PANOS THEMES & PROGRAMMES
ON THE BASIS OF A STRATEGIC REVIEW CONDUCTED IN 2013, FOLLOWED BY AN INTERNAL ASSESSMENT OF STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES AND AN EVALUATION OF PRIORITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES, THE PANOS NETWORK HAS DECIDED TO LAUNCH FOUR PILOT INITIATIVES. THESE INITIATIVES BUILD ON THE WORK OF AND METHODOLOGIES EMPLOYED BY MEMBER INSTITUTES. THEY ADDRESS CRITICAL DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL ISSUES THAT ARE AT PRESENT INSUFFICIENTLY COVERED AND DEBATED.
- HOMOPHOBIA AND ASSOCIATED RIGHTS AND DIVERSITY ISSUES: Many people suffer discrimination and violence because of their sexual orientation, and communication can play a significant role in helping communities and societies to debate these issues and combat injustice.
- CULTURAL INNOVATION AND POPULAR FORMS OF ARTISTIC EXPRESSION FOR SOCIAL CHANGE: All over the world, cultural innovators, especially younger artists, have developed entirely new ways of expressing and communicating social, political or environmental issues, and these voices should be respected and amplified.
- TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE: As countries and societies move from armed conflicts or repressive regimes, there is a need for a careful and progressive restoration of accountability and trust, for a recognition of the rights of victims, and for introducing or restoring the rule of law. The media can support and strengthen this approach through information and debate.
- CLIMATE JUSTICE: Environmental change – and especially climate change – typically impact more drastically on poor and vulnerable people, communities and countries. Affected people must be given the opportunity to express their concerns and to be part of designing and implementing solutions that are fair, equitable and sustainable.
In addition to these new, joint pilot initiatives, each panos institute implements its own programmes, based on areas of interest and expertise, and on regional and global priorities and opportunities. Most institutes have formulated strategic plans that provide direction for their respective programmes and organisational development.
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
OUR WORK AROUND COMMUNICATING RESEARCH BRIDGES THE GAPS THAT PREVENT IMPORTANT POLICY-RELATED RESEARCH FINDINGS FROM REACHING WIDER AUDIENCES AND INFLUENCING POLICY DECISIONS.
We develop skills among journalists and strengthen alliances among the different stakeholders who can influence policy outcomes, working in Eastern and Southern Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean;
We create spaces for dialogue between researchers and journalists;
We support journalists in using research to produce incisive journalism that can bring about debate between civil society activists, decision-makers and those who are affected by policy decisions.
|MORE ABOUT ACCESS TO INFORMATION? VISIT PANOS WEST AFRICA, PANOS SOUTH ASIA, PANOS SOUTHERN AFRICA.
ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGIES
OUR GOAL IS FOR ALL CITIZENS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO HAVE FAIR, EASY AND AFFORDABLE ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TOOLS.
We are especially concerned that information and communication technology (ICT) projects should look beyond technology and logistics, to ensure that they are socially inclusive and that they deliver services that meet the needs of poor communities.
We consider the pillars of an inclusive information society to be:
• Political commitment in the form of regulators and inclusive policies;
• The private sector, which has a central role to play in rolling out ICTs;
• The participation of ordinary people in decision-making.
Our work currently focuses on developing new research methodologies that look at inclusion and exclusion in the information society, along with strategies to counteract the imbalances. For example, we are exploring the success of telecentres as spaces where the public can access the internet, telephone and other ICTs.
|MORE ABOUT ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGIES? VISIT PANOS WEST AFRICA, PANOS SOUTHERN AFRICA.
PANOS REGARDS MEDIA PLURALISM AS A PRECONDITION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. THE MEDIA IS A KEY PLAYER IN COALITION OF ACTORS WORKING TO EFFECT CHANGE.
Yet for the media to play a crucial role in the development of the region it has to have the capacity and space for diverse views within society and diverse channels of communication. This relies on balanced information flows between and within societies on the issues affecting the poor.
Although some countries have shown remarkable progress in recent years, the media environment has long been restricted.
This state of affairs hampers access to information and communication and prevents the marginalised from voicing their concerns. The resultant neglect of the priorities of the marginalised might and has sometimes led to alienation of a large part of the community from decision making processes. This causes conflict or even war.
|MORE ABOUT MEDIA PLURALISM? VISIT PANOS SOUTHERN AFRICA, PANOS EAST AFRICA.
