Gender and Communications in International Development

The Communication Initiative is a partnership and networking space where people using media and communication strategies for action on poverty and other major issues share, learn and converse. See and register. The Communication Initiative Network also has a useful page on Facebook that lists new projects.

Here are some features on gender and equality that appeared in their recent newsletter.

1. Mucho Corazón (A Lot of Heart)
The purpose of this Mexican television drama series is to help spread the word about the MDGs and the importance of sustainable development, gender equity, and respect for Indigenous Peoples. The 35-episode drama tells the story of Maruch, a young woman from a rural community in Chiapas. It is complemented by: a weekly TV talk show, ongoing promotion through the State of Chiapas radio and television networks, and community action campaigns to encourage viewers to adopt behaviours modelled in the drama.

MUCHO CORAZÓN (SUBTITLED) from PCI Media Impact on Vimeo.

2. Communication for Development (C4D) Workshop: Pacific Media Assistance Program (PACMAS)
In March 2012, the Pacific Media Assistance Program (PACMAS) held a C4D workshop in Suva, Fiji, with 20 students from technical and vocational education (TVET) institutions around the Pacific. The students produced radio and TV stories linked to the MDGs, including a television story on a female taxi driver to promote MDG 3: Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality. "We believe this story can empower young females in their career path choices and contribute to achievement of MDG 2 - quality education for all children (including females!)."
3. Event: Making a Noise for the MDGs
This initiative combined debate and drama in a show of support for the MDGs, with a focus on the role of women and girls in empowering women, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health. BBC listeners, along with a live audience, discussed the role played by women in achieving the MDGs. Following the debate, a reception that drew a range of figures from the arts explored the role of creativity and drama as tools used to provoke lasting social change. [Sept. 2010, BBC Media Action and the Southbank Centre]
4. Progress Relies on Sound Information in the Philippines
by Michelle Hibler
The Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) is an organised way of collecting, analysing, and verifying information to be used by local governments, national government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and civil society for planning, budgeting, and implementing local development programmes. The Philippines CBMS team is testing its use in gender-responsive budgeting. "A pilot project in Escalante City confirmed the usefulness of CBMS, which had been modified to capture additional gender-relevant information, such as education and livelihood skills, in targeting and resource allocation." Data are available to governments and researchers through a computerised national repository system. [International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Jun. 2009]
5. Gender Mainstreaming in Practice: A Toolkit
This toolkit provides a detailed algorithm for implementing a gender perspective in all phases of a development programme/project cycle. Special attention is paid to: (i) baseline gender indicators that help monitor: (i) whether a project improves access to development resources for women and men equally, (ii) principles of civic participation in project implementation, and (iii) active promotion of gender equality in information support of the project and communication with national counterparts. Though global in scope, it is extended as part of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Kyrgyzstan's work to advance gender equality and empowerment of women as part of the MDGs. [Nov. 2011]


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