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January 22, 2018

Shining a light on girl's education in South Sudan

Author: BBC Media Action South Sudan's Kenyi Betuel, editor of 'Our School', originally posted on January 15 2018 - Agol Deng Tong dreams of going to university and setting up her own business,...

January 22, 2018

How can media help people in Bangladesh prepare for disasters?

Author: BBC Media Action Bangladesh's Research Officer Aniqa Hossain, originally posted January 15 2018 - In Bangladesh, we’re pretty disaster-prone. Cyclones are a regular occurrence and much of our...

January 17, 2018

New Tobacco Industry communication strategies to undermine public health: Part I - 50 shades of gray frame

Author: Franklin Apfel [including interview transcript from Derek Yach] January 18 2018 – This blog, one of four, is part of series in which Apfel analyses and McKee comments on Yach’s interview...

January 11, 2018

Changing the National Family Planning Policy in Niger: an urgent imperative?

Author: Balkissa Harouna, January 11 2018 - NIGER: a landlocked country in West Africa, with about 17 million inhabitants, holding the world record of the strongest fertility rate: 8 children on...

December 19, 2017

One Death, Three Stories About Sickness and Starvation in Jharkhand

Author: Jessica Mayberry, November 16 2017 - At Video Volunteers [VV], we spend nearly all our time reporting on stories that don't make headlines; stories of broken systems and petty corruption...

December 18, 2017

Communication is key to quashing suspicion around vaccination drives

Author: Wilmot James, December 14 2017 - Cynthia Gorney wrote in National Geographic in November about the phenomenon of "vaccine hesitancy". She cites the example of Pakistan, where polio...

December 13, 2017

The human brain and how it shapes development success: do we need to have a big new argument?

Author: James Deane, December 13 2017 - Sometimes you read a book which - just short of literally - blows your mind.  The Enigma of Reason: a new theory of understanding by Hugo Mercier and Dan...

December 12, 2017

A novel approach to maternal health in Nigeria

Author: Producer Trainer for BBC Media Action in Nigeria Akile Gojo, originally posted December 5 2017 - Earlier this year, after a day of training producers at one of our partner radio stations in...

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James Deane's blog

The human brain and how it shapes development success: do we need to have a big new argument?

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Author: James Deane, December 13 2017 - Sometimes you read a book which - just short of literally - blows your mind.  The Enigma of Reason: a new theory of understanding by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber did that to mine.  If their conclusions are right, the implications for human development – and the role of communication and media within it - are profound.

I’ve long puzzled why development d hasn’t focused more on the human mind.  We have development research institutes and think tanks on all forms of public policy - governance, science, economics and so on - but little on working out why humans think and act in the way that they do and how those things have affected how they have developed over millennia.  

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Six steps towards a more open media

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Author: BBC Media Action's Director of Policy and Research James Deane, originally posted September 14 2017 - On the International Day of Democracy, James Deane sets out six ways in which a resurgent public interest media can help improve accountability and foster transparency.

Strategies being used to improve accountability and foster transparency are not working well enough.

Corruption is on the rise, people do not feel that traditional institutions are delivering effective accountability, and there is a decline in trust in institutions as a whole. Authoritarianism and populism are resurgent.

The solutions to these challenges are huge but I want to set out six things which need to happen if democracy support is to become more effective.

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3 negatives and 3 positives from World Press Freedom Day

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Author:  BBC Media Action's Director of Policy and Learning James Deane, originally posted on May 5 2017 - Given the troubling global backdrop, World Press Freedom Day arguably needed a name change in 2017. Marked annually by a gathering organised by UNESCO, this year's 'celebration' in Jakarta may not have been particularly joyous, but it was certainly more important than ever.

Reflecting on the conversations and debates held in Indonesia, I’ve arrived at three reasons to be worried and three grounds for optimism. I’ll start off gloomy and end on a more upbeat note.

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An independent Nepali media has never been more needed

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Author: Kiran Bhandari, Dipak Bhattarai and James Deane, October 10 2016 - Nepal’s media has played a pivotal role in the country’s democratic transition but how successful has it been at fighting corruption and boosting accountability?

Nepal has one of the most remarkable and extraordinary media landscapes in the world. In addition to a crowded and energetic mainstream media market, it has more community radio stations per head than any other country globally. Nepali media also has a remarkable legacy in contributing to the dramatic democratic transition of the last decade or so.

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Public service broadcasting in fragile states: are we flogging a dead horse?

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Author: James Deane, September 14 2016 - James Deane argues that the concept of media systems capable of: engaging everyone in society, acting independently and enabling dialogue across divides appears increasingly – rather than decreasingly – relevant in the 21st century. 

The role of the media in a divided society

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Author: BBC Media Action's Director of Policy and Learning James Deane, July 6 2016 - James Deane’s personal reflection on the role of media in divided societies in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

I’ve spent many years writing about, researching and supporting media in countries of crisis. I’ve especially focused on divided societies. I’ve argued that the character of the media, the information available to people and the capacity of people to communicate across divides in their countries does much to determine how societies either fragment or unite.

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Media, communication and the future of development

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Author: BBC Media Action's Director of Policy and Learning James Deane, July 6 2016 - James Deane welcomes you to a new resource on why and how media and communication matters in international development:

To someone with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

It is the criticism levelled at many areas of international development.

To an economist, sort out economic policy and prosperity will follow. To a civil society activist, sort out access to rights and justice, then fairness will follow. To a governance specialist, sort out the effectiveness of government institutions, and good governance will follow.

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The potential of reforming state broadcasters in divided societies: advancing an unfashionable argument

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Author: BBC Media Action's Director of Policy and Learning James Deane, November 3 2015 - Most commentaries on 21st-century media focus on the impact of new technologies, social media and, above all, the increasing global ubiquity of mobile telephony Such commentaries highlight how in many, if not most, societies, the majority of people are under the age of 30 and are reinventing how humanity communicates with itself.

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The post-2015 Global Goals: moving from "what" to "how" will rest on more informed societies

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Author: James Deane, September 28 2015 - Ahead of this week's UN [United Nations] summit in New York [United States], BBC Media Action’s Director of Policy and Learning argues for a stronger focus on the provision of information as well as resources.

"This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity." So begins the outcome document which forms the basis of the agreement for a new set of "global goals" which are expected to be signed by 215 world leaders this week. It is a statement that encapsulates both their ambition and weakness.

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With the grain or against the grain: a media perspective on the governance question of our time

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Author: James Deane, BBC Media Action Director, Policy and Learning, May 20 2015 - I was prompted to write this post by Brian Levy, the rightly respected governance guru of the World Bank, now Senior Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University.

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