BBC World Service Trust – Using communications for development
Lifeline programmes in Pashto and Persian, for displaced people, started in November, delivering health and safety messages
In many of the world's poorest communities, radio is the main source of news and information. Through its remarkable reach, the BBC World Service is in a unique position to communicate
to these people and to provide a platform for their voices.
In 1999 it set up the BBC World Service Trust to promote development through communications and to build media expertise in developing countries and countries in transition. The Trust's
projects, which are funded by a variety of donors, tackle health, education and social development
issues. Projects aim to increase understanding of human rights and, through drama and radio
soaps, address social issues in local languages in an entertaining and accessible way.
The Trust's projects, which are funded by a variety of donors,
tackle health, education and social development issues
Afghanistan now faces rebuilding on a massive scale, both physically and socially, and the development of a free and independent media makes an important contribution to this
reconstruction. Lifeline programmes in Pashto and Persian, for displaced people, started in
November, delivering health and safety messages. Meanwhile, the hugely popular educational
soap, New Home, New Life, has focused its attention on rebuilding issues. A media reconstruction
programme included the installation of new digital radio studios and technical and journalism
training, and initial work on a new regulatory framework for the national and local media, which
was supported by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID).
Development Using the reach of the BBC World Service and in partnership with national broadcasters and community organisations in developing countries, the Trust aims to tackle
poverty by empowering the poorest communities and reaching them with vital health and
educational messages – Stephen King, Director BBC World Service Trust
“In Afghanistan, we are the people's newspaper, their radio, their TV and their university.
Afghanistan's institutions need to be rebuilt. The fact that we have got such an influence, such
a privileged position, gives us an important advantage ' and also the responsibility - to help
the rebuilding of a future Afghanistan.” Baqer Moin, Head BBC Persian and Pashto services
The persistent violations of human rights around the world means there is an increasing
need for individuals to know their own rights and understand issues that affect them directly.
The I Have A Right To' series, broadcast in 26 languages, aimed to leave listeners with
an enhanced awareness of their own rights, an increased understanding of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and an up-to-date picture of human rights issues in their
In India, the Trust's radio and television campaigns on leprosy prevention, produced in partnership with Doordarshan TV and All-India Radio, significantly helped overcome ignorance towards the
disease, and have led to the development of one of the world's largest mass media campaigns on HIV/Aids which will commence broadcasting in 2002.