Most Recent Knowledge Shared from the Network

May 21, 2015

Next Generation of Science Journalists Award 2015

The World Health Summit (WHS) has called for applications for its Young Science Journalists Award:  "In cooperation with Deutsches Ärzteblatt, the European Union of Science Journalists'...

September 22, 2014

SciDev.Net Investigative Science Journalism Fellowship for the Global South

Science journalists from the Global South are being invited to submit their applications for the SciDev.Net Investigative Science Journalism Fellowship, which will provide one successful fellow with...

June 25, 2014

Next Generation of Science Journalists Award 2014

To help recognise emerging medical science journalists, Germany's medical journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt, the World Health Summit, the European Union of Science Journalists' Associations (EUSJA), and...

February 12, 2014

Science Spaza Project

Science Spaza brings hands-on curriculum linked resources to science clubs in South Africa, with the goal of improving science literacy and exposing learners to science-related opportunities. The...

October 9, 2013

Centre for Communication and Social Change Awards 2014

The Centre for Communication and Social Change is looking for outstanding and innovative individuals and organisations using communication and information and communication technology (ICTs) in...

October 9, 2013

Centre for Communication and Social Change Awards 2014

The Centre for Communication and Social Change is looking for outstanding and innovative individuals and organisations using communication and information and communication technology (ICTs) in...

October 4, 2013

KAS Media Africa Scholarship

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Media Africa is offering two scholarships for promising, young (under 30) sub-Saharan African journalists to do a full-time Honours or Masters degree at Wits University...

December 19, 2012

Media Competition 2013: Investing in Agriculture

The Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) and Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) are inviting journalists and media specialists to enter a competition for reporting on the...

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PROTEGE QV's Radio Training

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Promotion of Technologies that Guarantee Environment and a Better Quality of Life (PROTEGE QV) is a Cameroonian organisation working for the betterment of the community through information sharing, tr
Communication Strategies: 

To identify the needs of the women who had access to radio-based learning, a field study was done in 7 localities: Bakou, Bana, Banwa, Bafang, Kekem, Dschang, and Bandja. There were 300 female participants, 59% of whom were micro-entrepreneurs and 41% who were considered as potential micro-entrepreneurs. The women interviewed considered expertise in the following areas to be important factors for success: financing (91.7%), techniques of production (82.8%), management techniques (78%), commercialisation and promotion of products (82.8%), and the taxation system (53.8%). From the needs assessment, it appeared that their capacities needed to be reinforced by addressing the following topics: how to choose a business and how to start, sources of funds for small business at the local and national level, business management, where to find production equipment, opportunities for trainings in production techniques, the marketing of products, the taxation system related to small business and how to deal with taxation departments, and the improvement of agricultural and animal production.

The project involved the training of animators or communicators as mediators of knowledge and trainers. These animators were women who already had status in women's groups and, as they were considered role models and spoke the local language, the organisers believed they would be effective in transmitting messages. The project identified these women by evaluating their influence zone in the community. This was done by identifying the various associations in which they were active members, the positions that they held in these groups, and the number of registered members in their groups. In this way the project was able to reach 7,262 people in 103 groups.

The women were trained to become communicators who would be able to use radio, letters, telephone calls, short messaging service (SMSs, or text messaging), meetings, as well as informal means to share information in the community. The training included workshops on using computers, using the internet to search for information on a specific subject, radio script writing, and speaking on the radio. They were also trained to run a group discussion and to communicate in a network using SMS.

In the course of 6 months and within a programme entitled "Women and the Pride of Their Being", 12 radio programmes were recorded and broadcast on Saturdays from 6:30 - 7:00 pm on a community radio station, Radio Fotouni. The broadcasts covered subjects such as: the role of women's micro-enterprises in rural development, how to choose a business, studying the market, the pricing of products, parts of a successful business, managing a business I and II (finances, administration, etc.), the improvement of agricultural production, the improvement of animal production, the taxation applicable to small business, and financing small business.

