Most Recent Knowledge Shared from the Network

March 10, 2017

How can media inspire accountability and political participation? Findings from massive BBC programme

Author: Duncan Green, Senior Strategic Advisor, Oxfam GB on March 1 2017 - A recurring pattern: I get invited to join a conversation with a bunch of specialists on a particular issue (eg market...

March 7, 2017

Missing the signals: India's anti-vaccination social media campaign

Author: Heidi Larson, March 7 2017 - It is not just in the US [United States] and Europe, where wealthier populations are among the most vaccine questioning. India recently launched a one-month...

February 21, 2017

Seeing What We Don't See: An Experience of Supportive Supervision

Author: Ellen Coates, February 21 2017 - Busy medical, epidemiology, and immunization managers at district levels and above can easily get so caught up in managing logistics and reviewing data that...

February 18, 2017

World Radio Day: still relevant in a digital age

Author: BBC Media Action Insight's Melanie Archer, on February 13 2017 - To mark World Radio Day, Melanie Archer reviews how radio can be a force for inclusion in a changing world, although it is...

February 13, 2017

Radio has never been more necessary

Author: BBC Media Action's Caroline Nursey, on February 10 2017 - On World Radio Day, Caroline Nursey, BBC Media Action’s Executive Director discusses the ongoing importance of radio in a fast-...

February 9, 2017

Lifeline radio for displaced Iraqis

Author: BBC Media Action's Abir Awad, on February 7 2017 - “The food we are given is not suitable for human consumption. They’ve taken away our identity cards and our phones,” says Ahmed during a...

February 9, 2017

Using storytelling to make statistics accessible

Author: BBC Media Action Insight's Mahmuda Hoque, on February 6 2017 - Bangladesh-based researcher Mahmuda Hoque explains how her team created a story about “Maya”, a 19-year-old mother, to help...

February 8, 2017

Overcoming Barriers of Distrust to Improve Vaccination Coverage: Lessons from Lao and the Hmong Community

Author: Ellen Coates, February 8 2017 - The 2014/2015 polio outbreak in Lao People’s Democratic Republic [Lao] resulted in two deaths and paralysis of a small group of children and adults. All cases...

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FAO’s contribution strengthens resilience of vulnerable households in Burkina Faso

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Author: James Ayodele, August 31 2016 - A recent evaluation has shown that FAO helped the Government and the people of Burkina Faso strengthen the resilience of vulnerable households, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, climate change adaptation, water management, seed and non-wood forestry production, and food security policy development. At the same time, FAO needs to support the Government in mobilising resources for implementing these policies and strengthening capacities of national partners particularly at the decentralized level.

Conducted in 2015 by the Office of Evaluation, the evaluation found that some of FAO’s initiatives clearly brought concrete improvements to beneficiaries’ livelihoods. Such initiatives included the distribution of small animals, mainly targeting women, and promotion of the production and consumption by rural households of foods with high nutritional value.

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Public Health Communication has to be 'Mainstream'

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Author: Anshuman Rawat, August 24 2016 [cross-posted from Anshuman Rawat's blog site, linked below] - A cursory study of health communication would reveal that when it comes to catching eyeballs, the catchy promotions of, for example, private label herbal supplements beat hollow the rather ritualistic promotions of healthcare initiatives by our government. While the difference in the target audience indeed contributes to the difference, the key, I'm afraid, remains the incentive for the campaigns.

It is very easy in our current world to get very passionate about a project that offers instant riches as a ready incentive. Given the demands of the modern life, there's absolutely nothing acutely immoral in that, I guess.

Given the background, however, how does one attract the best talent for the production of public health communication campaigns - irrespective of the media platform?

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Who to follow on Twitter if you're interested in international development, media and communication

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Author: Melanie Archer, August 25 2016 - A list of Twitter accounts covering governance, health and humanitarian affairs that are well worth following.

August is a time for recharging on holiday, resurrecting neglected projects and… refreshing social media feeds. To help reboot your Twitter timeline, here are some recommendations of international development accounts to follow.

In an attempt to transcend the #commisaid and #mediadev silos, this list includes opinion makers (and sharers) from the wider governance, health and humanitarian communities – BBC Media Action’s three main themes – with an appreciation for the role of media and communication in development.

