- Development & Aid
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Monday, May 29, 2023
IPS training experiences are intended to hone the professional skills of participants, deepen their knowledge and networks and to contribute to transformational change by providing new frames of reference. Training is seen not just as an event but as a process, so IPS trainings encompass customized preparation by the trainers, the physical event and follow-up.
As part of many of its larger training programs IPS prepares and distributes training manual, tools and guidelines on important development issues for journalists, media houses and experts. IPS is keen to move from static online training resources to a more interactive offering.
IPS training capacity is situated alongside the work of the IPS daily news agency, ensuring that the training is grounded and immediately relevant to or connected with working journalists. On occasion the trainees have the opportunity to pitch to editors in the news agency during and after their training experience.
IPS capacity-building programmes count on a worldwide group of tested senior journalist-trainers, academics, experts and civil society managers from developing countries. They work in English, Spanish and French but also in Arabic, Bahasa, Bengali, Chinese, Dari-Farsi, German, Hindi, Italian, Mandarin, Pashto, Filipino, Portuguese, Punjabi, Sinhalese, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese and Wolof. IPS adopts the "from within" perspective, implemented above all with regional and local training resources.
In the 1970s and 1980s IPS started helping national news agencies to professionalize, notably in emergent democracies in Africa and Latin America and through its work in Afghanistan over the past many years, IPS has consolidated its track record in media development.
IPS is on the roster of pre-approved communication training organisations for UNDP globally.
Current and past funders and partners in IPS capacity-building programmes include UN Foundation, UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women, UNDEF, IFAD, the World Bank, NORAD, AECID, the EU, ASEAN, GTZ, DGIS, DFID-ODI, FARNPAN, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Thomson Reuters Foundation and other organisations tackling key development concerns.
The programmes are focused on issues like small farmers and food security, water, human rights and democratization, bio-diversity, population, governance, elections, press freedom and sustainable development and gender.
The modalities of the capacity building are customized to the target group but typically can include physical workshops and seminars, field visits, distance learning and on-the-job training. Furthermore IPS has developed a “train the journalist - train the source” methodology for experts and journalists to be trained in parallel on a specific theme, and then brought together for joint final training and networking.
IPS’ senior journalists Cecilia Russell, Sania Farooqi, and Joyce Chimbi joined the Asian Development and Population Association (APDA) in a course aimed at capacitating young people in opinion writing.
IPS senior journalists Cecilia Russell and Sania Farooqui with Dr Hanna Yoon, with students during the APDA and IPS opinion writing course.
The course, IPS Leadership with Communication with Impact, headed by Dr Hanna Yoon of APDA took place over ten classes with three classes presented by IPS journalists. The sessions, held on Saturdays in March and April 2022, were attended by Asian senior and middle school students.
The students were introduced to opinion writing best practices and the skills needed to develop opinion content and start writing and telling their own stories as youth living in Asia.
Joyce Chimbi, IPS senior journalist, talks about the importance of accuracy during the APDA and IPS opinion writing training.
The specially designed curriculum included the history of opinion editorials. The students were introduced to the categories of opinion content, including editorials or leaders, columns, analyses, letters to the editor, and cartoons. The students had to grapple with the differences between opinion and news, the use of logic, argument, and counterargument, and the importance of research and accuracy.
Dr Hanna Yoon shares some ideas with the young students on the IPS and APDA opinion writing course for youth.
Finally, they learned the nuts and bolts of impactful writing, how to build a profile, and become an influencer. In the final session, the students discussed their projects.
Throughout the students were encouraged to find their authentic voices and use writing prompts to get to the heart of their arguments.
Students share their ideas in a face-to-face session with Dr Hanna Yoon during the IPS APDA opinion writing training.
The young students participated enthusiastically throughout and course and will form the first cohort of young writers in an exciting new IPS project which encourages and publishes the work of young 'opinionistas'.
June was an eventful month at IPS as we conducted capacity-building training for journal-ists based in five countries in the Mekong region: Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. Spread over four weeks starting June 11, the training was done in partnership with RECOFTC and was centred on Forest Governance and Environmental Reporting dur-ing a Pandemic. Participants ranged from junior journalists to established and senior re-porters and editors from print, digital and broadcast media.