The communicators also conducted 3 group discussions for small business promoters at Bafang. The themes were: "Reinforcement of your small business", with the support of the Local Department of Women Affairs; "Improvement of animal rearing", with the support of the School of Agriculture and Animal Rearing of Bafang; and "Keeping business records: financial management", with the support of the MC², a community credit and loans cooperative.

The women's groups were not just beneficiaries of the project but were also in charge of encouraging other women to listen to and take part in the radio-based learning. Protégé QV continues to distribute information to the communicators through SMS and supports the network through knowledge sharing and regular refresher courses. The network that was created also continues to support and reinforce women entrepreneurs, as they are able to communicate with each other and share best practices.

Development Issues: 

Economic Development, Women.

Partner Text: 

PROTEGE QV was in charge of the overall coordination of the implementation. The broadcasting was done by Radio Rurale Fotouni, a community radio station in the Upper Nkam division, and the local department of the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MINCOF) assisted in identifying the real needs of the beneficiaries and in providing support. Finally, the MC² BANKA, a credit and loan cooperative, helped in finding appropriate funds for the women's micro-enterprises and in giving appropriate trainings to manage loans. Funding was provided by the Commonwealth of Learning.


Elearning-Africa website on February 12 2007.

Ndizathuzomwe Civic Education Radio

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Implemented in 1999, Ndizathuzomwe Civic Education Radio is a communication campaign for social change in Malawi.
Communication Strategies: 

The project uses participatory communication methodologies in an effort to ensure national dialogue around development issues. It works to facilitate people's participation at all levels of development efforts to identify and implement appropriate and sustainable policies, programmes, and technologies to reduce poverty and improve people's livelihoods.

Broadcast on MBC Radio One, the radio programmes follow a magazine format including village voices and panel discussions. To support the broadcasts, organisers have established more than 30 Radio Listening Clubs (RLCs) across the country, each of which assumes the role of facilitating development in their areas. One of the objectives of the RLCs is to involve the public in strengthening community capacities to intervene more directly in development initiatives and other national issues by creating debate on local problems, needs and concerns.

As suggested by the name of the programme - "Ndizathozomwe", which means "It is Ours" - the project is meant to provide access to all parts of Malawian society, with particular emphasis on the most marginalised. Community mobilisation exercises have focused on developing tools for assessing need. Structures have been established in communities to facilitate access for women, youth, the elderly, orphans, and people living with HIV/AIDS thus far.

Development Issues: 

Participatory Communication, Poverty Reduction, Political Development.

Key Points: 

Because of the ratification of the communications bill in Malawi, the MBC is required to operate in accordance with a series of democratic principles which present civil society with a chance to determine the content of broadcast material. To respond to this challenge, the MBC established a DBU that is designed to provide the MBC with a sustainable resource through which community-based programming will continue to be produced, encouraging a participatory approach to communication. The ultimate aim is to support democratic development by creating effective dialogue.

The DBU has entered contracts with a variety of partners to provide programming in various sectors. Nonetheless, the participatory ethos of programming remains the same. The communities define themselves, identify and prioritise their problems, and plan an active role in the development solution with service providers. As a result, 80% of all programmes are produced in the field.

In 2000, the project won the Rolls-Royce Award for Excellence in Broadcasting for Innovative Project Management, presented by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association. The project has also been featured in a number of international publications.

Partner Text: 

Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, University of Malawi, Ministry of Information, Malawi CARER, Project HOPE, Women & Law in Southern Africa, and Christian Services Commission. Funding provided by the UK Department for International Development (DFID)


Email from Alice Munyua to The Communication Initiative; Radio for Development (renamed Media for Development) newsletter; and Media for Development website, July 12 2010.

