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  1. Open Jirga: one man’s amazing Afghan journey

    Thursday 9 October 2014, 16:32

    Zabiullah Faizy Zabiullah Faizy Finance Officer, BBC Media Action in Afghanistan

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    Abdurrasul Pamiri stunned the studio audience of our discussion programme Open Jirga when he revealed he had travelled eight days from the Pamir Mountains in northern Afghanistan to ask a question.

    "Twenty kilometres on foot from my village to the Wakhan district," he explained, "And approximately four days of travel by horse and donkey to get to the Eshkashim district [the first district in the north-east that is connected by roads]."

    He then embarked on four "days of travel by car from Eshkashim to Baharak [district] and from there to Faizabad [the provincial capital], then to Kabul". He carried...

    Read more about Open Jirga: one man’s amazing Afghan journey

  2. How people behave really matters to health

    Friday 3 October 2014, 15:21

    Caroline Sugg Caroline Sugg Head, Advisory and Policy Team, BBC Media Action

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    The Ebola emergency in West Africa shines a fresh light on the way in which peoples’ everyday actions are critical to maintaining public health.

    Trained medical staff and health facilities are of course vital to the response but, in the absence of a vaccine and with few available treatment options, it’s clear that what people do or don’t do really matters. Whether they go for a test and seek treatment if they fall sick; how they look after family members who are ill; and how the dead are mourned and buried - all become matters of life and death.

    Interviewing people for a programme about Ebola in Sierra Leone. Interviewing people for a programme about Ebola in Sierra Leone.

    BBC Media Action has been working on social and behaviour change for over a decade. Responding to the Ebola outbreak is the latest in a series of health interventions that include efforts to improve maternal and child health, and helping people prevent and seek treatment for TB and HIV and AIDS.

    Throughout this time we, like many others, have been concerned that we don’t always have sufficiently rigorous evidence about which communication strategies can help shape behaviour and influence social norms, ultimately saving lives. Over recent months, however, two initiatives...

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  3. Investing in girls' education in South Sudan

    Monday 29 September 2014, 15:18

    Manyang David Mayar Manyang David Mayar Producer, BBC Media Action in South Sudan

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    For Boldit Deng, an unemployed father of five in South Sudan’s Warrap State, the news that his daughter was about to receive 125 South Sudanese Pounds (£25) meant only one thing: he could buy more goats.

    But his daughter Rose, 18, had other ideas. She planned to spend the money on her education.

    “I want to use this cash to buy a school uniform, as you can see the one I am now wearing is very old,” she told BBC Media Action’s Our School radio programme, “I also want to buy some exercise books for mathematics, English and chemistry, pens, rubbers and a ruler.”

    Once Rose explained to her father that the money was actually intended to help girls like her with their school expenses, he was thrilled to hear there was such support for his daughter’s education.

    “(This) is very good for me as a parent. It is my first time to see money being given to girls instead of asking us as parents to pay,” Boldit told Our School producer Atem Deng Malek, adding that there could be ongoing benefits for his daughter. “I understand from her that she may get another cash transfer if I send her back to school next year.”

    Incentive to stay

    Starting this year all school girls in...

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  4. ‘I now know my rights’: preventing bonded labour in rural India

    Friday 26 September 2014, 10:42

    Aashish Yadav Aashish Yadav Senior Project Manager for BBC Media Action in India

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    A BBC Media Action listening group in Madhya Pradesh, India. A BBC Media Action listening group in Madhya Pradesh, India.

    After a two year journey and countless stories of success, our bonded labour project is coming to an end.

    The project, entitled Majboor Kisko Bola (Who are you calling helpless?), provides information to help support bonded labourers - workers forced to work for free, often indefinitely, while they pay off a debt to a contractor. Today we are hosting an event in New Delhi to celebrate the success of the project along with some of its beneficiaries and other stakeholders. We kicked off the discussion with a Google Hangout last week...

    Read more about ‘I now know my rights’: preventing bonded labour in rural India

  5. Open Jirga: one man’s amazing Afghan journey

    Thursday 9 October 2014, 16:32

    Zabiullah Faizy Zabiullah Faizy Finance Officer, BBC Media Action in Afghanistan

    See all posts about:

    Abdurrasul Pamiri stunned the studio audience of our discussion programme Open Jirga when he revealed he had travelled eight days from the Pamir Mountains in northern Afghanistan to ask a question.