The course's overall objective was to increase Mekong journalists' capacity to report on forest governance issues to improve accountability, transparency, and public knowledge on this topic. As the entire course was held online due to global travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was carefully crafted to make learning easy and ef-fective. Particular emphasis was placed on creating space for interactions while providing practical and theoretical information such as how to source information, fact check, ac-cess, interpret and present data, and use multimedia tools and platforms for more compelling environmental storytelling. The training also focused on the safety and security of journalists both offline and online.
IPS editor Nalisha Adams facilitated the training and was joined by IPS senior correspond-ent Stella Paul. In addition, several renowned international journalists and media experts presented to the course attendees. The experts included Arun Karki - founder and head of the Centre for Data Journalism in Nepal, Dr Masato Kajimoto - associate professor at the University of Hong Kong, Saowalak Jingjungvisut and Arky from the Open Development Institute, Vietnamese investigative journalist Đỗ Doãn Hoàng, Cambodian journalist and International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) Courage awards winner Bopha Phorn and Ela Stapley, digital security trainer at Committee to Pro-tect Journalists (CPJ). From the RECOFTC team, project officer Robin Aus Der Beek and senior program officer Nathalie Faure also presented on forest governance.
The sessions, designed in close collaboration with RECOFTC staff and conducted on Zoom and Google Meet, focused on the following issues:
1. Forest Governance
2. COVID-19 and Reporting Remotely
3. Data journalism for environmental journalists
4. Introduction to Mobile Journalism
5. People-centred Storytelling
6. Basics of Multimedia reporting
8. Digital Security
Although the course was intense, special care was taken to engage and interact with the participants using various digital tools such as Mentimeter and regular prompts to encour-age questions and share personal thoughts and experiences. Finally, a special pitching panel that included several senior Asian editors and IPS editor Nalisha Adams was also organised on the sidelines of the training for the participants to pitch their environmental story ideas.
This year IPS and International Institute for Tropical Agriculture's training for the Enhancing Capacity to Apply Research Evidence (CARE) intermediaries moved online. CARE, which provides early career researchers with support, training, and mentorship by IITA scientists, is funded by a grant from the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Due to global travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, 26 reporters from 11 countries across Africa joined us on Zoom.
IPS editor Nalisha Adams facilitated the training and was joined by IPS senior correspondent Stella Paul, who is based in Hyderbad, India.
Meeting daily from Oct. 19 to 23, the sessions where limited to 2 hours a day. Weak internet connections and electricity outages impacted the full attendance of some reporters.
With our training forced online, this year the course focused on both practical and theoretical information.
The training was aimed at creating an understanding of the links and importance of science-based research and policy making. Sessions included: an overview of the challenges and opportunities within agriculture in Africa, particularly during and after the coronavirus pandemic; and understanding of agriculture policy in Africa; and an understanding of the importance of strengthening the science-policy interface (the use of research evidence in policy). Training also focused on multimedia, understanding how to record interviews with audio as well as video. Reporters where also briefed on how to report and find sources in cases where the pandemic lockdown restricts their safe travel, and how to conduct focused internet searches online for people and resources.
IITA CARE Agricultural Economist Dr Shiferaw Feleke provided an overview of the CARE project, which focuses on ‘youth researching youth’. The workshop focused on the significance and importance of; disseminating science-based research, and ensuring key policy messages reach all relevant stakeholders.
IITA CARE Awardee and lecturer at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, University of Ilorin in Nigeria, Dr Khadijat Amolegbe, presented findings of her research. Reporters were able to interview Amolegbe on the significance of her work.
IPS communication specialist, Mantoe Phakathi reported on the role women play in food and nutrition security, land and water management. Phakathi drew on her work as a reporter of 15 years as well as her consultancy work for various organisations that include FAO and FANRPAN.
At the end of the sessions IPS directed reporters to resources and courses to aid further self-study.
The group felt they benefited from much of the practical training and were empowered to explore and use other journalism media as part of their reporting skill set.
