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AFRO-NETS> The Drum Beat - 84 - Tempo, About Time, Base Line

The Drum Beat - 84 - Tempo, About Time, Base Line

"Making Waves - Stories of Participatory Communication for Social 
Change", by Alfonso Gumucio Dagron, has just been published by The 
Rockefeller Foundation. A study of the field of participatory commu-
nication for social change and how it is evolving. Reviews 50 illus-
trations of the power of community decision-making and action in Af-
rica, Latin America and Asia. Highlights action that communicates the 
lives and circumstances of the poor and excluded in words and terms 
that they themselves use. "They are truly making waves by going 
against cultural norms, rebelling against forces that keep them down, 
broadcasting tales that were previously unheard by most" [from Fore-
word]. Available free of charge. 

Contact Brian Byrd


This Drum Beat pulls together compelling stories from The C.I. Home 
Page from 1 Feb 2001 - 5 Mar 2001:

The Home Page contains regularly updated briefing notes on important 
stories, trends, and events that affect the context in which we all 
work. We seek relevant information, usually from sources that you 
won't see in the mainstream media, and we provide links, which you 
can use to follow-up in the areas that interest and affect you most. 
If you haven't done so please check it out and let us know what you 
think or send us stories and information from your own work and ex-

Chris Morry


TEMPO: communication trends & strategic opportunities

1. Chiapas Website Opens (02-15-01)

Indymedia Chiapas (IMC~C) has inaugurated a website dedicated to cre-
ating a tool for the dissemination of 'la palabra digna'. La palabra 
digna means literally "words of dignity" and is used in the sense of 
taking someone at their word, or being held accountable to their 
word. In Mexico where literacy rates are the low, people from rural 
communities place special emphasis on 'the word': a person's word and 
promise is seen as a final contract. The site will begin by covering 
the trip of the Zapatista general command to Mexico City and then the 
World Economic Forum in Cancun.

2. Voluntary Website for Rape (02-22-01) 

C. Smith sent this into AF-AIDS. Survivors 
is a voluntary website established by South African rape survivors 
and those with HIV/AIDS. It carries up to date information on treat-
ment, living with AIDS, surviving sexual assault, sexuality, investi-
gative techniques, survivors stories, post traumatic stress disorder, 
statistics and other information. It carries news and information 
originating from South Africa, the rest of Africa and the world. 

3. 45 Countries Suppress Internet Access for Citizens (02-26-01)

M Macan-Markar of IPS reports that Reporters Sans Frontiers in a re-
port called 'The Enemies of the Internet' available at charges governments in 45 countries 
across the developing world with placing restrictions on their citi-
zens' ability to access information on the internet. Government con-
trol has been achieved by compelling citizens to subscribe to a 
state-run ISP, by installing filters that block access to web sites 
regarded as 'unsuitable', or by forcing internet users to register 
with state authorities. Governments identified as 'real enemies' in-
clude Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, 
Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Vietnam.

4. Art vs. AIDS in Togo (03-01-01)

P Oosterhoff reports in AFRO-NETS on a public art campaign against 
HIV/AIDS in Togo. Many of the best artists from Togo's internation-
ally acclaimed art scene have created billboards and murals to bring 
the public's attention to the AIDS epidemic and to promote safer sex-
ual behavior. In an effort to raise public awareness of HIV/AIDS in 
Togo and on the Abidjan-Lagos axis the campaign has completed an Ur-
ban Mural project, a Coast-to-Coast billboard project covering the 
highway from Ghana to Benin, and the 'Wear to Care' project, in which 
school kids created anti-AIDS T-shirt designs. 
Contact P Oosterhoff


The next Vacancy Drum Beat will be March 14. Submit your advertise-
ments to Carey Hooge <> by March 13.