Family Planning for Healthy Living Project

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In partnership with Quality Health Partners and Opportunities Industrialisation Centers International (OICI), the ACQUIRE Project (funded by the United States Agency for International Development) dev

Communication Strategies: 

According to the organisers, upon receiving a positive HIV diagnosis, most people are referred to support groups. These groups, which can vary from 30 to 100 members, generally meet monthly to discuss issues common to the group. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the use of support groups in health programmes is an empowerment intervention that improves individual decision making and can reduce clients' anxiety and depression. Among support group members, there is a need for information about reproductive rights and family planning to aid informed decision-making. In particular, PLHIV need information about dual protection to prevent unintended pregnancy and reduce the risk of becoming infected with different strains of HIV (known as reinfection) or passing HIV to infants.

In July 2007, the FPHL project conducted peer educator training for 75 PLHIV from support groups in four regions of Ghana. Prior to the workshop, selected family planning providers were trained in family planning for PLHIV and then were invited to participate in the peer educator trainings in which PLHIV were trained to use job aids displaying the various types of available contraception methods to deliver family planning messages at monthly support group meetings. Trained providers also attend the support groups to help answer questions and to encourage interested members to seek family planning services. Using dual family planning methods that prevent unintended pregnancy and lower the risk of HIV-reinfection, for example using the pill in combination with the male condom, is encouraged.

Peer educators are equipped with teaching materials. For example, a method card with samples of short- and long-acting methods, information about permanent methods, and considerations of family planning for PLHIV. One peer educator said, "The method card helps to explain the types of family planning methods very well so people can make decisions easily when they meet with a provide."

The organisers state that "champions" for family planning have emerged from the project. They include peer educators, providers, and support group members who have become role models for their peers and advocates for family planning in their communities. In addition, peer educators are able to bring information back into their own homes and families.

Development Issues: 

HIV/AIDS, Family Planning

Key Points: 

According to the organisers of this project, the current HIV prevalence in Ghana is 1.9%. With fewer people affected by the disease, there can be greater stigma regarding sexuality and reproduction for PLHIV. Many PLHIV are told they should abstain from sex and childbearing or use condoms. Consequently, PLHIV fear the reaction of health workers if they seek family planning and/or discuss their fertility desires. Organisers say that many people who come to the support groups are unaware of family planning methods other than the male condom, and they need information particularly about dual protection to prevent unintended pregnancy and reduce the risk of reinfection or passing HIV to infants.

Partner Text: 

Quality Health Partners and Opportunities Industrialisation Centers International (OICI), the ACQUIRE Project


Child Safety Project

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The Child Safety Project, implemented by ABC Ulwazi and Sekgosese FM with support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation, is a research project that aims to improve the safety of children in South Afric

Communication Strategies: 

According to the organisers, the project draws on the principles of participatory communication that start from existing knowledge in the community, draw out underlying challenges, and shape new actions to address them. The project is working to address a number of key questions, including: how safe are children in the community?; in the past, what kept children safe?; and what has changed this situation? The project will also use community mapping techniques to explore what places were known to be safe for children in the past and what places are considered unsafe now, as well as what can be done to make children safe on both a community and individual level. Other questions will focus on the role played by individuals such as mothers, fathers, and siblings in providing a safety net for children in the home and community. These questions will challenge gender stereotypes around whose responsibility it is to look after children.

The organisers are using a number of tools to gather answers to these questions, including small group discussions, telephonic/in-studio listener interaction, community meetings to support in-studio interaction, and questionnaires. Sekgosese FM, in Limpopo province South Africa, will be the central medium to collect and disseminate information within its community and surrounding areas. ABC Ulwazi will produce radio inserts to support the discussions generated from community members.

Development Issues: 


Key Points: 

In 2009, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the National Department of Social Development in South Africa worked together to use the opportunity of the annual Child Protection Week (from May 25-29 2009) to intensify public awareness on issues of child protection and to promote the role of communities in providing the safe and protective environments in which children can grow up to reach their full potential. A 5-year strategy was adopted under the theme: "Caring Communities Protect Children", which is based on the premise that child protection is not the sole responsibility of formal child protection services but, rather, is the responsibility of all.