Journalists from eight countries in Africa took part in a three-day workshop on communicating research evidence held in Ibadan, Nigeria from 11-13 November 2019 on communicating research evidence. The workshop was part of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture's CARE programme, the Enhancing Capacity to Apply Research Evidence in Policy for Youth Engagement in Agribusiness and Rural Economic Activities in Africa. CARE, which provides early career researchers with support, training, and mentorship by IITA scientists, is funded by a grant from the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The training workshop, focused on disseminating research evidence, complements research outputs with for eighteen print, radio, and online journalists. IPS Inter Press Service facilitators provided journalists with a brief overview of issues and policies in agriculture, invited reflection on the challenges of finding, understanding, and reporting scientific research, and led practical exercises for how to identify people-centred stories in technical research papers.
As if the vital issue of global migration wasn't enough, the grandeur of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains beyond Marrakech provided additional inspiration to the 13 journalists attending the 9 December IPS training day focused on educating journalists about how to better report on global migration issues, and how to get to grips with tackling the historic two-day Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration conference (GCM) from 10 – 11 December.
The group, comprising freelance and staff journalists from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Niger and Senegal, listened to presentations from various NGOs and figures representing civil society. These included the International Organisation for Migration, International Media Support and the Center for Research and Dialogue Initiatives.
Issues discussed reflected the broad range of the challenge the word faces in accommodating developing migrations trends, ranging from how those forced to move because of climate change are not recognised as refugees to how the distinction between host countries, countries or origin and countries of transit is becoming more porous.
In particular, the training day focused on unpacking the role the media plays when reporting migration, as well as addressing problems in media narratives, such as stereotyping of migrants and focusing on negative narratives. Throughout the day the journalists heard different perspectives on ways to report more effectually, and how to provide better background and context, which in turn lends credibility and depth to articles.
As the presentations and discussion switched from English to French to Arabic, it was a good reflection of the nature of the migration debate which know no boundaries and is increasingly emerging as one of the most dominant issues for all countries around the world, as well as shaping political trends and public debate. After the projector had been turned off at the end of the training day, the journalists headed out into Marrakech, some to attend side events preceding the GCM, others to finalise their media accreditation at the conference, but all to tackle reporting the complex issues of migration during the GCM—and beyond.
The workshop offered participants a promising introduction to an IITA programme called CARE – Enhancing Capacity to Apply Research Evideence (CARE) in Policy for Youth Engagement in Agribusiness and Rural Economic Activities in Africa.
The programme itself aims to support a cohort of young African researchers working to improve the availability, exchange, dissemination, and use of research findings in the field of agribusiness and rural economic activities.
The training had the immediate and obviously practical benefit of connecting journalists to the programme outputs and the inspired young researchers behind them; at the same time, it offered an opportunity for journalists to consider the narratives that frame thinking and action around food, agriculture and rural economies as well as to refresh their approach to storytelling.
The group left Ibadan with a stated commitment to reinforce and support each otherâ€™s work reporting the issues, Â to follow-up with the programme as it unfolds across the continent, and with concrete story ideas which have already begun appearing in various media.
More than 30 journalists and communication managers participated in a Seminar and Capacity building Workshop on the National Voluntary Review of the SDGs in Montevideo, Uruguay, on August 15-16th, 2018.
The event titled Including Sustainable Development Goals in the journalism agenda. Advancing to more sustainable societies, was held at the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation Center, and was organized by Inter Press Service with support from the United Nations Foundation, ONU Uruguay and the Planning and Budget office of the Uruguayan government.
The purpose of the Seminar/Workshop was to analyse the recently issued report from Uruguay, and give ideas on how to cover the events related to the SDG in the country.
By the end of the workshop, the journalists were invited to apply for four media awards for excellence in reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A jury of three,headed by Spanish editor Estrella Gutiérrez, with the IPS Trainer Diana Cariboni and Walter García, Chief Operations Officer, will review the submissions and announce the winners names on the IPS home page by 5 October 2018. The selected stories will be issued by IPS through its international news wire.
IPS, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, has been training journalists, private sector entities and non-governmental communicators from several countries across the world on reporting the complex set of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Keeping up with its aim to show how integral environment and sustainability issues are to political, economic and humanitarian news stories, IPS conducted a three day media training workshop in Singapore from June 27-29 working closely with Eco-Business.
