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-
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. http://www.speakout.org.za 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
http://www.rsf.fr/uk/home.html 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
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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
BASE LINE: facts that tell a story
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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
Total official aid was down from US$ 17.9 billion in 1992 to US$ 10.8
billion in 1999.
This issue compiled by
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