According to organisers, South Africa's children continue to be exposed to high levels of violence, abuse, and exploitation, including sexual violence. For many communities, children have ceased to be the responsibility of all, and are considered the responsibility of their parents or the state. In developing this project, the organisers wanted to answer 2 key questions: can communities provide avenues of care and protect children from abuse?; and can community radio be used as a platform to get communities to advocate and take action for the safety of their children?

Partner Text: 

ABC Ulwazi, Sekgosese FM, and the Bernard van Leer Foundation.


Email from Batabile Msengana to Soul Beat Africa on May 14 2010.


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Launched by the Washington, DC (United States)-based InterMedia in March 2010,

The elements of the AudienceScapes project:

  • A 2-pronged country research programme - national surveys plus in-depth interviews with senior government officials - aimed at helping development practitioners communicate effectively and efficiently at the grassroots level and the policy level. (These surveys have so far been conducted in Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia, and will soon be conducted in Tanzania):
    1. As part of the survey research programme, the AudienceScapes team partners with local research organisations to conduct detailed face-to-face interviews that are designed to give a nationally representative view of: media use, information and communication technology (ICT) use, word-of-mouth communication habits, the role of "opinion leaders" in communities, and levels of trust in various information sources. In addition, the surveys gather data on the level of access to (and use of) information on key development topics - in this case, health care, personal finance (including mobile money), and agriculture. These modules provide an opportunity to "slice and dice" the data demographically in order to determine how various subgroups of the population are most likely to obtain, accept, or share information on such topics.
    2. The AudienceScapes research team conducts in-depth interviews with senior policymakers to ask about their information-gathering habits and needs. Policy reports feature recommendations for the development community on how to improve policy communication as well as how to bolster senior officials' capacity for crafting evidence-based development policies.
  • Analytical reports that distill the research into actionable recommendations and strategies for development practitioners and their partners working in the field, as well for development and advocacy groups focused on supporting good development policies.
  • Research-based evidence for assessing local needs in media, communication technologies, development information, and development policy.
  • A website providing access to AudienceScapes data, research reports, analysis, a practitioners' field blog, discussion pages, and features such as:
    • Country Communication Profiles outline media use, ICT use, and the general communication environment in a number of countries. This information is broken down by key demographic groupings such as gender, age, income level, and region. The profiles use a combination of text, charts, graphics, and multimedia.
    • The Africa Research section highlights the AudienceScapes
      research programme, which is being piloted in Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia. Links to analytical reports on nationally representative face-to-face surveys and in-depth interviews with development policymakers in these countries are included.
    • The Community Space features an interactive Practitioners Field Blog, discussions, and multimedia features where AudienceScapes staff, InterMedia staff, and site users can contribute and interact freely.
    • The Custom Data Query Tool allows users to: view the response results for any question or single variable in the Ghana and Kenya surveys (Zambia by summer 2010, Tanzania by early fall 2010), run cross-tabulations of any 2 or 3 variables in the surveys, compare question responses between surveys, create basic graphics based on the responses, export response and crosstab results in Excel, and request the raw datasets (provided they are being used for legitimate development purposes).

AudienceScapes also offers custom added-value analysis and reports to commercial companies in media, telecommunications, and other fields in order to create a revenue stream to help support the project's development goals.

Development Issues: 

Development Aid, Research.

Key Points: 

According to InterMedia, many development practitioners, particularly those working for locally based agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), have limited access to empirical research that could help them better target and deliver communication, information, and education efforts in a range of activities - anything from HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns to gender equality programmes to dissemination of better agricultural techniques to media development. AudienceScapes aims to fill this knowledge gap.

Partner Text: 

Support has been provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. InterMedia is currently seeking other partners to help expand the research to other countries.

OneLove Campaign Malawi

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Launched in October 2009, the OneLove campaign in Malawi forms part of a regional Southern African initiative which seeks to address multiple concurrent partnerships (MCP), an issue identified as one of the key drivers of HIV infection in the region. In Malawi, the OneLove campaign is being rolled out with the support of a number of partners, including the faith-based community, the private and public sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and men and women in uniform.