The workshop saw 20 journalists from Asia's leading and most influential media outlets based in Singapore, with speakers from the government sharing information on the Voluntary National Review (VNR) on SDGs in Singapore. Speakers from the academia and the seasoned trainers raised the profile of international development projects that are often underreported but have the power to transform global living standards.
The intensive training programme provided the journalists with information, tools and strategies to understand the issues surrounding the UN global development goals and the VNRs. The programme enables reporters, editors and spokespeople to better understand, report and communicate around some of the major sustainability-related events of 2018, namely the High Level Political Forum (HLPF).
IPS also called for a SDGs-themed media story contest for all the journalists attending the workshop. The winner was Kelly Ng, with the story: Fledgling ventures aim to make money from cutting food and packaging waste.
IPS Award of Excellence in writing on the SDGs - IPS also called for a SDGs-themed media story contest for all the journalists attending the workshop. The winner was Kelly Ng, with the story: Fledgling ventures aim to make money from cutting food and packaging waste
With the participation of more than 30 journalists and students from a number of universities, a media capacity building workshop on "How to apply the SDGs to the journalistic agenda” was organized in Santiago, Chile, on October 25-26, 2017.
The workshop titled “Going deeper into action for climate - a cross-cutting goal", was held at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), was organized by IPS Inter Press Service with support from the United Nations Foundation. Other partners included the UN Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The purpose of this workshop was to give an opportunity to the Chilean journalists to familiarize with the 2030 Agenda for Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The journalists who attended the workshop came from a wide spectrum of international media agencies, large mainstream national media, digital indigenous media and those responsible for communications for civil society and municipal organizations.
A field visit to the first citizens solar power plant that was installed in Chile was organized for all participants. This was an opportunity for participants for practical sessions on how to apply what they had learned.
The capacity building workshops supported by UN Foundation and organized by IPS are mainly to ensure that communicators who have a crucial role in enabling the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs are able to report on the commitment of governments and international organizations, thus helping people in general to own these. verify and monitor that each party fulfills and lives up to their commitment. And to achieve this, it is essential that journalists have in depth understanding and knowledge of Agenda 2030 and know how to report accurately.
The IPS Inter Press Service supported by the United Nations Foundation held two days of capacity building workshops on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), participated by journalists and business leaders. The Workshops were held at the United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo from 26 – 27 June 2017 and organized with support of the United Nations Information Center in Tokyo, the UNU, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, Global Environmental Forum, Japan, Global Compact Network, Japan, the Japan Center for International Exchange and the Global Environment Outreach Center. The Workshops aimed to raise awareness and promote better understanding of the SDGs and discuss strategies together for greater and effective engagement by the participants in implementation of the SDGs.
Over 50 people from various backgrounds including 30 journalists attended the Workshop on the first day titled: “SDGs Tokyo Workshop for Journalists - Journalism and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Working Together Can the SDGs deliver global development? Why and how should the media report on the SDGs in an engaging way?”. On the second day: “SDGs Tokyo Workshop for Business Leaders - Business and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Working Together – Can the SDGs deliver global development? Role and Challenges of Business Leadership in Advancing SDGs”, 35 business leaders attended. They were joined by 15 other participants of various backgrounds.
Mr. Hisashi Owada, a Board Member of the United Nations Foundation spoke to the journalists on the first day, underscoring that the SDGs provide an important policy framework for international cooperation aimed at promoting sustainable development across the world. The moderator of this session Ms. Kaoru Nemoto, Director, United Nations Information Centre, Tokyo emphasized the role that needs to be played by media in transmitting information, thereby raising public awareness and encouraging behavioral changes. Prof. Taikan Oki, Senior Vice-Rector, United Nations University highlighted policy and science interface where media has a vital role to play in filling information gaps.
