In mid-June House of Europe and Lithuanian NGDO Platform launched a national photo competition The World as You See It to foster interest and raise awareness of Lithuanian citizens about developing countries. Professional and amateur photographers, travelers and volunteers can take part in the competition. The participants are requested to submit photos reflecting the life of citizens in developing countries along with a short story on relevant development aspects grasped in their pictures. The theme of the competition includes human rights, security, peace and conflicts, migration, equal rights of men and women, civil society, education, food security, clean and healthy environment, climate change, urbanisation, working and living conditions.
The informational partner of the competition is the second largest news portal in Lithuania – 15 min (www.15min.lt). In cooperation with them the news about photo competition is being publisized for the general public. Additionally invitations were widely disseminated to relevant organisations.
In mid-July House of Europe in cooperation with Media4Change and Lithuanian NGDO Platform launched a national article competition to give development issues a wider visibility and to promote interest of professional journalists, students and amateur writers. Multimedia approach is encouraged there. The theme of the competition includes the same topics as those of the photo competition.
The evaluation commission comprised of development experts and journalists will select the winner, who will be awarded the a trip to a developing country in Asia or Africa. The winners will be publicly awarded and their articles will be publicized.
Cooperation with national media
Partnership agreements were signed with major national media companies, in particular the second largest news portal 15 min, dailies Lietuvos žinios and Verslo žinios to cooperate in raising public awareness on topical development issues. Also, agreement with Lithuanian TV and Radio company has been developed to produce video and audio documentaries on topical development issues. Meetings with journalists were held to introduce the project, familiarize them with the code of conduct on images and texts as well as identify their interestsand needs related to developing countries.
Public discussion on elections in Africa
On the occasion of International Day of Africa, African Research and Consulting Centre “Afri | Ko“ together with House of Europe and Lithuanian NGDO Platform held the international discussion 2015 Elections in Africa. Hopes and reality. This year many elections are taking place in different countries of Africa: Nigeria, Ethiopia, Burundi, Egypt, Sudan and Ivory Coast, to name just a few. However, not all of the elections are expected to bring positive changes – there are countries with little hope for change.The discussions in Vilnius revolved aroundthe following topics: whether these elections aredemocratic, do they bring real changes as well as why there is often the post-election wave of violence. The discussions were led the foreign and Lithuanian speakers: University of Oxford doctoral student Daniel E. Agbiboa, University of Copenhagen Professor Amanda J. Hammar, the lecturer of Vilnius University Centre of Oriental Studies Dr. Giedre Šabasevičiūtė, and RūtaAvulyte, election observer in a number of African countries, former UN officer.
11-12 June, Lithuanian delegation consisting of journalist, government, NGO and business representatives participated in the Riga International Roundtable on Financing for Development: Role of EU Member States. Mr Gediminas Danisas from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr Rimantas Žylius, managing director of Norway Registers Development AS, ex-minister of economics, were speakers at round table discussions. A briefing on the Riga discussions was included in the e-bulletin.
A global agreement on financing for development cooperation will be reached this year and it will replace the Millennium Development Goals. On this occasion House of Europe and Lithuanian NGDO Platform developed a newsletter, which included the overviews on international negotiations on Financing for Development (FFD), latest information and data on Lithuania’s Official Development Assistance, innovative methods of FFD, benefits of Lithuania’s membership in OECD and the discussion of importance of international tax system. The newsletter was sent out to almost 400 subscribers: politicians, officials and civil servants,academics, journalists, NGOs and other stakeholders.
At the end of April, four Lithuanian journalists together with their colleagues from other countries deepened their knowledge about development affairs in an intensive seminar in Helsinki. The seminar, organized by the Finnish partner VIKES, was a great success with the participants not only because of its interesting presentations, discussions and workshops, but also because of its good organization and atmosphere. The seminar inspired some of the Lithuanian journalists to share their stories with their audiences: two radio programs featuring interviews with the seminar’s lecturers were broadcast on the Lithuanian national radio and one interview published in the daily Lietuvos Zinios.
In March, two representatives of the National Lithuanian Television took part in a seminar dedicated to creation of documentaries. The participants discussed various forms and modes of documentary films that could be made after visiting developing countries. They also agreed to share their ideas for the films as well as the final products for distribution in their respective countries.
EC Inception Seminar
At the end of April,a representative of House of Europe participated in the Inception Seminar, organized by European Commission. The event was aimed to discuss challenges and ideas for managing relatively large projects (like DEAR), involving multiple partners and multiple implementation locations, and to identify learning points and good practice principles from that discussion. Participants were also informed of EC financial and activity/results reporting requirements, as well as improved visibility of the EU standards and communication on the EYD 2015.Seminar was a great learning and networking possibility, which helped to establish and strengthen international partnerships.
Several channels were used to increase the visibility of the project: all information, including the profiles of the participants – the journalists – can be found on NGDO platform website: http://www.pagalba.org/lt/media_4_development.
In addition: three Facebook pages are used for the communication on social media:
https://www.facebook.com/NGDOPlatform.LT?fref=ts (in Lithuanian)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/93706358359/ (the public group in Lithuanian)
https://www.facebook.com/pagalba.org?fref=ts (in English)
https://www.facebook.com/pagalba.org?fref=ts (in English)
#M4Dproject hashtag can help to track the information flow about the project on Facebook.