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Why "Real Men" Don't Use Telecentres in the Philippines

Publication Date
April 15, 2010

This Association for Progressive Communications (APC) article focuses on this question: How can telecentres be a leveller for women's and men's access to the internet, given that Filipino men primarily choose commercially run internet cafes over the more socially focused telecentres where games and pornography are not allowed?

Source: 

APCNews 118, April 15 2010. Photo by SlipStreamJC

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Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project (PPTRP)

Launched in March 2010, this project is an effort to widen public participation and involvement in fighting corruption.

Communication Strategies: 

PPTRP is based on the observation that the internet and social media provide new opportunities to communicate, teach, learn, reach out, link up, and mobilise. Fighting corruption "simply needs people coming together to see that the public interest is constantly and fully served." The Pera Natin To! website is designed to provide ordinary people with the chance to report and share their stories and experiences of public corruption, secrecy, waste, and mismanagement. "From discussion and debate come ideas and solutions." Ideas for citizen action to secure accountability and transparency are offered here. For example, people are urged to: get involved with an existing public watchdog group or help set up a new local group and demand to sit in on local government meetings; learn to ask the right question and press for a proper answer from local administrators and elected officials about local public finances; find out about recent and forthcoming public procurement calls in their area, particularly ones involving infrastructure projects; and/or understand and get involved in the procurement process.

The website features articles, basic information on corruption and transparency, and online petitions. Discussions in the PPTRP forum focus on question such as: How can we best fight corruption?

PPTRP has designed its own campaigns, and participation is encouraged through the PPTRP website. For example, a campaign to protest and stop the practice of politicians putting their name and faces alongside publicly funded projects and services urges people to share their voice online, saying, "Dear politician, Unless you personally used your own private money, I want you to stop putting your name and photo on or alongside projects that are paid out of public funds. It is wrong and unacceptable. We are all watching. Pera Natin 'to!" Another campaign advocates for public monitoring of lifestyle checks on all public officials and civil servants. Organisers ask for public participation as they write to relevant agencies and institutions to access the Statement of Assets and Liabilities of Net Worth (SALNs). "We intend to start publishing these online. We will not comment on them or write stories about them - we will just make them publicly available. We will also publish the correspondence between the Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project and the government bodies holding them."

Alongside anti-corruption reporting, public education, and sustained media training, the project will root a series of joint media and civil society groups in the countryside working together to build local understanding and engagement in public spending, budgeting, and procurement processes.

Development Issues: 

Democracy and Governance, Rights.

Key Points: 

The March 23 2010 launch held at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, was reportedly extensively covered by the national print and broadcast media and from as far afield as Australia and South Korea. Amongst those present at the launch was Solita Monsod, a former director of the National Economic and Development Authority, who warned that the country was losing the war against corruption. She said, "The Philippines is in the twilight zone where laws, rules and regulations are ignored or broken, where lack of transparency is the rule rather than the exception....[W]e are not winning the battle as shown by indicators like the Global Corruption Barometer." According to organisers, an estimated 20% of the national budget is lost each year to graft and corruption. The Philippines remains one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International.

"This project is about information, education, engagement and action for transparency and accountability," said PPTRP director Alan Davis. The project also aims to foster collaboration - not competition - in building a constituency rooting for stronger public transparency through communication, debate and dialogue, he said.

Partner Text: 

IWPR, NUJP, CCJD, and MindaNews. Funding support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative.

Contact Information: 
Source: 

Email from Alan Davis to The Communication Initiative on March 29 2010; "Disgusted with Pols' Mansions? Take Pix, Send to This Group", by Philip Tubeza, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 24 2010; and PPTRP website, April 1 2010.

Reclaiming the ABCs: The Creation and Evolution of the ABC Approach

Author: 
Karen Hardee
Jay Gribble
Stephanie Weber
Tim Manchester
Martha Wood
Publication Date
August 4, 2008
Affiliation: 

Population Action International (Hardee); Population Reference Bureau (Gribble); University of California Berkeley (Weber); Constella Futures, Ethiopia (Manchester); JHPIEGO, Ethiopia (Wood)

"An important aspect of a supportive environment is that influential people are willing to take a stance in favor of change.

Contact Information: 
Source: 
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Planning for Life (PfL)

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) implemented Planning for Life (PfL) from March 2007 to November 2009 in an effort to increase knowledge and skills around integrating youth reproductive health

Communication Strategies: 

To facilitate integration, IYF provided its partners in the 3 implementing countries with technical and administrative guidance, as well as programme materials and curricula including: a Framework for Integration of FP and RH into Youth Development Programs; RH Integration Self-Assessment Tool; the FP, HIV/AIDS & STIs and Gender Matrix; Project Design and Proposal Writing Guide; and Reproductive Health Supplemental Curriculum. This guidance is meant to enable teachers, health workers, vocational training staff and peer educators (PEs) to integrate topics such as abstinence, consequences of early pregnancy, and various contraceptive methods into lessons already being taught about HIV prevention. The emphasis during various trainings offered as part of PfL was on the importance of interacting with youth in a friendly, non-judgmental manner. Health professionals, vocational training staff and teachers were encouraged to engage youth in interactive discussions about RH issues, rather than providing information in a didactic manner.

