9725 The Communication Initiative, The Drum Beat, Issue 619 – Policy Blogs: Two African Perspectives, August 27 2012

The Drum Beat – Issue 619 – Policy Blogs: Two African Perspectives
August 27 2012

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Have you ever asked yourselves questions like these:

* External Support: Useful? Effective?

or

* What Role Should the Media Play in Determining the Content of Campaign Advertisements?

This issue of The Drum Beat shares excerpts from two Communication Initiative bloggers working in Africa who have asked themselves these very questions and then contributed their voices to The CI’s Policy Blogs area: http://www.comminit.com/policy-blogs/category/sites/global/policy-blogs

First, we hear from Dr. Sue Goldstein, Programme Director for Soul City: Institute for Health and Development Communication in South Africa, on the issue of the effectiveness and value of external support.

Then, Noelina Nabwire, a communications and knowledge management specialist currently based in Kenya who works in countries in the Horn of Africa, explores questions related to the role of the media in relation to campaign advertising.

Excerpts from each blog follow. Please do click the links to read the full blogs. And, whilst there, please rate the blog and respond with your critical review, comments, ideas, and questions.

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I.      EXCERPTS FROM SUE GOLDSTEIN’S BLOG, WITH ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES, FOLLOW:
Full blog: http://networks.comminit.com/polionet/node/10212 [You may need to join the Polio Network group - log in, click your username, then Account settings and networks].

“Sitting in a room with armed guards permanently outside, I contemplate the nature of communication for development to eradicate polio and the role of monitoring and evaluation in the process. Surrounded in the trip by committed, enthusiastic people working to achieve the polio eradication elimination targets in Pakistan (and the world) it is heartening that such teams are willing to work in dangerous areas (of course many live in such areas without choice). There seems to be so much that the world of development and social change communication can learn from this massive effort. Such as how closely the services and communication teams work together at all levels (not always smoothly); such as the intense focus on the end point and the clarity of the aim of all the work – reaching every last child with polio vaccination; such as the intense monitoring of the reach and the social mapping in every Union Council, literally down to every house; such as the massive international !
persuasive effort to advocate for eradication, and ensure funding for the last massive effort; such as the critical advocacy and negotiation teams constantly working at gaining access for vaccination teams to enter areas to reach unvaccinated children.”

[ 3 CI illustrative summaries:

* Report of the Communications Review: Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme
http://www.comminit.com/polio/content/report-communications-review-pakistan-polio-eradication-programme

* International Women’s Day: Women Together for Polio Free Pakistan
http://www.comminit.com/polio/content/international-womens-day-women-together-polio-free-pakistan

* Assisting Children Everywhere (ACE)
http://www.comminit.com/children/content/assisting-children-everywhere-ace ]

“How could we as an external team with little contextual experience add value to this effort? This was a thought constantly in my mind as we learned about the programme. But, I am told by the very people whose work I am here to review that an outside eye can be useful in finding blind spots and/or asking questions filtered by a different set of experiences. I can accept this but find myself respecting their resolve to leave no stone unturned in the struggle to find enough small gains to achieve eradication. This is even more remarkable when considering the willingness to listen to an outsider only marginally familiar with the complex, dangerous and difficult situations they work in daily.”

[ 3 CI illustrative summaries:

* Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) Strategic Plan 2010 – 2012
http://www.comminit.com/polio/content/global-polio-eradication-initiative-gpei-strategic-plan-2010-2012

* Helping Theory with a Focus on Autonomy
http://www.comminit.com/polio/content/helping-theory-focus-autonomy

* Community Mobilisation: Degrees of Community Participation
http://www.comminit.com/children/content/community-mobilisation-degrees-community-participation ]

“…The process of getting research understood, used and integrated into health communication is often taken for granted but it is not as easy as it seems. Starting at the formative stage how the data is collected and analysed is important to understand…”

[ 3 CI illustrative summaries:

* The Polio Research Committee’s Call for Proposals [deadline: August 31 2012]
http://www.comminit.com/polio/category/sites/global/polio

* The Drum Beat 563 – Public Engagement in Science Research
http://www.comminit.com/global/content/drum-beat-563-public-engagement-science-research

* The Drum Beat 553 – Research into Action
http://www.comminit.com/global/drum_beat_553.html ]

“…The questions need to be guided by a model or theory of change so that the research can unearth the critical areas to focus on. The questions need to be guided by the true desire to listen and hear other perspectives.”