Prof. Akihiko Tanaka, President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies stated that in his capacity as a negotiator on the SDGs and then as President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), he considers the SDGS as ambitious yet significant policy goals for which extensive collaboration is essential. Mr. Mitsunari Okamoto, Member, House of Representatives and Secretary-General of the SDGs Promotion Committee of Komeito Party, Japan, emphasized that the SDGs match his Party’s mission and therefore cross-cutting measures are required for SDGs implementation. Mr. Koichi Aiboshi, Ambassador, Assistant Vice-Minister / Director-General for Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan stressed that the government will bolster its efforts to raise the public awareness, monitor progress and mainstream SDGs implementation in its policies, and the Government is preparing for review of Japan’s SDGs implementation at the United Nations High Level Political Forum to be held in July 2017 in New York.
Mr. Masanori Kobayashi, Senior Research Fellow, Ocean Policy Research Institute, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, underlined that SDGs implementation strategies need to be tailored based on the characteristics and conditions of respective countries and communities, in connection with SDG14 on oceans. He stressed the importance of developing partnerships and facilitating policy and institutional transformation for reducing marine pollution, minimizing the impacts of ocean acidification and enhancing autonomy of small island developing states and artisanal fishermen. Prof. Hideki Ishida, President, Earth Village Laboratory, Japan, highlighted the importance of supporting local processes to raise autonomous resource management in island and coastal communities. Ms. Naoe Yakiya, Director, Japan Relations Office, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), recommended to explore closer partnership between the UN and media to deliver and share information particularly at the forefront of field operations. Ms. Yumiko Watanabe, Chairperson, KIDS’ DOOR underlined that Japan is ranked at the bottom group of poverty rate including poverty in children and called for policy and institutional reforms to provide equal opportunities and provide better social safeguarding for children who endure economic difficulties. Mr. Katsuji Imata, Steering Committee Member, Japan Civil Society Network on SDGs raised concern about the growing social gaps and unsustainable pattern of lifestyles and called for urgent and concerted actions to implement the SDGs.
Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka, President, Foreign Press Center Japan, underlined a need to promote interactions with media for its increased involvement in the SDGs discourse. He stated that information is a vital tool for people to learn from each other and build a sustainable society for which media must continue to play a vital role.
Mr. Tetsuji Ida, Senior Staff Reporter, Kyodo News Agency introduced his work on research journalism and stated that it is a challenge to expand SDGs media coverage and facilitate policy and behavioral changes. Ms. Kyoko Gendatsu, Executive Producer, NHK Enterprise introduced diverse TV programs on SDGs related issues and her endeavors to link news and information providers and viewers in SDGs context. Ms. Miyuki Hokugo, News Bureau Desk, Asahi Shinbun stated that reporting on SDGs require different approaches and underlined that it is indeed essential to praise good practices while at the same time raise concerns over unsustainable patterns of businesses and activities.
A wide range of issues were addressed in the course of discussions at the Workshop on the first day which turned out to be extremely productive with active participation and interaction between the attending media and the speakers.
The following captures the views expressed by the journalists:
A second day Workshop was held in Tokyo on Tuesday 27 June with the title “SDGs Tokyo Workshop for Business Leaders: Business and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Working Together – Can the SDGs deliver global development? Role and Challenges of Business Leadership in Advancing SDGs. The main target of the Workshop was Japanese business leaders. The Workshop opened with statements from Ms. Kaoru Nemoto, Director, United Nations Information Centre, Tokyo Japan who underlined the role of the business sector in advancing tha SDGs. Prof. Taikan Oki, Senior Vice-Rector, United Nations University emphasized the importance of business involvement in SDGs. Associate Prof. Reiko Sodeno, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University underlined the importance of setting targets, measuring impacts to integrate action plans into corporate business plans. Mr. Akira Yokochi, Director, Global Issues Cooperation Division, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan referred to the usefulness of a cross-cutting approach and to the forthcoming discussions on Japan’s policy implementation for SDGs at the United Nations High Level Political Forum in July 2017.