In India, IYF worked with Youthreach and 4 sub-partners - Dr. Reddy's Foundation, Byrraju Foundation, Sahara, and PRERANA - to implement Project Samriddhi, the local PFL project. An additional partner, Thoughtshop Foundation, was also identified to develop training material for the project. Project Samriddhi reached youth with FP/RH knowledge and skills by integrating an RH curriculum and teaching aids into existing livelihoods projects implemented by the 4 partner organisations. Staff from the partner organisations took part in a training of trainers (ToT) session held in March 2009. The trainers reportedly spent considerable time befriending and establishing rapport with the participants before facilitating sessions on sensitive FP/RH issues. They said that when they used examples and experiences and had an open and interactive dialogue they were best able to reach youth. They also felt that their body language and maintaining a healthy and friendly environment helped the youth be more interactive. The teaching aids included various card games, puzzles on reproductive parts, and a flip book to facilitate storytelling. The final evaluation found that integrating RH lessons into vocational training programs towards the end of the training was most successful, as trainers had established a rapport with the students by that time.

In the Philippines, IYF partnered with the Consuelo Foundation and its sub-partners to include an RH curriculum for Muslim youth in the Foundation's employability and education training. Namely, the Foundation for Adolescent Development (FAD) adapted Consuelo Foundation's Adolescent Reproductive Health Curriculum for Young Muslims and then, in March 2009, trained 14 staff members from 9 youth-serving Consuelo Foundation partner organisations to implement the curriculum (which centred around an Islamic perspective and included Quaranic verses). The Friendly Care Foundation (FCF) provided a 2-week training on youth-friendly services in February 2009 to service providers in YRH/FP at 2 health facilities in Mindanao. The training included intensive discussions on how to be more sensitive towards youth, and especially Muslim youth. It also focused on teaching providers how to use verbal and non-verbal communication, and was intended to be culturally appropriate and respectful of the religious view of the area.

In Tanzania, IYF worked in partnership with 2 organisations, Tanzanian Red Cross Society (TRCS) and Iringa Development of Youth, Disabled, and Children (IDYDC), to integrate FP and RH messages into existing youth HIV/AIDS prevention programmes:

  • IYF works with TRCS on Empowering Africa's Young People Initiative (EAYPI), a programme aiming to scale up peer education programmes, stimulate broad community discourse on healthy norms and risky behaviours, reinforce the role of parents and other influential adults, and reduce sexual coercion and exploitation of young people in project sites. The intention of the PfL project was to integrate youth FP and RH messages into the existing peer education project, while training youth friendly service providers in the community for referrals and consultation. As part of the PfL programme, TRCS and the Tanzania Ministry of Health (TMOH) provided health care professionals and teachers with a 2-week training on provision of youth-friendly FP/RH services and education. Youth peer educators (PEs) also participated in this training to provide information and suggestions to the service providers. The sessions focused on increasing knowledge about life skills, pregnancy prevention, contraceptive methods, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as providing them with strategies to better relate to and interact with young people. Strategies introduced to engage youth included question-and-answer techniques and incorporating songs and storytelling into the lessons. In addition to providing education and services (e.g., counselling youth on dual protection against HIV and unplanned pregnancy) in health facilities, during the PFL programme health workers visited schools to increase awareness of existing FP/RH and other services and to demonstrate their own youth-friendliness by providing basic health services (e.g. taking blood pressure and height and weight measurements, cleaning and bandaging minor cuts, etc.) on school grounds. Teachers trained by TRCS provided youth education on abstinence, the consequences of early sexual activity, FP methods, and STI and HIV prevention and detection. PEs provide outreach on FP/RH and HIV to both in- and out-of-school youth ages 8-30 (different PEs stated different age ranges of the beneficiaries). The teachers and PEs refer youth to trained youth-friendly service providers.
  • With IDYDC, IYF worked through sports clubs in Iringa Regions to provide HIV prevention messages and life-skills education. Football and netball (volleyball) coaches had previously been trained to provide HIV prevention education to youth ages 13-17 years old who participate in the sports club. As with EAYPI, PFL worked with IDYDC to integrate HIV/AIDS prevention messages with FP/RH messages and reinforce life-skills education for youth. Before or after practice games, the trained coaches provide youth with education on RH and HIV/AIDS.
Development Issues: 

HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health, Youth.

Key Points: 

Because the pathway to becoming HIV-infected and pregnant is the same - unprotected sex - IYF contends that HIV prevention programmes and services offer an opportunity to provide youth with the knowledge and skills needed to address a range of RH issues, including pregnancy prevention.

Partner Text: 

IYF, USAID, World Learning - with Dr. Reddy's Foundation, Byrraju Foundation, Sahara, PRERANA, Consuelo Foundation, FAD, FCF, TRCS, and IDYDC.