[ See The CI’s:

* Planning Models section: http://www.comminit.com/global/search/apachesolr_search/?filters=tid:36%20tid:12

* Change Theories section:
http://www.comminit.com/global/search/apachesolr_search/?filters=tid:36%20tid:25 ]

“…[T]he usefulness of information brought from external evaluators can be measured to some degree by the value it is given by those in the programme and by the impact it has on supporting the programme to achieve its goal…”

[ See The CI’s:

* Evaluation and Research section:
http://www.comminit.com/global/search/apachesolr_search/?filters=tid:36%20tid:11 ]

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To read this full article and to comment on and debate Sue’s perspectives, please go to the Polio Network group - http://networks.comminit.com/polionet/node/10212 (You may need to join the Polio Network group – log in, click your username, then Account settings and networks).

The above blog is the first of an occasional series of reflections from people in different roles and places who are linked through their work to eradicate polio. Please read the series and contribute your thoughts! If you have any questions about registering or commenting, just contact Chris Morry cmorry@comminit.com

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II.     EXCERPTS FROM NOELINA NABWIRE’S BLOG, WITH ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES, FOLLOW:
Full blog: http://www.comminit.com/democracy-governance/content/what-role-should-media-play-determining-content-campaign-advertisements

“That the media is an essential tool in any functioning democracy is not in doubt. What are the motives behind the various contents contained in the media? This question of motives becomes more pronounced during the electioneering period as is the case in Kenya….

Has the media in Kenya considered analyzing the content of campaign adverts to gauge their motives apart from selling the politicians’ and political parties’ manifestos? Could the content of these campaign adverts generate some sort of indicators that could be used to sound alarm bells on whether they are promoting peace and harmonious coexistence or fuelling violence? This is critical given that adverts enable individuals and groups to say what they want to say the way they would want their audiences to receive the information.

While appreciating that the media need advertisement revenue to be in business, is it right for any media to agree to print and/or broadcast adverts that promote propaganda, ethnic hatred, disunity and outright lies? In such a case, can the media have the guts to either refuse to take on the advert or inform the author to change the language to promote peace and harmonious living in the country? This will enable the media to contribute to national, regional and international peace and security…”

[ 9 CI illustrative summaries:

* The Media and Elections
http://www.comminit.com/global/content/media-and-elections

* Election Campaigns, Balance, and the Mass Media
http://www.comminit.com/fragile-contexts/content/election-campaigns-balance-and-mass-media

* Role of the Media in Promoting State Stability
http://www.comminit.com/global/content/role-media-promoting-state-stability

* Unseeing Eyes: Media Coverage and Gender in Latin American Elections
http://www.comminit.com/media-development/content/unseeing-eyes-media-coverage-and-gender-latin-american-elections

* Kenya Political Violence – Were Media Responsible?
http://www.comminit.com/global/node/271658

* Responsible Media Coverage of Elections: A Training Guide
http://www.comminit.com/democracy-governance/content/responsible-media-coverage-elections-training-guide

* ‘We can’t solve everything!’
http://www.comminit.com/global/node/329163

* USIPeace Briefing: Media, Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding: Mapping the Edges
http://www.comminit.com/democracy-governance/content/usipeace-briefing-media-conflict-prevention-and-peacebuilding-mapping-edges

* Nurturing Nationhood through Peace Media: Analysing Peace related Programming in Community Radio Stations
http://www.comminit.com/media-development/content/nurturing-nationhood-through-peace-media-analysing-peace-related-programming-community-r ]

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To read this full article, to comment on and debate Noelina’s perspectives, and/or to learn more, please:
* Complete the comment form here: http://www.comminit.com/democracy-governance/content/what-role-should-media-play-determining-content-campaign-advertisements
* Visit Soul Beat Africa’s Democracy and Governance themesite:
http://www.comminit.com/governance-africa/category/sites/africa/democracy-and-governance-africa
* Visit The CI’s Democracy and Governance themesite: http://www.comminit.com/category/sites/global/democracy-and-governance
* Visit The CI’s Media Development themesite: http://www.comminit.com/category/sites/global/media-development

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Please do submit your own blog(s) on themes and ideas on which you have ideas that you wish to share. If you are registered (through a free process) with The CI, please go here -http://www.comminit.com/en/policy-blogs/node/add/blog - or send your text to Julie Levy atjlevy@comminit.com Julie can also answer questions you may have.

You can review other blogs submitted at http://www.comminit.com/policy-blogs/category/sites/global/policy-blogs

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This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.

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The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership – ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Calandria, CIDA, Citurnas ldta., DFID, FAO, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Ford Foundation, Heartlines, Imaginario, Inter-American Development Bank, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, MISA, Ohio University, Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, The Rockefeller Foundation, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, USAID, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za
Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

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The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.

Please send additional project, evaluation, strategic thinking, and materials information on communication for development at any time. Send to drumbeat@comminit.com

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

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