The MED NET project
The MED Net Civil Society and independent media alliance for democracy project
The MED NET project intends to support the Action of civil society organizations to create an environment encouraging dialogue, human rights and democratic participation in the Mediterranean region, enhancing the role of independent and social media as a tool for CSOs in the four target countries to achieve their goals:such as
1 people’s representation,
2 lobbying and advocacy for democratic reforms
3 freedom of expression
Locations of the action:
1. Occupied Palestinian territories OPT
In the four target countries a network of CSOs and independent media will be created by pulling together about 15 CSOs in each country as part of NGOs, federations, coalitions or alliances representing women, workers, peasants; youth and/or working for human rights; People’s Committees; new youth groups of the “Arab Spring”; independent media; community radios; individual journalists engaged in community work and/or noticeable contributors on the issue of marginal people representation.
In Palestine, the Palestinian Youth Union (PYU) is part of a larger program involving also PNN, Pyalara, Sharek Forum, to promote human rights, women rights, freedom of the media and the new movements of the Arab Spring; moreover, PYU and COSPE created the first community radio in the OPT (Radio Shabab) broadcasting from Ramallah area, in the framework of a EU-funded project.
We have recently contracted with consulting firm to conduct participatory mapping to assess the current status of Civil Society Organizations from a legislative, strategic, organisational and administrative perspective, and to identify the linkages between CSOs and the independent media at country level.
The aim of the mapping activity is to identify Civil Society Organizations' victories and defeats to promote democratic reforms at national level.
This participatory mapping will be focused on different practices of CSOs and independent media in the last 3 years.
The project will also conduct training on specific tools such as Social media usage.Since Social media such as Facebook, twitter and others have grown significantly across the Arab world, from merely being a tool for social networking and entertainment, social media now penetrates almost every aspect of the daily lives of millions of Arabs.
New social media helps citizens to get more informed, to open new spaces for social inclusion, group recognition and participation as well as different forms of political conversation and engagement.
People in the Arab world as elsewhere use widely the independent media to advocate for their needs, interact with the Government, do business or engage in civil society movements.
Two working groups will be formed in each country to coordinate community Journalism and advocacy activities between CSOs and media representatives; through these groups the involved organizations will agree on principles and participative methodology to map the “civil society practices and its victories/defeats”, where one publication will be formed in each country.
Two national seminars will be organized in each country to share, collect and examine experiences of mutual reinforcing activities by CSOs and media, such as campaigns, community activities. This expected result describes the effort to coordinate the work and the civic engagement of both CSOs and independent media; to reinforce the consistency of CSOs and media at national level.
Also,this project aims to establish permanent mechanisms of coordination to put in the common agenda the need to political change, participation, freedom of expression and association.
The final result of our project is to provide access of people to independent media mainstreaming through training, capacity building and advocacy activities. At the same time people need to be empowered and strengthened in their visions to create and maintain networks in a participate approach.