Communication Strategies: 

The specific aims of the campaign are to:

  • Raise awareness of the risks of having multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships.
  • Get people talking and thinking about their choices and practices that cause them to engage in multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships.
  • Create public debate about how culture and gender impact on the HIV and AIDS epidemic.
  • Challenge harmful cultural values and norms that put people at risk of HIV infection.

The key messages of the campaign are:

  • Having multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships puts you and your loved one at risk for HIV infection. The more sexual partners you have, the more the risk of HIV infection.
  • Reduce the number of sexual partners that you have to reduce your chances of getting HIV.
  • Stick to and be faithful to your one and only sexual partner and you can be sure of less or no risk to HIV infection.
  • If you are in a polygamous relationship, respect the founding principles of polygamy. Stick to the wives that you have. You should understand that if one person is infected, it means all of you will be infected.
  • To be sure that you are not at risk of HIV infection, go for HIV testing and counselling so that you know your status and the status of your sexual partner before having unprotected sex.

Partner organisations like Pakachere, PSI Malawi, and Bridge project, together with the private and public sector partners, intend to raise awareness about MCP through workshops, public talks, and mass media campaigns. The mass media component will consist of a radio drama, radio talk shows as well as television talk shows. The campaign will also produce booklets, posters, and fact sheets. One booklet, called Sexual Partners and Our Lives, has already been produced in English and Chichewa. Click here to view the English version in PDF format.

From October 2009, the OneLove Malawi campaign broadcast a radio drama highlighting the HIV risk related to having multiple concurrent partnerships. Broadcast on national and community radio stations, the drama tells the story of Richard Matemba, a 34-year old man who works with an agricultural government institutions. On face value he appears to be a gentleman and a perfect husband and family man. He goes to church and is respected by most members of his community. However, Richard is having two extra marital affairs: one with a junior colleague at work, Eurita, and another with a teenage neighbour, Vanessa, who gets vocational employment at Richard's work place.

The campaign is also working with private sector organisations who intend to carry messages on packaging materials and utility bills. These partners will also advocate among chief executives of private companies to support the campaign and its activities.

The campaign is working with the Malawi Police Service as it is one of the populations with the highest HIV prevalence. The campaign will raise awareness through open days, public talks, and mass media. It is also planning trainings in HIV prevention focusing on the key drivers of the epidemic.

The faith community is carrying out various interpersonal communication activities to raise awareness about MCP, promote communication between couples, carry out sex education, and advocate for more comprehensive marriage counselling which emphasises the need for effective couple communication and sexual discussion.

Since its launch, the Malawi campaign has developed a six-track collection of songs by various artists featuring lyrics about OneLove and issues related to MCP. Click here to view some of the music videos developed to completement the music CD.

The campaign is also working with 72 out-of-school youth clubs to address MCP through awareness raising activities, skills building in efficacy and decision making, and by promoting gender equality.

For broadcast in the second half of 2010, a second radio drama is being developed that will also focus on building strong sexual relationships highlighting how such relationships can prevent people from infecting and getting infected with HIV.

In addition, the OneLove Malawi campaign is developing a radio and television talk show that aims to discuss the risk of HIV infection related to MCP, the consequences of people's sexual choices for themselves and their partners, and develop people’s ability to talk about their sexual needs. The radio talk show will be 30 episodes long while the television show will have 15 episodes. The campaign is also organising live debate shows on 5 radio stations where different guests will be invited to discuss issues relating to MCP.

The campaign is also planning a bill board campaign which will raise awareness about the risk of HIV transmission within MCP. The key message or question in this campaign will be "how many sexual partners are in your (sexual) network?"

Development Issues: 


Key Points: 

Through the National AIDS Commission, a national steering committee was put in place to coordinate the activities of the OneLove campaign in Malawi and Pakachere Institute for Health and Development Communication (IHDC) was nominated as the chairing organisation with the National AIDS Commission as the secretariat.

