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The role of media festivals in strengthening independent media

August 28, 2023

Festivals taking place across the Global South are attracting increasingly global attendees. This brief discussion paper looks at four diverse examples of such festivals – Media Party in Argentina, Festival 3i in Brazil, Splice Beta in Thailand, and the Africa Media Festival in Kenya – and seeks to develop preliminary hypotheses about the nature of these events, what distinguishes them from other events in the independent media ecosystem, what they hope to achieve, and how they are evolving.It also seeks to discern patterns or learnings emerging from these festivals that suggest practical recommendations for those running, setting up or supporting such events in the future, and includes concrete examples of practices that other practitioners can learn or adapt from. We also explore the role of media festivals in the resilience of local regional and global digital native ecosystems.The report has been authored by independent consultant Sameer Padania, who was an active participant in all four festivals featured, as part of a consultancy project for International Media Support, funded by the Ford Foundation. He was a judge for a pitch session and ran one workshop at Media Party, gave three clinics and one workshop at Splice Beta, co-ran one workshop and co-moderated a donors' meeting at the Africa Media Festival, and spoke on a panel at Festival 3i. The report also draws on inputs from IMS programme managers and partners.

Promoting Equitable and Inclusive Green Job Growth in Southeast Asia

May 15, 2023

The transition to a green economy offers a bright future for Southeast Asia. It's not only a US$1 trillion market opportunity by 2030 across the region's economies. It's also a pathway to a sustainable future, one that is resilient to the climate crisis, more secure for nations, healthier for residents, and inclusive for all.To guide this radical transformation, we studied employment markets across six countries—Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—and conducted 80 interviews with employers, researchers, and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). This report, supported by J.P. Morgan, identifies steps that leaders across sectors— governments, funders, NGOs, investors, and employers—can take to ensure the emerging green economy achieves a "just transition" that leaves no one behind.

Write for Rights 2021 Campaign Report

April 12, 2022

In 2021 Write for Rights (W4R) was 20 years old. Beginning as grassroots activism in Poland, the campaign now sees over 70 Amnesty entities taking part and people in 120 countries around the world taking action either in person or online.Covid-19 continued to impact campaigning for Write for Rights, with many countries still imposing strict rules around group gatherings. There was however light at the end of the tunnel for some national entities, who did manage to hold in person events. For those who couldn't, the innovations and 'outside the box' thinking continued, with creativity and technology helping make restrictions less restrictive!As we rapidly head into planning for Write for Rights 2022, now is the time to reflect on what we all did together and the amazing ways we worked for positive human rights change in the lives of 10 individuals and communities at risk. 

Youth and the News in Five Charts

February 3, 2021

In the rapidly changing news ecosystems of emerging economies, news outlets are struggling to remain relevant and build loyal relationships with youth audiences (18 to 35 years old). As youth populations continue to grow in low-and-middle income countries, it is critical for independent media organizations to understand and respond to the changing news habits of younger generations. A snapshot of youth news consumption habits in Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Thailand highlights that the predominance of smartphones, and increasing access to the internet and social media, is fundamentally altering how youth access, interact with, and value independent news.Youth audiences tend to access news through their smartphone, relying more on social media algorithms and news aggregators than loyalty to particular news brands.Youth generally do not feel that the traditional, mainstream news media reports on issues that are important to them, preferring to access a wider variety of news alongside other kinds of information and entertainment.Despite relying on social media for news, youth are wary about whether the information they see on the internet is true. There is a tension between the convenience social media provides for accessing news and its propensity to amplify misinformation and increase political polarization.

Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance (MBDS): A Trust-based Network.

January 25, 2017

The Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance (MBDS) network was formally established in 2001 through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by six Ministers of Health of the countries in the Greater Mekong sub-region: Cambodia, China (Yunnan and Guangxi), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The main areas of focus of the network are to: i) improve cross-border infectious disease outbreak investigation and response by sharing surveillance data and best practices in disease recognition and reporting, and by jointly responding to outbreaks; ii) develop expertise in epidemiological surveillance across the countries; and iii) enhance communication between the countries. Comprised of senior health officials, epidemiologists, health practitioners, and other professionals, the MBDS has grown and matured over the years into an entity based on mutual trust that can be sustained into the future. Other regions have started emulating the network's pioneering work. In this paper, we describe the development of MBDS, the way in which it operates today, and some of its achievements. We present key challenges the network has faced and lessons its members have learned about how to develop sufficient trust for health and other professionals to alert each other to disease threats across national borders and thereby more effectively combat these threats.

Stopping Pandemics at the Source

January 1, 2017

* In July 2014, Skoll Global Threats Fund (SGTF) gave a $2 million, two-year grant to Chiang Mai University in Thailand to create the Participatory One Health Disease Detection (PODD) project—a first-of-its-kind community-owned pandemic surveillance and response system. SGTF issued a second grant in July 2016 to help scale the program to other regions in Thailand.* The goal of PODD is to enable early detection of animal-borne (zoonotic) disease outbreaks and prevent them from becoming pandemics. The grant funded the development and launch of a Thai-built mobile app that local volunteers use to report suspected outbreaks and other dangerous events, as well as the development of a protocol for coordinating fast evaluation and response among local government officials, veterinarians, and public health experts.* The PODD program had 300 trained local volunteers at launch, growing to more than 4,600 volunteers two years later.* Within the first few months, volunteers reported more animal disease events in those districtsusing PODD than had been reported in the whole province of Chiang Mai in the previous year. Within 16 months, 1,340 abnormal events were reported. Among those, a total of 36 incidents of dangerous zoonotic diseases were verified.* The early detection of one case of foot-and mouth disease, stopped before it could spread, saved $4 million.* PODD volunteers are now also using the system to report a range of other hazards, from fraudulent medication sales to landslides and flash floods.* In July 2016, Chiang Mai University transferred ownership of the PODD tool to the Thai government, which, with additional funding, could expand the project to additional provinces and eventually nationwide.