ABOUT TIME: voices & stories from the centre of the action

5. Dowry Deaths Increase in Bangladesh (02-01-01)

Propoor News reports in a story from The Independent Bangladesh how 
Khairun Shampa a well educated young woman tragically died because 
her widowed mother could not afford her dowry. The family demanded 
payment but when her mother could not pay Khairun was tortured. Her 
mother brought her home but she was taken away again and moved to 
different houses to avoid suspicious neighbours. When she was finally 
released it was too late and she died in hospital. Dowry is prohib-
ited but according to the Bureau of Human Rights, 272 women faced 
similarly tragic deaths in 2000 an increase over the previous year.

6. Profits on Cosmetic Save a Cure for Sleeping Sickness (02-05-01)

D McNeil of the NYT reports in a story posted on AFRO-NETS that a 
cure for trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) may soon be available 
cheaply because it has a second, profitable use: it eliminates facial 
hair in women. It has been known since 1979 that the drug, eflor-
nithine, is a virtual miracle cure for sleeping sickness but produc-
tion was stopped until the profitable cosmetic use was found for the 
drug. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Gillette have introduced eflornithine 
in a facial cream and Bristol-Myers is negotiating with the WHO and 
Doctors Without Borders to make an injectable and affordable form to 
treat sleeping sickness.

7. UN Backs Use of Cheap Generic Anti-AIDS Drugs (02-22-01)

P Capella and J Meikle of The Guardian report in an article repro-
duced in AFRO-NETS that the UN, frustrated by slow progress in bro-
kering discounts between pharmaceutical giants and countries threat-
ened by social and economic chaos because of Aids, is ready to back 
states such as Brazil, Thailand and India where national laws allow 
them to override drug patents in cases of dire emergency. UNAids says 
it supports Oxfam and Medecins sans Frontieres, which have been 
highly critical of drug companies' pricing policies.

8. Guardians of Islam Overturn Law to Allow Women to Study Abroad 

A Silverstein of the Earth Times News Service reports that Iran's 
Guardian Council has objected to women receiving equal access to 
higher education abroad. Iran's parliament, the Majlis, voted by a 2 
to 1 margin to amend a law that prohibits women from studying abroad 
without the permission of a male guardian. But the Guardian Council, 
a body constituted by religious scholars and lawyers that screens the 
nation's legislation for compliance with Islam, overturned this a few 
days later. University students and women have been among the most 
vocal groups supporting President Khatami's reformist agenda, which 
includes relaxing some of the more severe restrictions imposed on 
Iranian women.

BASE LINE: facts that tell a story

Archived & searchable!

9. Women & Reproductive Health (02-26-01)
   Source: Panos - Women & Health Link

At least 1 in 3 women worldwide has been abused, beaten or sexually 
coerced within her lifetime.

Each day throughout the last decade, 1,600 women have died and 30 
times as many have developed infections or disability from complica-
tions of pregnancy or childbirth.

For the first time, more women than men are infected with HIV in sub-
Saharan Africa - 55% of infected adults are women.

Girls in the countries worst hit by HIV/AIDS are 5 to 6 times more 
likely to be HIV-positive than boys of the same age.

10. Sub-Saharan Africa: A Decade of Declining GDP & Aid (03-01-01)

    Source: World Bank African Development Indicators 2001

It is estimated that a minimum positive GDP growth rate of 5% is re-
quired to reduce the numbers of people living in poverty.

Average per capita GDP fell by 1% in 98/99. 

Uganda and Mozambique grew by 7.1 and 7% respectively. 14 countries 
have grown by more than 4% per year during the 1990's and have shown 
annual income rises of 2 to 3%. 10 countries have had growth at about 
a 3% level.

Countries with the worst growth performance were those in conflict 
situations: Angola -0.2%, Burundi -2.4%, DRC, -4.6%, Rwanda, -2.1%, 
Sierra Leone, -4.6%.

Official aid fell from a per capita level of US$ 32 in 1990 to US$ 19 
in 1998.

Total official aid was down from US$ 17.9 billion in 1992 to US$ 10.8 
billion in 1999.


This issue compiled by 
Chris Morry


The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for de-
velopment activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement 
or support by The Partners. 

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