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Tuesday, October 17, 2017
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.
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.