    "Twenty kilometres on foot from my village to the Wakhan district," he explained, "And approximately four days of travel by horse and donkey to get to the Eshkashim district [the first district in the north-east that is connected by roads]."

    He then embarked on four "days of travel by car from Eshkashim to Baharak [district] and from there to Faizabad [the provincial capital], then to Kabul". He carried...

    Read more about Open Jirga: one man’s amazing Afghan journey

  6. Bringing hope after disaster in Nepal

    Tuesday 9 September 2014, 12:48

    Bidhya Chapagain Bidhya Chapagain Presenter of Sajha Sawal (Common Questions) for BBC Media Action in Nepal

    Sajha Sawal presenter Bhidya Chapagain meeting people in a landslide-hit community in Nepal.

    Man Bahadur Lama was sitting in a relief centre when I first met him. Visibly shocked and heavy with grief, he told me he was desperately awaiting government papers which would qualify him for help as a person displaced by disaster. 

    We were at the makeshift centre - a vast hall in a disused mining plant in the Sindupalchowk district of Nepal - to record an episode of our TV and radio debate show Sajha Sawal (Common Questions). 

    Two days before, on 2 August, a stretch of land nearly two kilometres long had collapsed into the Sunkoshi river, killing more than 170 people as it swept...

    Read more about Bringing hope after disaster in Nepal

  7. Libya's Media Frontline

    Tuesday 2 September 2014, 16:02

    Anne Reevell Anne Reevell Country Director, Libya

    The Al Wataniya team filming in Tripoli, Libya. A month ago I shut the door on the house that has been my home in Tripoli and, with one suitcase, climbed into a convoy with a dozen or so other "internationals" being evacuated from Libya.

    I'd been living in this beautiful but chaotic city for a year working with Libya's State TV station, Al Wataniya and the national news agency, LANA. Before the revolution these institutions were at the heart of Muammar Gaddafi's extensive propaganda machine. Now, under new leadership, both were finding their voices.

    Like the rest of Libyan society, Al Wataniya has acutely felt the divisions and pressures...

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  8. Ebola in Sierra Leone: new radio shows join the fight

    Friday 29 August 2014, 14:23

    Musa Sangarie Musa Sangarie Programme manager, BBC Media Action in Sierra Leone

    A couple of weeks ago in the middle of the night, phones started ringing across Sierra Leone. Despite the late hour, people were calling to pass on the latest rumour about Ebola – that bathing in salty hot water could protect you. By the next day, the rumour had swept across the whole country. 

    Such potentially dangerous misinformation is what our team in Freetown is tackling with a new radio programme. Called Kick Ebola Nar Salone (Kick Ebola out of Sierra Leone), the 30-minute show is produced weekly and broadcast three times a week on our 35 partner stations across the country.

    In the studio in Sierra Leone

    As...

    Read more about Ebola in Sierra Leone: new radio shows join the fight

  9. A radio drama with youth appeal for Somalia

    Wednesday 27 August 2014, 16:39

    Jackie Christie Jackie Christie Senior Production Manager, Kenya and Somalia

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    The assignments I take on for BBC Media Action sometimes take my breath away. Take my most recent project, for example: travel to the Horn of Africa and facilitate the creation of a 24-episode radio drama, I was told.

    Make sure it fosters a sense of Somali identity and inspires young people to engage in their communities and the social issues that affect them. It goes without saying it has to be relevant to all three regions of Somalia (Southern, Puntland and Somaliland).  It must be entertaining, well written, have high production values and relevant to its target youth audience. Oh, and you...

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  10. Flooding in Nepal: how radio can save lives

    Thursday 14 August 2014, 10:07

    Bhuwan Timilsina Bhuwan Timilsina Humanitarian lead, BBC Media Action in Nepal

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    Every year in far west Nepal, the great river Mahkali brings tragedy to the lives of those living near it. Last month, as the annual monsoon rains beat down, it was no different: severe flooding and landslides claimed at least seven lives, displaced hundreds of families and destroyed vast areas of farmland. Yet more lives would have been lost, however, had it not been for one courageous radio station manager.

    Dhirendra Sinal runs Shuklaphanta FM in the town of Kanchanpur. About a year ago, he and his production team attended training run by our BBC Media Action team in Nepal about how to produce...

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About this Blog

We believe in the power of media and communication to help reduce poverty and support people in understanding their rights. Find out more at BBC Media Action

Registered charity in England & Wales 1076235.

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