MARGINALISED VOICES & YOUTH
PASTORALISTS ARE AN EXCLUDED MAJORITY WHEN IT COMES TO MOST OF THE POLICY AND SERVICE DELIVERY PROCESSES IN THE EASTERN AFRICAN REGION; THEIR WAY OF LIFE HAS LONG LACKED SUPPORT FROM HIGHER LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT.
Yet the environment on which their traditional lifestyle is based is changing rapidly. Many pastoralists live in drought-prone areas where resources are scarce and unstable, rendering their production systems inherently vulnerable. This leads to poverty in these communities.
This situation is exacerbated by inappropriate policies and development interventions aimed at promoting viable land use and livelihood systems, many of which have in fact undermined the communities’ existing institutions and strategies to respond to environmental adversity.
Pastoralists need and value information pertaining to their shifting way of life, and information will be central to positive change in these communities.
To this end Panos Eastern Africa’s work with pastoralists aims at generating and disseminating information on pastoralist issues, in order to address the persistent information gap in the mainstream media and in government.
Panos’ work in pastoralist communities, mainly in Ethiopia but also in Karamoja, Uganda, is geared towards informed and empowered pastoralist men and women capable of demanding their rights and benefitting from development.
|MORE ABOUT MARGINALISED VOICES & YOUTH? VISIT PANOS CARIBBEAN, PANOS WEST AFRICA, PANOS EAST AFRICA.
PANOS CARIBBEAN HIGHLIGHTS GENDER NORMS IN THE CARIBBEAN AND THEIR IMPACT BY ENGAGING THE VOICES OF THOSE MOST AFFECTED BY GENDER ISSUES.
We promote social justice through gender empowerment and train journalists about policies and issues that affect gender. We have worked on issues such as:
Women’s access to their basic rights through the Conventional on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
Training women leaders for greater participation in governance – for eg. Basic communication skills for upcoming women leaders
The rights of men and women involved in sex work Gender and HIV with its impact on youth.
Over the next few years we aim to:
Increase awareness of gender and development issues across the region
Work with vulnerable or marginalized groups to express their concerns and priorities through a variety of communication approaches
Improve capacity of media to report on gender and development issues
Ensure that key development programmes and policies are gender specific
|MORE ABOUT GENDER EQUALITY? VISIT PANOS CARIBBEAN.
CONFLICTS & SECURITY
THE POOR AND THE MARGINALISED ARE OFTEN HELD TO RANSOM BY CONFLICTS.
In a crowded and often establishment-friendly media environment, they rarely get to voice their opinions.
Twenty-four hour breaking-news channels fueled by event-based reporting, rather than by the larger context, causes and underlying issues of a conflictual situation, sometimes further obfuscate the issues.
Panos seeks to zero-in on critical causes of conflicts, working on bringing all the voices of all the interested parties to the table and facilitate discussions and debate, through the media, on forward-looking approaches toward reconciliation and resolution.
Currently, the conflict programme focuses on some key hotspots that are or could become major flashpoints for conflict. Panos works with the media in such areas in a bid to strengthen peace-building processes.
The strategy is to provide interventions at all levels: at the entry point, mid career, and at the very top and decision making echelons of the media, for engagement with conflict scenarios.
|MORE ABOUT CONFLICTS & SECURITY? VISIT PANOS WEST AFRICA , PANOS SOUTH ASIA.
PUBLIC HEALTH / AIDS
HIV/AIDS IS A COMPLEX EPIDEMIC DRIVEN BY A COMBINATION OF BEHAVIOURAL, CULTURAL, SOCIETAL AND ECONOMIC FACTORS.
Panos Caribbean has worked on the issue of hiv/aids in the caribbean region since the organization began operations in 1986.
The participation of all sectors in all parts of the caribbean in the decision making process is an essential step in lessening the impact of hiv/aids and reversing the current trends.
We recognize that public health is crucial to the well-being of the region and its people as it is linked to quality of life and the region’s economy. Through our Health Communications programme and project activities, we work to support participatory, inclusive and transparent decision-making on health at the national and regional levels.
In order to tackle the epidemic and guide the organization’s response, Panos Caribbean has developed a regional Health Communications programme within the scope of the Panos Global AIDS Programme (GAP).
