Author: BBC Media Action Head of Research Programmes Sonia Whitehead, originally posted on April 4 2017 - There's a lack of data on what ordinary people think, feel and want in developing countries. Our new Data Portal aims to help fix that. Sonia Whitehead runs through five questions the portal can help answer on governance, media and resilience.
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Author: BBC Media Action's Geraldine Sweetland, originally posted on March 8 2017 - To celebrate International Women’s Day 2017 (whose theme is #beboldforchange) – we take a closer look at some of the inspirational female characters (past and present) from our TV and radio drama around the world.
Drama is just one of the ways in which BBC Media Action works to empower women and girls, help them adopt healthier (sometimes life-saving) practices and opens up discussion on important issues around health, resilience and gender equality.
Author: BBC Media Action's Serena Hamilton, originally posted on March 6 2017 - A small radio station in Afghanistan run by women for women is providing a platform to discuss women’s rights, health and local news – and training the next generation of young female journalists.
Security is tight at Shaiq Studios. Just last year a blast ripped through the streets of central Jalalabad, in Nangarhar province, scattering the recording equipment like toys. The studio doesn't appear to have been the target but everyone here is aware of the need for vigilance. As our taxi slides into the air-locked entrance, a guard guides a mirror along the underbelly of the car, checking for explosives.
Author: Ranjani.K.Murthy, April 18 2017 - This blog examines what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), targets and indicators have to offer to further welfare and rights of girl child, and where there are gaps.
Author: BBC Media Action's Kenyi Betuel, originally posted on March 6 2017 - Stella wanted to go to school but her father thought it would ‘spoil’ her chances of marriage. Kenyi Betuel – editor of a girls’ education radio show - explores some of the cultural barriers facing girls who want an education in South Sudan.
“My father only sent one of my elder sisters to school. He told me that the rest of us had to remain in the village,” says Stella, sadly wringing her hands.
“Whenever I saw children in school I used to cry,” she adds. “But now I’m in school, I’m happy.”
Author: BBC Media Action's Acting Head of Health and Resilience Sophia Wilkinson, originally posted on April 10 2017 - To mark the launch of our [BBC Media Action's] Global Health Stories site, Sophia Wilkinson explains how health communication can make a big difference at scale – for less than the cost of a can of coke per person.
"But what about the impact?"
This is the question I'm asked the most after I've told an audience that, quite literally, millions of people listen to our radio shows and watch our TV programmes about health. The other question I routinely get is:
"I don't care how big your audience is! What I want to know is whether anything has changed?"
Author: BBC Media Action's Pratibha Tuladhar, originally posted on March 3 2017 - Bidhya Chapagain sits in the centre of the studio surrounded by a cluster of bright lights, cables and cameras. She is preparing for an episode of Sajha Sawal, our 'Question Time' style debate TV and radio programme, discussing senior citizen rights.
The participants gather in a semi-circle around her on the set and she calmly chats with audience members to help them feel at ease. All the while she is mentally steeling herself to ask tough questions to a panel of policy-makers and officials.
Author: BBC Media Action Insight's George Ferguson on March 17 2017 - A free and independent media that holds politicians to account on behalf of citizens has long been held up as a cornerstone of a thriving democracy.
In Sierra Leone, we ran a radio debate show called Tok Bot Salone (Talk about Sierra Leone) (TBS) that tried to do just that. On air for over four years, TBS followed a classic ‘question and answer’ (Q&A) format and gave ordinary people a platform to quiz their leaders. The underlying idea was that citizens would take the opportunity to demand greater accountability from government, resulting in better service delivery.
Author: BBC Media Action Insight's Katy Williams, on March 6 2017 - Katy Williams asked political debate show presenters in Nepal and Afghanistan about the real-life changes their programmes have helped achieve. Successes include getting more people with disabilities working in government ministries and prompting other organisations to support communities.
Nepalis and Afghans alike are used to politicians making pledges they don’t fulfil. So, when the studio lights fade on a political debate broadcast, audiences have little expectation that decision-makers will follow up on any promises made on stage.
Author: Outreach Scout Foundation's Amon Lukhele, on April 25 2017 - In Malawi, persons with Albinism are facing challenges of life. Everyday/month we hear stories regarding the killing of persons with Albinism. Politicians, including the President of Malawi, have pledged support to end these deaths, but these crimes are failing to die. The law enforcement is falling behind, as they don't have enough resources to work on the matter. The most worrying thing is that those who were caught are given simple punishments, i.e., 2 to 10 years.
My question on this issue is simple: Why is the government failing to protect its own people???
Weak engagement of human rights organizations