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Impediments to Development in Africa: Colonialism and the Evolution of Poor Governance

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Africa’s Current Malaise - Author: Mohamed Taha, November 16 2016 - In 2002, Ali Mazrui attempted to answer a critical question: Who killed African democracy?

“The cultural half-caste who came in from Western schools and did not adequately respect African ancestors. Institutions were inaugurated without reference to cultural compatibilities, and new processes were introduced without respect for continuities. Ancestral standards of property, propriety and legitimacy were ignored.” Ali A. Mazrui

In fact, Mazrui asserted Africa’s current predicament as the “first home of mankind, yet the last to be made truly habitable in contemporary world as a result of poverty and underdevelopment.”

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Your issue’s in danger! Why advocacy groups should apply evidence-based communication

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Author: Espen Malling, November 16 2016 - The process of change is inseparable from the process of communication. Therefore, advocacy groups and other proponents of a knowledge-based development of society risk undermining their cause if failing to approach communication with the same scientific rigour they apply when studying and identifying solutions for their focus issue.

In a time when gut feelings have become the guiding norm, and easy solutions political best practice, progressive proponents of a knowledge-based development of society — in a both national and global sense — are faced with an important task.

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Coming out about indoor pollution in Ethiopia

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Author: BBC Media Action's Andrey Vladov, November 3 2016 - A new radio drama is helping improve people’s health in Ethiopia by drawing attention to the harmful effects of traditional ways of cooking, heating and lighting homes.

“Bring that wood over here and make some fire in the room!” Although the woman can see the smoke has already made her daughter’s eyes “so red, they’re like pepper”, her voice is so commanding that disobeying her is unthinkable.

These are actors taking part in BBC Media Action’s new radio drama and they’re more than convincing.

After barely two months on air, Golaafala (meaning ‘solution from within’ in Ethiopia’s Oromiffa language) is already one of the most popular shows on ORTO (Oromia Radio).

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The jewel of Afghanistan

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Author: BBC Media Action's Sam Waterton, November 3 2016 - "I want to be a symbol for people with disabilities that no matter the challenge, nothing is impossible”."

Sitting in richly furnished office with the flag of Afganistan in its corner, Sabri Andar is a shining symbol of success. At 24 years of age, Sabri, who uses a wheelchair after suffering from polio as a child, is an adviser for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education, and leads the country’s National Youth Parliament.

“When I was a child, war forced my family to flee. I was vaccinated against polio but it was already too late,” she said “Gradually, polio took hold and I became paralysed.”

Sabri believes that the instability of conflict in Afghanistan has contributed to her own situation – and many more like her.

Health and happiness

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Why isn't communication a greater public health priority?

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Author: BBC Media Action's Caroline Sugg, November 3 2016 - Drawing on her new policy briefing, Caroline Sugg reflects on why communication is often a peripheral part of public health interventions, looking at challenges around evidence, the ‘messy' nature of behaviour change and cultural differences within the field.

The Executive Summary can be accessed at this link

The full Policy briefing can be accessed at this link

The complexities of rural communities and need for dialogue based interventions

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Author:  Anele Herbet Dube, November 2 2016 - In my previous article I wrote about how community radio promotes participatory communication based on my experiences. During those times, I remember my colleague Jerry Zingwevu saying to me ‘I think people (referring to Civil Society Organisations-CSOs) need to re-think how they view these rural communities. They are no longer the same. They are now very complicated’. He had a point, a very valid point. Probably his argument was based on his experience as our Monitoring and Evaluation guy when he interfaced with and analysed the data we would have collected rural Matabeleland.

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Women's empowerment as strategic rebellion

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Author: Ranjani K. Murthy, October 27 2016 - Sardenberg (2010) sees women’s empowerment as a process of ‘gender rebellion’ leading to break with traditional gender roles and norms. [See reference below.] Rebellion can be seen as a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an established authority.  

 

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Contributing to the Change Process in Nigeria with Few Opportunities

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Author: Chris Sanctus Chukwudi Okereke, November 2 2016 -  What is on everybody’s mind in Nigeria is the word “change”, which is a mantra associated with the current administration of the President Muhammadu Buhari. A lot of people are even developing some resentment towards the word on the grounds that the government is not practising what it preaches. There is a misunderstanding of the change mantra of the Federal Government “Be the Change you desire”. Many people think that the government has shortchanged them by handing over the change they promised back to the people. But that may not be entirely true. That concept is simply saying that in the change process, everybody has a role to play. While not advocating for the Federal government, I had an experience to share about my understanding of that change mantra.

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We need more media coverage of disaster prevention

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Author: Marcus Oxley, October 20 2016 - Marking International Day for Disaster Reduction, Marcus Oxley argues that we need more media coverage of disasters before – rather than after – they happen. This would make prevention more of a priority, allowing more people to ‘live to tell’.

After big disasters, the world responds with compassion for the victims and the humanitarian assistance machine kicks into gear. National and local governments respond with rescue operations. Other countries offer assistance. International NGOs deploy personnel and provide shelter, food and basic health services. Local and international media show images of the destruction and share victims’ appeals for support with the world. The international public responds with donations to alleviate the suffering of their fellow human beings.

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"In my next life I want to be a boy"

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Author: Ragini Pasrichan, October 20 2016 - Why we chose “real people” instead of actors to feature in our Public Service Announcements (PSAs), TV adverts sharing simple solutions to prepare for cyclones, flooding and drought.

“In my next life I want to be a boy because they can do anything they like”, said the 15-year-old girl.

Then, looking at me, she added: “I too want to own a mobile phone, have short hair and wear jeans. Tell me how I can become like you.”

It was a poignant cry for voice and a self-determined identity which opened my eyes to a world full of opportunities for boys, where elder brothers are the disciplinarians of sisters and a girl owning a mobile phone is something to be ashamed of.

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