Our Health Communications Programme includes all areas of public health with special focus on HIV&AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Panos Global AIDS Programme (GAP), is a thematic programme across the network of eight autonomous Panos Institutes. Over the next few years Panos Caribbean will continue to work to improve awareness, increase debate and spark action on public health issues by;
Building the communication capacity of people living with HIV, youth and other groups affected by HIV & AIDS and Tuberculosis;
Strengthening the capacity in the Caribbean media to encourage public dialogue and debate around health issues;
Making policy makers and decision makers accountable to the priorities of the most affected;
Providing stakeholders from grassroots to the global level with factual, relevant information on Public Health issues which reflect the perspectives of youth and other people directly affected by HIV & AIDS in the region.
|MORE ABOUT PUBLIC HEALTH & AIDS? VISIT PANOS CARIBBEAN, PANOS SOUTH ASIA, PANOS EAST AFRICA, PANOS SOUTHERN AFRICA.
GLOBALISATION & GOVERNANCE
GOVERNANCE IS EMERGING AS A KEY ISSUE ACROSS IN THE REGIONS PANOS WORKS IN: CORRUPTION AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF GOVERNMENTS ARE KEY CONCERNS FOR BOTH LOCAL CITIZENS AND INTERNATIONAL DONORS.
In the 2010 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions index, all six countries in which Panos Eastern Africa works in scored less than 3 on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being ‘highly corrupt’.
Some countries are working towards strengthening democracy, having undergone or undergoing elections in the near future, and this makes governance a critical issue.
Access to information and participation of the citizen in decision making on issues affecting them is a challenge even in situations where power has been devolved or decentralized.
The programme also operates under the premise that global issues have far reaching local consequences. For example, the global financial crisis of 2008 has affected people in developing countries more severely, in food and fuel prices.
Also dependent on issues of governance and globalization are peace and security. The interconnection between bad governance, civil unrest and civil wars, coupled with international involvement in the arms trade and extractive industries, presents a huge challenge to peace and stability within the region.
|MORE ABOUT GLOBALISATION & GOVERNANCE? VISIT PANOS WEST AFRICA, PANOS SOUTH ASIA, PANOS EAST AFRICA, PANOS SOUTHERN AFRICA.
ONE OF THE MAJOR CHALLENGES FACING PEOPLE AFFECTED BY ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE, CAMPAIGNERS AND DECISION-MAKERS IS A LACK OF INFORMATION.
Panos is responding to climate change by ensuring accessible information is provided to those who will be most affected by the change in the environment.
Many people are unaware of the decisions made on environmental policy that will have a direct effect on their lives. Conversely, international and national policymakers do not always know about the needs and priorities of the local communities they represent.
|MANY PEOPLE ARE UNAWARE OF THE DECISIONS MADE ON ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES, AND THAT THEY WILL HAVE A DIRECT EFFECT ON THEIR LIVES.|
We work primarily with the media to enable information about national and international decision-making to be communicated as widely as possible.
The media are also an important outlet for local people to express themselves and make their views known, on their own terms. However, it is a challenge to convince mainly urban-based journalists to work with excluded communities and to recognise the importance of listening to these communities.
We train these journalists, offering two tiers of support:
Through workshops and attending international summits, journalists learn to recognise and value unheard voices, and gain a better understanding of the details of environmental negotiations and decision-making;
We offer assistance, including funding, so that journalists can gather the opinions of people living in areas remote from urban centres in order to produce more balanced and well-rounded stories
We also work with editors, to increase the chances of the results of this support being broadcast and published.
Our work with local communities most affected by environmental issues involves finding ways for them to articulate their concerns and needs in ways that are culturally appropriate and tailored to them. For example, we have trained people to gather the stories and experiences of people in their own communities and helped them to identify the best ways for this information to reach key decision-makers.
|MORE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGES? VISIT PANOS CARIBBEAN, PANOS SOUTH ASIA, PANOS EAST AFRICA, PANOS SOUTHERN AFRICA.
PROMOTE A BALANCED AND INFORMED TREATMENT OF CONTEMPORARY MIGRATION ISSUES
Topics related to human migration are regularly in the media, the South and the North, particularly when conflicts are causing significant population movements or when various facts challenge public opinion.
However, coverage of migration regularly fall in victimization or criminalization of migrant profile at the expense of a more balanced picture. In addition, the voices of migrants is rarely taken into consideration contributing to the isolation of these public spaces.
To answer this, we develop activities to different stakeholders (journalists, publishers, civil society) to reflect and contribute to the development of a new discourse on the central topic of our globalized societies.
|MORE ABOUT MIGRATIONS? VISIT PANOS SOUTH ASIA.|