Prof. Taikan Oki urged panelists to present more specific cases and proposals and stated that the overarching policies for SDGs need to be implemented at different levels. Prof. Hideki Ishida, President, Earth Village Laboratory, Japan underlined the usefulness of learning from nature and applying biomimicry to promote sustainable and autonomous resource management. Mr. Toshio Arima, Chairman, Board, Global Compact Network Japan underlined that the Global Compact initiative has raised awareness of business leaders on sustainable development and the business leaders must strive to undertake innovative actions for SDGs implementation. Ms. Atsuko Hirooka, Managing Director, Sumitomo Chemical Corporation raised an example of Olyset Net, a mosquito net with insecticides and explained continuous challenges where the company needs to promote research as mosquitos that carry malaria develop resistance to insecticides. Mr. Hideki Murakami, Deputy Head, Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Tokyo, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) highlighted the role played by UNIDO in promoting business and stakeholder partnership in the areas of, for example, environmentally sound technology transfer.
Mr. Ichiro Aisawa, Member, House of Representatives, and Senior Vice-Chair of the Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) underlined the importance of considering global demographical dynamism and future projections in dealing with public health and family planning issues. Ms. Satoko Itoh, Managing Director and Chief Program Officer, Japan Center for International Exchange highlighted the importance of devising public health improvement strategies based on the characteristics and conditions of communities.
Mr. Masanori Kobayashi, Senior Research Fellow, Ocean Policy Research Institute, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation stressed the importance of promoting dialogues between businesses and stakeholders in developing products and business models for reducing marine pollution and promoting consumer behaviors conducive to sustainable marine resource management. Ms. Rika Sueyoshi, CEO, Ethical Association urged for ethical consumption and community development that can help advance the SDGs. Mr. Kei Sato, Photo Journalist underlined the importance of considering people who are in war due to the anthropogenic causes such violence, harsh working conditions and disasters. Mr. J. Brice Adler, Communications Officer, Special Initiatives, Public Affairs at United Nations Foundation underlined the significance of business leaders’ dialogue on SDGs for pursuing the leadership role by business sector and expanding business partnership with stakeholders. Mr. Arima stated that the dialogue among business leaders, experts and stakeholders were very rich and useful in exploring effective strategies for taking leadership role and building partnership with stakeholders.
The following highlights are drawn from the discussions:
The goal of ‘Labonno’ is to create sustainable female hygiene solutions as a human rights imperative for the women of Bangladesh. A local initiative on menstrual hygiene management, the project was launched in Mithapukur of Rangpur district in Bangladesh. A high number of young girls miss or drop out from school during their menstruation period as they do not know nor have the means to manage this personal hygiene issue each month.
‘Labonno’ is distributing menstrual period care packages of sanitary napkins to hundreds of women in Mithapukur. The project aims to be self-sustaining within a time frame of five years. Labonno’s vision is for Mithapukur to be free from the vicious cycle of poor hygiene and education for young girls and women and lead the way for replication throughout Bangladesh.
The Inter Press Service IPS and its South Asia representative in collaboration with Bangladesh News Network have undertaken a five-day training and capacity building workshop in Mithapukur to train over 100 young women, teachers, including male teachers on sustainable solutions to female hygiene management in the area.
The workshop will train 25 participants (selected women teachers) each day for four consecutive days. The fifth and final day will be a day-long interactive session with 25 girl students to make them aware about these issues. The participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and lessons from this workshop with other young women in the area and help disseminate information on their sexual, reproductive and maternal health while also emphasizing the importance of staying in education.
The workshop will be conducted by a set of experienced national trainers and health experts. National and local media will be invited to attend the workshop so that they are able to understand, analyze and amplify messages for replication countrywide. The media will have an opportunity to conduct first hand interviews with participants of the ‘Labonno’ project, young girls, women, mothers, parents, communities, medical professionals and local NGOs. Additionally, news reports on the workshop and the ‘Labonno’ project will be featured by IPS using Bangladeshi journalists to file the reports.
In 2016, supported by the United Nations Foundation, IPS Inter Press Service organized four media capacity building workshops across three continents. The main goal of the workshops, held in Stockholm, Bonn, Quito and Dhaka was to equip journalists in different regions with the information and tools required to understand and file substantive reports related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), its processes, content, thematic thrusts, targets and indicators of the 2030 agenda. At the end of each workshop, those who attended filed news reports, feature articles or op-ed pieces on the wide-range of issues discussed during the workshops.