MDG3: Strengthening Women's Strategic Use of ICTs to Combat Violence against Women and Girls

Launched in January 2009 by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), this 2.5-year project explores the relationship between the growth in use of information and communications technologi

Communication Strategies: 

In a multifaceted approach to the intersection between ICT use and violence against women (VAW) and girls, APC is working to empower women and girls through skills, knowledge, advocacy, and community-building along the following lines:

  • administering small grants for interventions aimed at stopping VAW through the use of ICTs;
  • localising the Take Back the Tech! campaign [see "Related Summaries", below] in the 12 selected countries;
  • organising Feminist Tech Exchanges - using this online platform, "FTX" - to build the capacity of women's right activists and marginalised women and girls, including survivors of violence;
  • catalysing policy advocacy processes to integrate women's rights perspectives in ICT policies in national contexts; and
  • working to increase women's involvement and leadership in ICT policy spaces that have an impact on women's rights.

Women's participation is paramount. Survivors of domestic and sexual violence will participate directly in training activities. Namely, in partnership with women's rights organisations, APC is reaching out to vulnerable women (especially economically poor, rural, and migrant women) through workshops designed to build their capacity to use technology for awareness-raising and educational rights-based campaigns. In addition, APC is reaching out to adolescent girls and girls' networks in participating countries through training, digital story telling workshops, and activities being undertaken as part of the Take Back the Tech! campaign. Finally, APC is providing training on safe practices for internet and telecommunications use to women and women's organisations working in conflict situations. APC notes that, as the exchanges continue to happen in the 12 participating countries, the FTX site referenced above will offer a repository of methodology and materials for training in ICT from a feminist perspective.

Organisers are engaged in research and dissemination of information about each of the participating countries in order to illustrate different challenges and opportunities for how ICTs impact on VAW, either in worsening the problem - for example, through the use of ICTs in trafficking - or in providing a space where women can collaborate and network against violence. In a series of papers - the abstracts, and eventually, full versions of which may be found here - APC finds that, in all 12 countries, the themes of privacy, freedom of expression, and the enforcement of legislation "form a sobering backdrop to some startling and innovative ways in which women are using technology to advance their rights and empower women."

Development Issues: 

Women, Technology, Rights.

Key Points: 

Research conducted as part of this project - summarised here - has led to findings such as the gap between legislation and the ability to implement laws on VAW, which is found to be inadequate to deal with the violence that women face. This gap is "particularly stark in South Africa. The country has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, but a woman is killed every six hours - the highest rate of femicide anywhere in the world. Even in legislation, there are tensions between the guarantees of freedom of expression and the perceived need to protect women and children from pornography, and between privacy and the right to information. Likewise, in Uganda, despite a national gender policy and ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), almost a quarter of women report that their first sexual encounter was forced. As with many countries, there is little information available on the intersection between VAW and ICTs. Nonetheless, anecdotal evidence shows that mobile phones are both enabling greater control and monitoring of women by their partners as well as providing women with new spaces to forestall domestic violence."

Partner Text: 

Supported by the Dutch government's MDG3 Fund.

Contact Information: 
Source: 

Emails from Karen Higgs and Erika Smith to The Communication Initiative on November 23 2009 and December 9 2009; APC website, December 9 2009; and genderICT portal, December 10 2009.

Snakebites, Patents and Medicine Prices

Author: 
Bienvenido Oplas, Jr.
Publication Date
September 22, 2008
Affiliation: 

Minimal Government (MG) Thinkers, Inc.

Contact Information: 
Source: 

MG Thinkers website.

http://www.minimalgovernment.net/_images/home20080924.jpg

Isang Bagsak South-East Asia: Towards Institutionalizing a Capacity-Building and Networking Programme in Participatory Development Communication for Natural Resource Management

Author: 
Maria Celeste H. Cadiz
Lourdes Margarita A. Caballero
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
2006
Affiliation: 

College of Development Communication (CDC) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños

Source: 

People, Land, and Water: Participatory Development Communication for Natural Resource Management, ed. Guy Bessette, Earthscan/IDRC 2006; and email from Maria Celeste H. Cadiz to The Communication Initiative on November 14 2008.

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Family Planning and the Environment: Connected Through Human and Community Well-Being

Subtitle: 
Outlook, Volume 27, No. 1
Author: 
Lynne Gaffikin
Publication Date
March 1, 2010
Affiliation: 

PATH

This issue of Outlook provides an overview of the family planning/environment (FP/E) relationship, including lessons learned for integrated programmes and case studies of tested approaches

Source: 

Email from Clarissa Lord Brundage to The Communication Initiative on March 15 2010.

Progress Relies on Sound Information in the Philippines

Author: 
Michelle Hibler
Publication Date
June 1, 2009
Affiliation: 

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

"In the Philippines, the community-based monitoring system has gone from pilot project to national scale in 14 years, with the strong support of all levels of government. The many uses for the information it provides include program planning and targeting as well as budget allocation. The system is also being used to monitor how well the Philippines is achieving the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs]."

Source: 

Email from Bill Carman to The Communication Initiative on March 10 2010.

Soul Beat Africa

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South South Sharing - Democacy and Governance - Latin America

Latin America

Click here for D & G knowledge and experiences from Latin America.