Oxfam's Work in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Contexts: Learning event Bangkok February 8-12, 2016

July 19, 2016

A third of the world's poorest, most vulnerable and marginalized people are thought to live in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Oxfam's work in these countries aims to address their needs, but we recognize the importance of finding different ways to do this in these challenging contexts. In these environments, conflict is often violent, protracted and mirrored across society. These contexts are also among the most challenging for development agencies to work in. There is limited civil society space and capacity, direct threats to staff and partners, and in many cases few opportunities to engage or work with the state.In February 2016, Oxfam hosted its first learning event on working in fragile and conflict-affected contexts in order to bring together a range of Oxfam and partner staff to exchange programmatic and operational learning. The event was organized by Oxfam's Within and Without the State programme (WWS), which aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of civil society programming in fragile and conflict-affected settings. This report documents the outcomes and discussions of the event.

Resilience in Thailand: Impact evaluation of the climate change community-based adaptation model for food security project

December 8, 2015

This evaluation is presented as part of the Effectiveness Review Series 2014/15, selected for review under the resilience thematic area. This report documents the findings of a quasi-experimental evaluation carried out in December 2014 that sought to assess the impact of the activities of the development and scale up of a climate change community-based adaptation model for food security project.Oxfam and local organization Earth Net Foundation (ENF) have worked together since 2004 to promote organic rice farming and fair trade marketing in Yasothon province. The project under review was also implemented in partnership with the Healthy Public Policy Foundation and Climate Change Knowledge Management and was carried out in two provinces - three sub-districts of Yasothon in the Northeast, and one sub-district in Chiang Mai in the North. The project had three specific objectives: 1) increase resilience and adaptation capacity of small scale farmers to weather variability and climate change through the development of a self-sustainable climate change adaptation model; 2) scale up implementation of the model to reach new communities and support national development of the agenda on climate change adaptation and food security; and 3) foster cooperation among NGOs, community-based organizations, scholars, local and central government and the private sector to achieve the other objectives.For more information, the data for this effectiveness review is available through the UK Data Service. Read more about the Oxfam Effectiveness Reviews>. 

Bright Young Sparks

December 2, 2015

An innovative model developed in collaboration with the Siam Commercial Bank Foundation allows young people in Songkhla Province to design and implement community development projects to develop life skills and a sense of civic-mindedness.In 1991, the Songkhla Forum (SF) was established  as a communications platform to share information and raise awareness so that the people of Songkhla, a strategically important province on the border with Malaysia, could participate in the development of the province and country at large.In 2012, SF received help in the form of a new partner, the Siam Commercial Bank Foundation (SCBF). This collaboration has resulted in an innovative new model for young people to contribute to Songkhla's development while growing their self-confidence and capacity as engaged citizens. Since then, some 300 youth have come together through SF to work on more than 60 community development projects, some of which have made a significant contribution to civic life in the province.

A Nursery for the Urban Poor

December 2, 2015

With the patronage of a royal princess, two women from different sides of the railway track came together to establish a daycare center in one of Thailand's most notorious slums to change the lives of poor urban families.The Foundation for Slum Child Care (FSCC) was officially started in June 1981, and through a series of fortuitous events would come under the royal patronage of the late HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana. For nearly 35 years, it has worked to improve the quality of life of Bangkok's slum children: in 2014 alone, 2,133 children less than five years old were cared for by FSCC, whose operations have extended to four other slum communities in the capital.Beyond the delivery of daycare services for the urban poor, the FSCC has established itself as a benchmark for child-care services and early childhood education in Thailand through its affiliate network and cutting-edge training programs, which include certification courses for informal nurseries and general early child-care development courses.

Ten Cities, Four Countries, Five Years: Lessons on the Process of Building Urban Climate Change Resilience

January 1, 2015

The Rockefeller Foundation initiated a nine-year Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) in ten initial cities and four countries1 in 2008. ACCCRN seeks to strengthen the capabilities of cities to plan, finance and implement urban climate change resilience (UCCR) strategies for coping with the inevitable impacts of climate change taking place now, and in the decades to come.The approach also involves capturing details from the various experiences that will be useful to other cities as they realize the critical importance of building resilience to climate change. Although the initiative is ongoing and has expanded to include two more countries and more than 20 additional cities, this brief highlights the key insights we took from analysis of progress in the first ten cities over the first five years and the changes observable thus far.

Toxic Water, Tainted Justice: Thailand's Delays in Cleaning Up Klity Creek

December 16, 2014

This 32-page report describes 16 years of failure by Thailand's Pollution Control Department and public health authorities to prevent further exposure to lead among the village's ethnic Karen residents.. Many residents of Lower Klity Creek village suffer the symptoms of chronic lead poisoning, such as abdominal pain, headaches, fatigue, and mood changes. Some children have been born with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities.