Hello my name is Anahi Ayala Iacucci and I work for Internews Network as Media Innovation Advisor for the Africa Region. Internews is an international media development organization whose mission is to empower local media worldwide to give people the news and information they need, the ability to connect, and the means to make their voices heard.
In January 2011 Internews create an Innovation Center for Research and Learning with the scope to harness the potential of digital technologies and innovative approaches to better meet the information needs of communities around the world. The Center aimed at becoming a hub to inform and engage others in the fields of media, information technology and development.
But why and organization that deals with Media decided to create an Innovation Center? The reason is that while some time ago media was the main channel for information collection, sharing and distribution around the world, today the landscape is a bit different. Media is not anymore then only actor and the landscape of information systems looks like this one. Media is not anymore the only actor and the focus needs to shift from traditional media to alternative information systems.
For this reason, the Innovation Center had since January 2011 hired innovation advisors for all the main 4 regions we work in and those advisors, me being one of them, have been implementing pilots projects around the world. The scope is to pilot new technologies or pilot new ways to use technology to foster information sharing, delivery and collection.
Journalists in Afghanistan work under extremely difficult circumstances and routinely face violence, threats, and intimidation that prevent them from carrying out their work. While many incidents go unreported, Internews partner Nai Supporting Afghanistan Open Media has collected hundreds of reports of such incidents. The map above represents ten years of data on violence against journalists in Afghanistan gathered by Nai's MediaWatch team.
Data about the past 10 years is analyzed with data on population per district, literacy rate, NATO presence and total number of security incidents per district, including security-related events like arrests, IED explosions, rocket and mortar fire, demonstrations, drug related incidents, human remains found.
In August 2011, Internews led a communication and information needs assessment conducted with Radio Ergo/International Media Support (IMS), Star FM of Kenya and with support from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). This assessment aimed at understanding the information needs of refugees in Dadaab and exploring ways to improve the flow of communication between refugees, aid agencies, and host communities.
Our goal was to better understand and document the local information ecosystem (i.e. how the information flows, the main and most trusted sources of information, the local media scene, how people share information: it is radio, phone, friends and family, TV…), and provide humanitarian agencies, ourselves, and radio stations with recommendations to communicate better, 2-way, with affected communities.
“Do we collectively know what the so-called beneficiaries, what their problems are or what they really think and want? We need to include them in the conversation. Otherwise we are blindly assuming we know the right answers.”
Internews is partnering with a lot of different organizations, from the technology world to universities and research centers. Why? We think that everyone has its own expertise and we are not here to re invent the weal. We partner with people and organizations that have an expertise and bring them into the media world, which is what we know best.
Anahi Ayala Iacucci
Why an Innovation Center in a media
Using smart phones to do information needs assessment and provide radio stations
with the results to better inform local population
Keep it real and simple
Invest in local capacity, local innovation and local
The most innovative project is the one that will
work even when the technology will not
Go back to the basics: human interactions!
Technology is nothing if there is no
The consequences of the use of technology are
multiple and differ from case to case
Listen, learn, elaborate and SHARE!