpful in achieving a progressive change in society’s mindset on the significance of their inclusion. From a communication perspective, providing a safe space where both men and women can talk about their experience of the violence, creating opportunities for dialogue between opposing groups of the same gender, and allowing for an exchange of reflections among opposite genders is useful in creating an environment that is conducive to peace. At the same time, the use of both new and traditional technologies can be tailored to create platforms for men and women to share their stories, identify a possible way forward, and begin ! to heal…” [Jul 2015]

  • 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable developmentSample CI summary:

    A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development
    From the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, this document sets out a universal agenda to eradicate extreme poverty from the face of the earth by 2030 and “deliver on the promise of sustainable development.” Transparency and accountability tools, including free media, are believed by the panel to be a “central part of the transformation needed to eradicate poverty irreversibly and enable countries across the world, especially those prone to or emerging from conflict, to develop sustainably – and that therefore institutions must be addressed in the new development agenda.” An example of applying a goal to an issue is the following: “[S]mallholder farmers’ incomes might be rapidly raised by giving them land security and access to credit, but even more so if they are able to transport their produce to market and have mobile phones and electronic banking, so that they know how prices are moving and can get paid straight away.” [Jun! 2013]

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.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Citurna TV, Fundación Imaginario, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Heartlines,Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), MISA, Open Society Foundations,Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, STEPS International, UNAIDS, UNICEF, Universidad de los Andes,USAID, 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

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