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Winners of the Communication for Social Change Award

Since 2006 the Communications for Social Change Award recognizes significant contributions made by individual practitioners, field workers or scholars and organisations to the theory and practice of communication to facilitate social, economic and technological development. It is administered by the Centre for Communication and Social Change (CfCSC) at the School of Journalism and Communication, within The University of Queensland, Brisbane. 

CfCSC has just announced the winners of the 2013 edition!

  • Individual winner: Harry Surjadi 


Harry Surjadi (see his blog) has trained almost 200 indigenous people in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, as citizen journalists using RuaiSMS, a communication platform based on mobile phone (the only common communication tool available to indigenous communities) and FrontlineSMS. The program allows people to send their news directly to RuaiTV station and report on illegal logging and development. Thanks to this program, communities can maintain the accountability of public servants and have forced palm plantation companies to recognise indigenous people's rights.

In Surjadi's words "For the last 10 years, indigenous communities in Indonesia have been displaced from their ancestor lands as the government issues substantial concessions for palm plantation companies. The mainstream media receives advertising revenue from these companies and do not listen to the voices of these communities". 

  • Organisational winner: Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR)


The Cambodian Centre for Human Rights has developed an online human rights portal to provide information on media, human rights laws and civil society organisations in Cambodia. The project supports marginalised groups and communities by enhancing access to important information and highlighting violations of land rights. The Centre’s work enables communities to monitor violations and advocate for their own rights independently.


For more information and updates on the Award ceremony check CfCSC dedicated page

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Closing the gender gap with ComDev: Dimitra

dimitra1Rural women face challenges such as isolation, illiteracy and low social status. In occasion of the International Women's Day, we are glad to highlight a successful FAO initiative focusing on gender equality and communication for rural development.

Dimitra is a participatory communication project that aims to help close the gender gap in agriculture by boosting social dialogue and cohesion. Since 2006, it gives voice to rural women in various African countries and increases their access to information and knowledge resources, contributing to their social and economic empowerment. 


Named after the ancient Greek goddess of agriculture and harvests, Dimitra supports the exchange of information and good practices to make the role of both men and women producers equally recognized. Participatory communication processes give women more self-confidence and leadership, so they can play an active role in community life. 

Communicating Gender for Development is a valuable and comprehensive resource that Dimitra produced to illustrate why and how a gender perspective should be introduced in communication for rural development activities.

The project has given special attention to community radio as a powerful tool for awareness-raising, education and agricultural extension among highly disperse rural communities. Its unique experience in Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo is summarized in the publication Community listeners’ clubs. Stepping stones for action in rural areas.


Another interesting resource is Dimitra's on-line database profiling organizations based in Africa and the Near East whose development work involves or concerns rural populations, and in particular women.

Find out more in Dimitra's website and newsletters!

Photo credit: Dimitra

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AMARC celebrates its 30th anniversary

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) celebrates its 30th Anniversary this 2013.

AMARC brings together a network of more than 4,000 community radios, federations and community media stakeholders in more than 130 countries. It was in August 1983 that a group of community radio fans met spontaneously in Montreal for the first World Conference of community radio broadcasters, only to realise at the meeting that there was already an embryonic world movement which brought them together. In 2013, after 10 world conferences, the community radio movement has effectively become an effective global sector of communication in making the world a better place.

Members and Community Radio Stakeholders are called to organize activities to celebrate, reflect on lessons learned and on how to strengthen the social impact of Community Radio to combat poverty, exclusion and voicelessness and to promote social justice and sustainable, democratic and participatory human development.

In concurrence with the anniversary, AMARC launched a global evaluation of community radio social impact: an action research on 30 years of AMARC work and how to increase social impact of community radio broadcasting.

You can visit the calendar of AMARC activities for 2013 and send your reflections or planned initiatives to secretariat@si.amarc.org





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CDC designated as Center of Excellence in Development Communication


The College of Development Communication (CDC) in the University of the Philippines Los Banos is now Center of Excellence (COE) in Development Communication as declared by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The CDC now serves as a potent catalyst for world-class scholarships, best practices, innovative curriculum, research and extension, and professional development in communication.

A Center of Excellence (COE) is either a public or private higher education institution which has demonstrated the highest degree or level of standard along the areas of instruction, research and publications, extension and linkages, and institutional partnerships . A COE provides institutional leadership in all aspects of development in specific areas of discipline in the various regions by providing networking arrangements to help ensure the accelerated development of higher education institutions in its respective service areas.

"The CDC is now doubly inspired to pursue excellence in all aspects of development communication education," Dean Ma. Theresa Velasco said. CDC conducts research on human development and on the processes, elements, and impacts of communication. The College likewise undertakes training, research, extension, and other development action projects.

CDC offers BS, MS and PhD programs in development communication. The BS Devcom program aims to train students to apply theories, principles, and techniques of communication to help solve issues and problems of a developing society. The MS and PhD programs tackle in greater depth and breadth the synergistic relationship between communication and development. Graduate students are trained to assume leadership roles in communication-related endeavors of government and the private sector.

CHED acts as a collegial body in formulating plans, policies, and strategies relating to higher education in the Philippines.




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FEMSCRIPT Participatory Video to Empower Women

The FEMSCRIPT project was designed to empower women in the Niger Delta to make their voices heard in the public arena and highlight women's human rights issues through participatory video.

Led by Media Information Narrative Development (MIND), in collaboration with Stichting FLL from the Netherlands who conducted the participatory video training, the project was supported by CORDAID and the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria.

The project included training, the provision of camera equipment, and facilitating access to mass media platforms. The training used a learning-by-doing approach, combining in-depth training workshops with hands-on fieldwork in the trainees’ home communities guided by professional researchers and video-makers. In the process, the women were encouraged to critically reflect on their own human rights and conflict experiences.

Nine young women from Bayelsa State, Delta State, and Rivers State were selected to participate in an intensive long-term Action Learning Trajectory programme. Nine Video Case Studies were produced featuring examples of women in the Niger Delta who are managing to make ends meet despite the many challenges they face.

In the future, MIND intends to use the project outputs as local awareness raising tools in collaboration with local NGOs and community-based organisations. MIND and its training partner FLL also hope to find resources for translating the video footage gathered by the FEMSCRIPT trainees into a condensed 30-minute documentary reaching out to a wider audience (including film festivals and TV channels in Nigeria and abroad).

MIND currently has a 5 mins documentary, inspired by the FEMSCRIPT project. Watch the video: http://vimeo.com/14987037

More details about this project can be found here

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