Blogs

Afghanistan: an intense year for local radio

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Originally posted on the BBC Media Action blog by Mukhtar Yadgar, Project Officer, Afghanistan, on December 15 2016 - Security threats against journalists and financial pressure are just two of the challenges facing local radio in Afghanistan. Mukhtar explains how training and information-sharing helped stations survive against the odds in 2016.

Take five very different radio stations from across Afghanistan, add an intensive schedule of training and mentoring then throw security challenges and an unstable political situation into the mix.

It has all the ingredients of a seriously challenging media development environment. But as the year comes to an end, I’m proud that the resilience and creativity of the people I’ve worked with has helped us overcome these obstacles and deliver change for the better.

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Film for development

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Originally posted on the BBC Media Action Insight blog by Melanie Archer, Digital Editor, BBC Media Action, on December 15 2016 - Films in the international development sector are often associated with fundraising but they can also serve as a form of aid in themselves. Films can help mothers manage a pregnancy, assist refugees as they navigate life in an unfamiliar country and influence perceptions of what politicians can achieve.

The annual Golden Radiator Awards is a prime opportunity to learn about some of the more creative films the international development sector has produced over the previous 12 months. From the creators of the seasonal (and satirical) Radi-Aid app, these Awards laud charity fundraising films that go beyond stereotypes in their storytelling.  

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A dramatic end to violence against women?

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Originally posted on the BBC Media Action Insight blog by Josephine Casserly, Governance and Rights Adviser on December 7 2016 - In the UK and South Africa, two dramas illustrate how stories can help people better understand gender-based violence. Yet despite early signs of promise, we need more evidence on how effective media programmes are at changing patterns and perceptions of violence against women and girls.

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Six forgotten female stories which now 'exist' on Wikipedia

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Originally posted on the BBC Media Action blog by Sam Waterton, Digital Editor, BBC Media Action, on December 9 2016 - Just 17% of profiles on Wikipedia are women. And even fewer exist in languages other than English. BBC Media Action teams in Nepal, Afghanistan and India joined a global edit-a-thon to help change the record as part of the BBC 100 Women season. Here are a few of the inspiring stories they added.

Lhakpa Sherpa

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The 5 C's of Successful Digital Health Scale-up

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Author: Dr. Sherri Bucher, December 13 2016 - Launched in August 2014, MomConnect, a stage-based text messaging platform which connects women in South Africa with targeted, evidence-based information regarding pregnancy, childbirth, and child health, recently reached 1 million subscribers. In just 2 years, MomConnect has evolved from a vision on paper to a vibrant digital health tool which educates mothers and families, empowers health care workers, improves health service delivery, and provides tools by which key metrics and indicators for maternal health are collected.

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Notre appel pour l'éducation parentale universelle

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De Eve Sullivan avec Jamesa Wagwau et Aya Isumi, 12 décembre 2016: Quand de jeunes enfants crient leur détresse, bien qu'il soit facile de dire qu'ils ont besoin de quelque chose, les parents ou les tuteurs peuvent ne pas reconnaître tout de suite de quel réconfort ou satisfaction l'enfant a besoin. Les enfants en âge d’aller à l’école font aussi connaître leurs besoins, habituellement avec des mots, bien que parfois ils le fassent en se plaignant ou en faisant des scènes. Les adolescents malheureux projettent leur détresse sur eux-mêmes: l’automutilation et la toxicomanie sont leurs cris silencieux. Des jeunes désespérés, même des enfants de dix ans, selon le U.S. National Runaway Safeline, se sentent comme au bord du précipice et quittent leur maison.

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Our call for universal parenting education

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By Eve Sullivan, Jamesa Wagwau, and Aya Isumi, December 12 2016 - Small children cry out in distress and, while it is easy to tell that they need something, parents or caregivers may not recognize right away what solace or satisfaction the child needs. School-age children make their needs known too, usually with words, although sometimes by whining or acting up. Unhappy teenagers take their distress out on themselves: self-injury and substance abuse are their silent cries. Desperate young people, even children as young as ten, according to the U.S. National Runaway Safeline, feel pushed to the brink and leave their homes.

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Using cartoons to help save lives

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Originally posted on the BBC Media Action blog by Sam Waterton, Digital Editor, BBC Media Action, on November 29 2016- Bangladesh is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. In addition to frequent cyclones and drought, large areas of the country are at risk of earthquakes. With densely populated cities, even a relatively small earthquake could have catastrophic consequences. Amrai Pari (Together We Can Do It) is harnessing the power of media to help people be better prepared. [See a sample of the videos below and more at the BBC Media Action blog site through the link below.]

To help, Amrai Pari enlisted Ross Bollinger, an animation artist famous for his tongue-in-cheek Pencilmation cartoons. I caught up with him to tell us a little more about his hopes for the project.

video: 
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Gaza Strip: communication saves lives

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Originally posted on the BBC Media Action blog by Mohammed Abu Asaker Humanitarian Liaison, Palestinian Territories, on November 25 2016 - Mohammed Abu Asaker’s neighborhood in the Gaza Strip was bombed in 2009. His personal experience is helping him train journalists and humanitarian workers about the importance of practical information for people affected by conflict.

Radio Gaza FM has a huge social media following. Its regular posts of cute wrestling cats and playful puppies provide light relief in this conflict-affected region.

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Community engagement and sexuality education in conservative contexts: the case of Pakistan

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Originally posted on the BBC Media Action Insight blog by Dr. Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli and Marina Plesons, World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Reproductive Health and Research, December 1 2016 - How can community engagement be used to promote young people's sexual and reproductive health in conservative countries? Two education programmes in Pakistan offer some answers.

Around the world, there is deep-seated discomfort about adolescent sexuality outside of marriage. Many don't accept that teenagers have sex; those that do typically see it as a problem only made worse by sexuality education. As a result, policymakers are reticent, school heads and teachers are uncomfortable and community groups are often opposed to sexuality education, paralysing action in many countries.

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