Thursday, 8 June 2017

BAAG activities in Jan-May 2017


Following our national roundtable on illicit economies in Afghanistan last December, we published a report of the event. The report, Understanding the Impact of Illicit Economies on Afghanistan's Development, contains an overview of discussions held by the APPG Afghanistan and the subsequent roundtable discussion, held in collaboration with Christian Aid and Global Witness. Contributions from experts David Mansfield, Stephen Carter, and Heaven Crowley highlighted the role illicit drug, extractives, and migration economies have on development in the country.

In February, we held our first national roundtable for the year entitled, ‘Aid in a conflict zone: can military and development objectives work together?’, in collaboration with the Afghanistan Studies Group (ASG) of King’s College London.  The panellists had a lively discussion about the lessons learned from past efforts to combine civil and military operations in Afghanistan and their views about what this ‘blurring of lines’ might mean for Afghanistan’s future.  A full report of the event will be published soon.

In April, BAAG met with EC and DEVCO policymakers in Brussels to provide input into the new EU Strategy for Afghanistan. Led by the European Network for NGOs in Afghanistan (ENNA), civil society raised points about the importance of taking on board local perspectives, peacebuilding at all levels, the importance of including and supporting Afghan CSOs, poverty reduction, family planning, the decreased funding for literacy programs, the issue of migration and the inadequate reintegration of returnees as well as anti-corruption, especially regarding extractive industries, on the one hand, and ordinary citizens as victims of corruption, on the other. The points were well received and we look forward to seeing how the meeting impacted the final version of the EU strategy.

In May, we along with our members met the new Afghan Ambassador to the UK, H.E. S. Tayeb Jawad, during which we discussed priority issues for the country including the importance of putting out positive stories about Afghanistan through our own respective communication outlets and the media. The Ambassador expressed interest in collaborating on such initiatives in the future as in his view, the most damaging messages are those which say ‘in Afghanistan, it doesn’t work’.

Planning for our Afghanistan journalist’s trip continues! It is shaping up to be an exciting trip an updated itinerary has been uploaded to the shared drive.

In the absence of a good picture of our activities so far, please accept this shot from talented Afghan photographer Najeeb Azad!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

PIN activities January - April 2017

Bulletin – African dinosaurs
In April, PIN published a first issue of its regular bulletin. The issue’s main story focuses on the “African dinosaurs” – the longest ruling African leaders. The readers could find out who is ruling for decades and what are the social and economical impacts of one man's rule. Furthermore, we covered issues such as the Chinese development aid in Africa, which raises a lot of concerns; land grabbing in Papua New-Guinea or health care system in Kurdistan. In our survey, Czech ambassador to Nigeria Pavel Mikeš disproves a common belief that the current Czech-African diplomatic relationships are weak. 
Bulletins are sent to relevant decision makers, i.e. members of Czech national Parliament and Czech representatives in European Parliament, Ministries' officials and key development experts, scholars and NGO representatives.

Jama – documentary
While visiting Kenya last year, Jan Pazderka from Czech Tv shot a documentary about the state of education in Kenya which was aired in April 17, 2017. During his stay he met Jama, a Kenyan student, who could not have pursue his studies without the financial support from Andrea Volfová, Czech humanitarian and development worker. The documentary explores the reality of many gifted Kenyan students, who do not have enough financial resources for their studies.

PIN has started the collaboration with new media house DVTv in Ukraine
In March, the young reporter Filip Horký visited PIN’s mission in Ukraine where he had a chance to see the everyday life under ongoing conflict. The war in Eastern Ukraine affects public services, power, water and food supplies and thus many people depend on humanitarian aid delivery.  DVTv broadcast five stories from the front line:

Czech TV in Indonesia: Environmental protection
In March, Barbora Šámalová from Czech Tv travelled to Indonesia, where she visited Czech scientists and Czech NGOs’ workers, who are trying to rescue endangered animals from extinction. Big companies are gaining land to cultivate the oil palms that are used to manufacture cheap oil. Despite the demonstrations and global outrage the production of palm oil is steadily rising in the world and the rain forests in Indonesia continue to be burnt.  

Czech TV in DRC and Rwanda: Women’s rights and development aid
In April, Czech Tv reporter Jakub Nettl visited Rwanda and DR Congo. The reportages from Rwanda focused on the issues of women equality and country economic and social development. In DR Congo, the reportage about PIN's development projects and current political situation were broadcast in main news. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Campaign "Choose if You Believe in Myths" launched

A ten week Facebook campaign Choose if You Believe in Myths was launched today.
Every Monday, the campaign will bring one of ten most widespread myths on development and development cooperation and invite the Facebook users to share their opinion on them by joining an anonymous survey.    
The posts published the following days will try to fight the myths by bringing facts, data and arguments in form of infographics, short stories from the field, newspaper articles and videos.