• BAAG launch their Media4Development programme

BAAG launch their Media4Development programme

27 January 2015

BAAG are pleased to announce their participation in an exciting new three-year development programme funded by the European Union.

As part of an eight-strong consortium of European NGOs, BAAG will utilise its Afghanistan expertise and reach to contribute to the Media4Development programme, led by Estonian NGO, Mondo.

The Media4Development programme is funded by the EU’s Development Education & Awareness Raising fund (DEAR), and has been designed to enhance the understanding of EU citizens regarding the importance of development cooperation and poverty reduction across the globe.

In Britain and Ireland, we have a vibrant and informed print and broadcast media which regularly covers the situation of vulnerable communities in developing countries.  Indeed, our own study of the British print media in 2014 revealed that over the five year period of late 2008-2013, the British media wrote between 392 and 1,563 articles per month on the Afghanistan crisis.

As a result, the British and Irish public can inform themselves of international development issues and, if they chose, act on that information – by supporting a charity, campaigning, buying fair trade products, fighting climate change, petitioning their MPs etc.  This is evidenced in the recent Eurobarometer Survey in which 65% and 68% of those Brits and Irish surveyed stated they believed that as an individual they can play a role in tackling poverty in developing countries.

Now compare that to the figures reported in the same survey for the public of Estonia and Latvia. In these countries, only 19% and 24% respectively felt they could contribute to tackling poverty in developing countries.  NGOs of both of these countries form part of our Media for Development consortium, and report a relative dearth of development-focused media articles or programmes in their country.  This is partly due to a lack of funding within their media outlets to invest in foreign correspondents.  It is also partly due to a cultural phenomena.  These New Member States of the EU have enjoyed media freedom for a far shorter period than Britain and other Western European countries.  The people have rarely heard of development issues outside of their immediate neighbour countries.  They often, quite understandably, feel that charity begins at home. 

But as these New Members States become more engaged in the world, they take on an obligation to support the development and humanitarian principles of the EU.  And this needs to be communicated to their populations.

The Media4Development Programme will support print and broadcast journalists from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic with training and study trips to developing countries.  In addition to journalists, the programme will also include policy makers from these countries in round-tables and discussions regarding both development matters and development awareness raising.  BAAG will use its contacts in both arenas to provide expertise in journalism and development policy making.  In addition, we will also undertake a programme of public-facing activities in the UK and Ireland to raise the importance of continued EU and national-level support to development, both to Afghanistan and globally.

Overall the Media4Development programme aims to engage the national media and policy makers in EU member states to better inform their citizens about global interdependencies and challenges of the post-2015 development framework.

2015 is the European Year of Development. The EU is the biggest donor of the official development assistance (ODA) in the world. The European Year of Development 2015 will be a key opportunity to raise awareness of development across Europe, and to show European taxpayers that every euro spent on development benefits both people living in some of the world's poorest countries, and EU citizens themselves.  It therefore presents the perfect opportunity to launch our Media4Development programme, and we hope to share with you updates in the coming months.  


Media4Development is a joint project between Mondo (Estonia), Estonian Public Broadcasting Company (Estonia), People in Need (Czech Republic), MVRO (Slovakia), Green Liberty (Latvia), House of Europe (Lithuania), VIKES (Finland) and BAAG (UK/Ireland) funded by the European Commission. The aim of the project is to raise the awareness of the general public about global interdependencies and challenges