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Simple SIM Cards Provide Sexual Health and Safety for Sex Workers in Uganda

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Author: Julie Taylor, August 25 2016 - New initiative by Lady Mermaid's Bureau fosters access to information and protects sex workers’ rights

In Uganda, commercial sex work is illegal and perceived as immoral and socially unacceptable. As a stigmatised and often criminalised group, sex workers are frequently the victims of human rights abuses, including sexual violence. Historically, the majority of sex workers have lacked adequate access to information about their rights, safe sex, health services, and equality before the law. In turn, this has significant implications for basic safety, the spread of HIV/AIDs, and unwanted pregnancies.


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Are gender-transformative evaluations in conflict situations different from similar evaluations in other settings?

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Author: Ranjani K Murthy, August 18 2016 - Gender-transformative evaluations seek to assess impact of policies, programmes and projects on transforming gender and other social relations.  These evaluations: adopt transformative evaluation methodologies and methods; are done people with gender expertise; and feed back findings to marginalized women and men.

Are gender-transformative evaluations in conflict situations different from similar evaluations in non-conflict settings? Does the evaluator have to keep specific aspects in mind?

In this blog I offer some insights that I would like to share from gender-transformative evaluations in Sri Lanka (during conflict), Nepal (conflict and post conflict), Sudan (conflict) and Afghanistan (conflict) in times of conflict:  

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Zambia Elections 2016 - championing live TV debate

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Author: Changwe Kabwe, August 17 2016 - In an election campaign dominated by personality politics, a national TV debate featuring key presidential contenders in the Zambian general election presented a rare opportunity for people to directly question candidates and hear about their plans for Zambia’s future.

In a large auditorium filled with hundreds of people, bright lights and watching cameras, Philip Sikainda, a gentleman in his sixties stood up and addressed the panel of presidential candidates.

"Zambia today has a lot of retirees languishing in poverty because of unpaid benefits, some of them die without receiving their benefits, what will you do if elected into government to [support their] plight?” he asked.

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"You runaway": the challenges of research in South Sudan

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Author: Trish Doherty, August 17 2016: Writing from Juba, Research Manager Trish Doherty explains the importance of conducting research in conflict-affected countries like South Sudan – despite the very real risks for both researchers and the people they speak to.

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Toms and Toilets

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Author: Praekelt Foundation's Ambika Samarthya-Howard, August 11 2016 - The popular shoe brand Toms was founded in 2006 with the premise that for every pair of shoes you buy, they would give one to a needy person in the developing world. This sounded like the peak of corporate community involvement, until a few years ago when people realized their impact was more harmful than helpful.  For one thing, the shoes took away from local businesses.  Also, with the limited amount of shoes, children competed for pairs, creating tension and inequity amongst groups. Sometimes the best intentions produce unintended consequences.

In 2010, in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, Alanna Shaikh – a blogger at Aidwatch – wrote a scathing commentary titled Nobody Wants Your Old Shoes: How Not To Help in Haiti. In it she declared, “Only the people on the ground know what’s actually necessary; those of us in the rest of the world can only guess.”

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How can media and communication improve your health?

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Author: Emebet Wuhib-Mutungi, August 10 2016 - 'When have you taken steps to improve your health as a result of something you read or heard in the media or talking to someone?' asks an activity in a BBC Media Action health workshop exploring the complexities of behaviour change. Delegates were asked to reflect first on their own personal experiences of behaviour change before they started to think about how to influence others.

The BBC Media Action workshop – designed to help people harness communication to help people become more healthy – challenged participants to think about something they wanted to start or stop doing to improve their health. I had to reflect on what had made things difficult, what motivated me, the influence of media and communication and describe in pictures, my journey of change. My goal sounds simple enough. To start exercising again.

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Making politics work for development is all the rage

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Author: BBC Media Action's James Deane, August 10 2016 - Through arguing that development outcomes are less the product of specific “projects” than of enabling governance systems, two new World Bank papers help make the case for supporting independent, informative and engaging media.

We’re currently seeing a profusion of reports arguing that development organisations find it difficult to understand and respond to political realities. Most conclude that development fails to deliver impact because politics gets in the way. 

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