The Stockholm workshop held in collaboration with Forum Syd, focused on “Can the SDGs deliver global development? Can the media report on SDGs in an engaging way? And why should we?” IPS associated trainers and senior journalists Nick Kotch, and Thalif Deen guided the workshop that also covered Sweden’s plans for defining its own national agenda for 2030 and positioning itself as a global leader in the process of achieving the SDGs. There was specific focus during the workshop on water, climate change and the environment; Africa’s challenges; sustainable development; the role of the country’s strong NGOs; and private sector involvement. Of the many articles that resulted from the workshop, two were awarded by a panel of judges as the best of.
The Bonn workshop had as a theme “Working Together - Can the SDGs deliver global development? Why and how should the media report on the SDGs in an engaging way?” The workshop covered issues such as the challenges of reporting about SDGs and the diverse perspectives from richer and poorer nations, the expanding role of the UN in the City of Bonn, Germany and its ambition to be the world body’s main center for policy-making on sustainability issues, the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), gender targets and disparities. The workshop, attended by 60 participants young journalists from print and electronic media, journalism students, UN staff, UN volunteers and graduate students. In addition to the two IPS trainers who conducted the Stockholm workshop, Chief Digital Officer for IPS also participated in the Bonn workshop interacting with participants on social media tools and techniques. The workshop generated a number of reports on the SDGs, of which two were awarded as the best articles resulting from the workshop training.
The capacity building workshop in Quito was themed “Including SDGs in the Journalism Agenda Focus on Habitat III: Sustainable Cities.” The main goal of the workshop was to discuss how to include the SDGs in the journalism agenda, the outcome of Habitat III and the importance in particular of Goal 11 of the SDGs, Sustainable Cities and Communities. Subjects covered included impact on Latin American cities, waste management, the relevance of nutrition, women’s involvement in the SDGs and the role of social organizations in the global agenda. The workshop also included a field visit to Project El Derecho a la Vivienda - San Juan Bosco del Itchimbia, near Quito. Attended by 36 journalists, notable speakers included Renán de la Torre, General Coordinator of the Fundación Centro Intercultural de Desarrollo Alternativo Sisa Quilla, and Fernando Carrión, General Coordinator of Flasco. Of several, two articles written by the participants were chosen as best reports emerging from the workshop.
The capacity building workshop in Dhaka focused on ”Working Together: Why and How Should the Media Report on the SDGs?” During the training session, various topics discussed included how to define development; challenges of SDGs in the context of South Asia; gender; and environment. Key speakers at the Dhaka workshop included, among others, Abul Maal A Muhith, the Finance Minister of Bangladesh; Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF); and Robert D. Watkins, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Bangladesh. A large number of reports in Bangla and English were filed by those who attended the training.
A multi-stakeholder knowledge-sharing meeting titled “Communicating for Development: Rural Transformation,” led by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) was held in Dhaka involving project managers of the sic ongoing projects supported by IFAD in the country. The aim of the workshop was to create an opportunity for the project managers to interact, review communication and knowledge-sharing practices by and between the six rural development projects, identify loopholes in knowledge-sharing and in liaison with local stakeholders, partners and media experts choose or select the best communication tools. The workshop was moderated by IPS associated international trainer and moderator Nicholas Kotch and Associate Professor at Dhaka University, Shameem Reza. Professor Dr. Abul Barkat, of the Department of Economics of Dhaka University was the main presenter of the day.
All the participants, 46 in total were connected with one or more of ongoing IFAD supported projects in Bangladesh. In groups, the workshop participants discussed methods of improving communication between their projects. The key messages that resulted from these discussions are 1. Disseminate information about production-oriented technologies; 2. Combine financial services with technological support for poverty reduction; and 3. Encourage participation by local representatives. Ultimately, workshop participants produced four recommendations on how to improve communication and between the six IFAD projects: 1. a fully-fledged communication workshop with practical exercises and field work; 2. strengthening internal communication between projects; 3. IPS to play as lead communication partner as it has knowledge and understanding from the ground up and able to engage and train national media to understand the impact and purpose of the six projects; and 4. developing a digital information hub for sharing and distributing communication and information.