Partner Text: 

National AIDS Council Malawi, Pakachere Health and Development Communication, Population Services International (PSI) Malawi, Bridge Project Malawi, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).


OneLove website, November 9 2009; and email received from Simon Sikwese to Soul Beat Africa on November 9 2009.

Rice Rural Learning Initiative

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The Rice Rural Learning Initiative, initiated in 2005, is a strategic, long-term communication project by the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice, formerly called WARDA) designed to enhance farmers' access

Communication Strategies: 

By linking video with mass media, especially radio, the initiative works to stimulate local adaptation of innovations, nurture local ownership, and build on existing capacities and networks. The project started in 2005, when AfricaRice, in collaboration with the United Kingdom (UK)-based Countrywise Communication, trained a team in Benin to produce farmer-to-farmer videos. In 2007, AfricaRice collaborated with Farm Radio International and local partners to produce rural radio scripts, which, as well as talking about rice, advertised video distribution points. By 2009, 25 radio and video programmes had been produced. Canada-based Farm Radio International distributed radio scripts on rice technologies to more than 300 rural radio stations across Africa and monitored their use. The radio programmes were translated into more than 40 local languages. AfricaRice also distributed the videos to 164 partners, who in turn shared them with over 300 local organisations. Partners also translated the 11 videos into 33 local languages, covering 44 countries.

Organisers say that the two media, radio and video, were combined to strengthen local experimentation around new ideas, methods, and technologies. Rice radio programmes facilitated learning and increased awareness amongst farmers and service providers about the farmer-to-farmer videos. According to organisers, the videos helped train more than 2,500 trainers and benefited more than 130,000 rice farmers and processors across Africa. The radio programmes' potential audience constituted millions of farmers. Community screenings helped to build human and social capital; in particular, women became more organised and requested further support from local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in enterprise development and enhancing market integration.

The Rice Rural Learning Initiative continues to work with new partners across Africa, with each country and each partner adopting a different communication strategy depending on their own institutional context.

  • In Guinea, the NGO Association pour la Promotion Economique de Kindia (APEK) trained thousands of farmers using the videos before reinforcing the lessons through Radio Guinée Maritime, which aired interviews with farmers about what they had learned. The resulting radio programme reached up to 800,000 people.
  • To revive agriculture in war-torn villages in northern Uganda, the Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Programme showed the videos to more than 7,000 farmers living in refugee camps. In addition, Sasakawa Global 2000 distributed local-language copies to extension (training, education, and technology dissemination) services and farmer associations, and engaged policymakers, a TV station, and Farmers' Media newspaper.
  • In Benin, mobile cinema vans reached more than 50,000 farmers. Interactive programmes on rural radios and a question-and-answer service helped promote the videos and obtain audience feedback.
  • In Nigeria, the government developed 500 video copies in each of the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo languages and incorporated them in the agricultural development programmes of all the states.
  • In various countries, farmer organisations received the local language versions of the videos via their respective networks and started to organise their own screenings.
  • In the Gambia, Guinea, Nigeria, and Uganda, the rice videos are being broadcast on the respective national television stations.

Click here to watch the rice videos, which were produced in close collaboration with researchers, field workers, rice farmers, and rice processors.

Development Issues: 

Agriculture, Natural Resource Management

Key Points: 

To assess the videos' impact, 200 women rice processors were surveyed in Benin. After watching a video on parboiling rice, over 90% cleaned and dried their rice properly (compared with 20% in a group who did not watch the video), and 42% adopted improved rice parboiling (compared with 5% in the non-video group). Not only did rice quality improve, allowing the women to obtain a higher price, but they also learned to work better as a group and developed skills and confidence to negotiate with rice producers and traders.

According to AfricaRice, the Rice Rural learning Initiative has mobilised a vast network of local actors to the benefit of African rural communities, and is set to continue this initiative in the years to come. In order to reach more rural people, AfricaRice is also exploring partnerships with the private sector for disseminating the rice videos.

