UNDP - Asia Pacific Human Development Media Fellowship

Context and ObjectiveThe human development approach puts people at the centre of development. It recognizes the importance of economic concerns but goes beyond them to raise issues of enlarging human capabilities and expanding people’s choices.
The objective of the Media Fellowship is to contribute to building capacity in the Asia Pacific and support policy through advocacy and dissemination of research that bring people to the centre of development debates. The Fellowship encourages media professionals from Asia Pacific developing countries to undertake media advocacy on issues of concern in the region from a human development perspective on a new theme each year.
Theme – Gender: Overcoming Political, Legal and Economic Inequality
Gender is a social construct and is experienced differently in different cultures, societies and contexts. The power imbalance that defines gender relations influences access to and control over resources, their visibility and participation in social and political affairs, and their ability to realize their fundamental rights. Therefore, the struggle for greater gender equality involves addressing unequal power and unequal voice so all people can exercise choices that lead them to a fulfilled life.
Key triggers: Three key triggers than can contribute to transformation are political, legal and economic equity, as they are fundamental in catalysing transformation in gender relations in the personal and public spheres while also having a clear potential for policy. Gender identities are in fact shaped by, and in turn can shape, political, economic, social, religious and cultural factors, and through unequal power relations, can translate into marginalization, oppression, poverty and even violence. Gender identities further define and differentiate the roles, rights, responsibilities and obligations of women and men; they draw attention to a range of biases – based on biology and social norms that define expected behaviours for women and men. Although the specific nature of social norms and values vary across space and time, they tend to favour males over females, heterosexuals over sexual minorities, in terms of access to capabilities, resources, opportunities, choices and rights that are important for the enjoyment of social, cultural, economic and political freedoms. Issues of gender based violence, culture and identities (masculinity and femininity) cut across all sub-themes.

Role of men and boys: Although gender work is largely focused on women, the role of men and the deconstruction of different forms of masculinity, fatherhood and sexuality are fundamental to an understanding of gender inequality, gender rights and asymmetric power among gender groups. The negative aspects of partially informed views about gender is now being seen in terms of ‘male backlash’ against women-dominated development projects, pointing to the need to address masculinity and the role of men and boys.

Changing mindsets - media, technology, education (universal and content):Governments and all relevant actors, including NGOs, academia, parliamentarians, local authorities, the business community, civil society, international organisations and the private sector can be instrumental in changing national and local priorities to focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Political will paves the way for a change process. The commitment in respect to gender issues is expressed, for example, in legislation as well as in the programmes, policies, and plans of governments. These can target mindsets for example through gender review of textbooks and utilization of ICT tools which level the playing field among genders. Cooperation between civil society organizations and the government can contribute to the gradual change of the stereotypical perceptions on gender in culture and practices prevailing in society which limits individual and group choices and freedoms in life.

What are the factors beyond the persistence of gender inequalities in Asia Pacific? What steps can reduce gender-based inequalities in the region? What challenges should be tackled in order to create and sustain an enabling environment? What examples exist of changes in government policies which, together with alliances developed with the civil society, have translated in promoting gender equality in practice? Has political will not only introduced the gender equality dimension, acknowledging its centrality, but also taken further commitments by mainstreaming gender in various dimensions of planning? These are some of the questions that could be addressed.

The FellowshipThe award will be based on a proposal, including a draft budget. Proposals can cover different media outputs, e.g. radio programmes, short films, public service announcements, print media articles, cartoons, photo essays, etc. The Fellows should be willing to present their work at workshops, seminars and other events as may be arranged by UNDP from time to time (travel-related costs will be covered separately).

The final media product will be shared with UNDP and acknowledge UNDP’s support as follows: “This work was supported by the United Nations Development Programme under an UNDP Asia Pacific Human Development Media Fellowship. The content, information, analysis and policy recommendations of this work represent the independent efforts, perspective and views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations Development Programme, its Executive Board or its Member States’.

  • Be a citizen of a developing country in the Asia Pacific region (1. Afghanistan,2. Bangladesh,3. Bhutan,4. Cambodia,5. China,6. Cook Islands,7. Democratic People’s,Republic of Korea,8. Federated States of Micronesia,9. Fiji,10. India,11. Indonesia,12. Iran, Islamic Republic of 13. Kiribati,14. Lao People’s Democratic Republic,15. Malaysia,16. Maldives,17. Marshall Islands,18. Mongolia,19. Myanmar,20. Nauru,21. Nepal,22. Niue,23. Pakistan,24. Palau,25. Papua New Guinea,26. The Philippines,27. Republic of Korea,28. Samoa,29. Solomon Islands,30. Sri Lanka,31. Thailand,32. Timor-Leste,33. Tokelau,34. Tonga,35. Tuvalu,36. Vanuatu,37. Viet Nam)
  • A mid-career accredited media professional
  • Around five years of relevant professional experience
  • Completed application with enclosures (proposal, budget, time frame, CV, supporting material, if any, in English); supporting material in a language other than English must be accompanied by an English translation
  • UN staff members are not eligible to apply

Application Process
All candidates must complete a formal application in English or with an English
translation, including:
  • Summary statement of the objectives of the proposal
  • Project proposal, including a draft budget, not exceeding 2,000 words. The
  • project timeframe should not exceed 12 months
  • Statement of professional objectives (please indicate how selection as a UNDP Media Fellow will contribute to your short and long term career objectives)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of reference from two professionals in your media who can comment on the applicant’s past work and the potential of the proposed work to contribute meaningfully to its chosen field
Incomplete applications or those received after the due date, will not be processed.

Selection Criteria
  • Demonstrate exceptional creativity and innovation
  • Contribute to value-addition or innovation in communicating research
  • Provide evidence for placement of final product in established media; preference will be given to strategic or wide reach
  • Complete work by third quarter of 2010 or earlier

Selection Procedure
Shortlisted candidates will be required to participate in an interview, conducted by an independent panel, which will comprehensively asses the proposal. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and subsequently informed about the results of the interview.
Applications should be submitted by 1st September.

Contact Information
Applications or any queries should be sent to hdfellowships.rcc@undp.org

Alternatively, you could send them to:
UNDP Asia Pacific Human Development Media Fellowship
Human Development Report Unit
UNDP Regional Centre for Asia Pacific, Colombo Office
23 Independence Avenue
Colombo 7
Sri Lanka

Annex I
A selected list of reading on human development/gender is the following:
  • What is human development (http://hdr.undp.org/hd/)
  • Human development reports (http://hdr.undp.org/; especially chapter 1 of HDR 1990)
  • Human development training (http://www.undp.org.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35&Itemid=93)
  • Background papers for global HDRs (http://hdr.undp.org/publications/papers.cfm)g/hd/)
  • The Millennium Development Goals (http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2003/pdf/hdr03_chapter_1.pdf)
  • Risk, vulnerability and human development (http://hdr.undp.org/docs/nhdr/insights/HDInsights_June2007.pdf)
  • Human development report 1995 – Gender and human development (http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/1995/en/)
  • Millennium Development Goals – National reports a look through a gender lens (http://www.undp.org/women/docs/mdgs-genderlens.pdf )
  • Measuring gender inequality and its impact on human development: The debate about the GDI and GEM (http://hdr.undp.org/docs/nhdr/insights/HDInsights_Nov2006.pdf)
  • For more on Human Development, please visit the website of the UNDP Regional
    Centre in Colombo at http://www.undprcc.lk/ under “Publications”
Moreinfo: http://www2.undprcc.lk/about_us/fellowship.php



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