Partner Text: 

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), UK Department for International Development (DFID), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Government of Japan, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Network of Journalists Living with HIV and AIDS (JLWHA)

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Initiated in 2008, the Network of Journalists Living with HIV and AIDS (JLWHA) is a project of the Global Aids Programme (GAP) of Panos.

Communication Strategies: 

According to organisers, the network hopes to challenge stereotypes associated with people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) and to project PLWHA in a positive and empowering light. JLWHA objectives and activities include:

  • facilitating a safe place for journalists living with HIV and AIDS in high prevalence settings in Africa and the Caribbean to network with each other and articulate their issues openly;
  • building capacities of interested individuals living with HIV/AIDS in low or concentrated prevalence settings in Asia to enable them to write and produce in-depth and investigative features on HIV/AIDS from the perspective of the vulnerable communities;
  • facilitating a safe place within the media workplace environment to help those living with HIV and AIDS articulate their concerns openly; and
  • disseminating information from the perspective of PLWHA through multiple dissemination mediums to influence public and policy debate.

Panos organised a three-day meeting to introduce journalists to the concept of the network and networking. This included the sharing of testimonies and exploring how to engage the media further in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The group also looked at issues of tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS co-infections and issues of HIV and AIDS and the media. Click here [PDF] for Bearing Witness to Living with HIV and AIDS , a report from this meeting which includes journalists' testimonies.

Development Issues: 


Key Points: 

Panos Eastern Africa, based in Kampala, Uganda, is a regional non-governmental apolitical organisation working with the media, civil society, policymakers, and international agencies in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda to promote a wider understanding of the use of information in development. Panos Eastern Africa is a part of a global network of Panos Institutes based in Southern Africa, Western Africa, South Asia, London (UK), France, Canada, and the Caribbean.

The Panos Global AIDS Programme is a network of offices within the Panos Institutes in Africa, Asia, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe working on participation, ownership, and accountability in the fight against HIV and AIDS. The Panos Global AIDS Programme seeks to provide in-depth information on the social and economic causes and consequences of the HIV and AIDS epidemics in the developing world. Panos is also involved in the development of contemporary approaches to HIV and AIDS communication.

Partner Text: 

Panos Global AIDS Programme and Panos Eastern Africa.

Miombo Environmental Evening Education (3E)

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The Miombo Environmental Evening Education (3E) is a project of the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Southern Africa Regional Programme Office (SARPO), supported by the founder of M magazine through WW

Communication Strategies: 

According to WWF Southern Africa Regional Programme Office (SARPO), the project was initiated after it was realised that there was a lack of environmental awareness in the region. The project has three objectives:

  • to popularise environmental issues through participatory social learning;
  • to use an Environmental Mobile Unit (EMU) to provide environmental awareness; and
  • to capitalise on experiences and lessons learned to inform and influence environmental management and decision making processes.

The project centres around an EMU, created by mounting a generator, DVD/VCR combo player, and LCD projector and screen on a Land Cruiser vehicle. The unit visits 46 schools, as well as community centres, in the region on a roster-basis to show environmental videos, distribute relevant literature, and conduct discussions.

The shows are particularly designed for school-going children, youth, teachers, and female adults. Most of the video shows are locally generated and focus on local environmental issues affecting the Bangweulu basin, such as deforestation, wildlife poaching, and inappropriate fishing methods. The shows also highlight sustainable natural resource use options being promoted by the project in the area. These include bee keeping, fish farming, and conservation agriculture. The shows provide clips on the importance of education in order to generate a culture of appreciating the value of education in both children and parents. Each show takes about 40 minutes, followed by a question and answer session where participants share lessons learnt.

The 46 schools visited by the mobile unit have also formed conservation clubs that act as a platform for sharing knowledge and teaching school children and their families about the importance of natural resource conservation. The clubs are registered with the Wildlife and Environment Conservation Society of Zambia which gives the clubs environmental teacher's handbooks, magazines, and posters on a quarterly basis.

According to the organisers, this approach has not only resulted in increased awareness, but also sharing of experiences between and among schools and their neighbouring communities. They also say that this initiative has inspired more players to become involved in spreading messages of conservation and restoration among communities using tools such as drama, video shows, and nature gardens in government and community schools.

Development Issues: 

Environment, Natural Resource Management

Key Points: 

According to SARPO, lack of environmental education results in citizens taking natural resources for granted and expecting such resources to avail themselves for exploitation whenever the need arises. This contributes to the destruction of natural resources for immediate gain and a lack of appreciation for their importance in national economies and to sustainable livelihoods.

SARPO claims that the shows have generally been appreciated by both children and adults, as they are considered educative in as far as the conservation of natural resources is concerned. Participants also view environmental shows as a motivator for children to attend school and the parents to send their children to school. According to SARPO, this is important, considering that most children in the area do not attend school because the boys engage in other livelihood activities, such as fishing, and the girls are forced into early marriages. Organisers hope that, through the project, the people of the Bangweulu basin will gain a deeper understanding of how their individual and collective actions affect the environment and will feel equipt with skills for better and informed decision making.

Partner Text: 

World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Southern Africa Regional Programme Office (SARPO)


WWF website on August 27 2009.

iLife Radio Drama Series

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Launched in August 2009, iLife is a radio drama series produced by ABC Ulwazi with support from the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that seeks to promote HIV and AIDS

Communication Strategies: 

The 14-episode drama series has been produced in 4 of South Africa's official languages (English, isiZulu, seSotho, and Afrikaans) and is being broadcast on approximately 40 community radio stations across South Africa.

The drama has been developed based on entertainment-education principles, described by ABC Ulwazi as "the process of purposely designing and implementing a media message to both entertain and educate in order to increase audience members' knowledge about an issue, create favourable attitudes, shift social norms, and change the overt behaviour of individuals and communities."

The series takes place in a small peri-urban town called Empilweni. According to ABC Ulwazi, the characters in the drama portray situations and life challenges that are similar to ones experienced by listeners - making it easier for listeners to remember information and recall it when necessary, as well as to apply the information to their own lives and in their own language. Scripts were developed based on qualitative interviews and current research of related themes. The main characters include Dima (the shebeen queen), Slindile (the promiscuous best friend), and Thobi (the loyal adviser friend). Initially, Dima's dilemma is exposed when she discovers her husband of 10 years had been engaging in extra marital relations. This inevitably leads to her discovery of her HIV-positive status.

The main focus of the series is to increase people's awareness and understanding of HIV and AIDS prevention and also to challenge social norms that continue to reinforce the vulnerability of women with regard to HIV/AIDS-related issues. Organisers say that the drama falls in line with the government's HIV and AIDS and STIs [sexually transmitted infections] Strategic Plan for South Africa. It focuses on prevention and on encouraging counselling and testing and is also designed to deliver messages about prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) and the reduction of MCP. Each of the 14 episodes has a specific message theme, highlighting:

  • the social, economic, and cultural factors contributing to MCP;
  • transactional sex and intergenerational partnerships as factors contributing to MCP;
  • partner reduction and correct use of condoms as preventative measures against HIV;
  • the importance of getting tested for HIV; and
  • possibilities of successful relationships between HIV-negative and HIV-positive partners.
Development Issues: 

HIV/AIDS, Gender.

Key Points: 

According to ABC Ulwazi, young women, people living in informal settlements, and the economically poor are particularly vulnerable to the HIV and AIDS pandemic. ABC Ulwazi was motivated to create this project by evidence showing that radio is the optimal vehicle of communication, as it is widely accessible across the country and can provide information to people in their own language, thus bypassing barriers of illiteracy or levels of education.

Partner Text: 

ABC Ulwazi and PEPFAR.


Email from Batabile Msengana on August 12 2009; ABCUlwazi Newsletter, July 2009; and "A Brief Background into the iLife Radio Drama Series".

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