University of Central Asia Hosts Media Skills Workshop

Date: 24 April 2015
Civil society grantees of the Social Accountability Media Initiative (SAMI) from Bangladesh, the Kyrgyz Republic and Mongolia gathered at the University of Central Asia (UCA) in Bishkek from 20 to 24 April 2015 for a Presentation and Media Skills for Advocacy workshop. 
 
SAMI Project Director Thomas Lansner leads discussion on interview techniques with participants from Bangladesh, Mongolia and the Kyrgyz Republic during the Presentation and Media Skills for Advocacy workshop at UCA in Bishkek.
 
The SAMI project was developed by the Graduate School of Media and Communications at the Aga Khan University, Nairobi, in partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation and the Global Partnership for Social Accountability of the World Bank.
 
The Bishkek workshop helped build participants’ advocacy capacities by advancing practical skills in communications and public presentation through instruction, discussion, and participation. Sessions covered themes such as message formulation as well as working knowledge, including interview techniques, adaptable to varied contexts and audiences. Editors and journalists from Bishkek and Naryn also visited UCA to join participants and local civil society representatives in a roundtable discussion on social accountability and the media. 
 
Nurgul Jamankulova of the Bishkek-based Development Policy Institute speaks about the media and civil service organization roundtable during the advocacy communications workshop.
 
Workshop sessions were facilitated by SAMI Project Director Thomas R. Lansner and UCA Head of Communications and Marketing Nisar Keshvani. Veteran Kyrgyz civil society activist Kumar Bekbolatov and leading Kyrgyz broadcast journalist Kaarmanbek Kuluev also helped to lead workshop sessions and provided critical perspectives on media and advocacy in the local context.
 
"UCA is pleased to host this important effort by our partner Aga Khan University to build vital skills that will strengthen civil society, and by extension, media coverage of social advocacy," said Keshvani, who contributed to the sessions, and coordinated local media participation in the roundtable. "It is also a privilege to engage UCA's network of media partners in the Kyrgyz Republic in this unique opportunity for exchange between media representatives and social accountability advocates."
 
UCA Director General Dr Bohdan Krawchenko addresses roundtable participants, stressing the importance of enhancing communication and advocacy by civil society organisations and other stakeholders to promote good governance and social accountability.
 
SAMI was launched in February 2015 to help enhance information and advocacy efforts by civil society organizations and other stakeholders to promote good governance and social accountability. 
 
"Superior communication skills are necessary for advocacy campaigns to transform concern into action,” Lansner said. “Social accountability advocates who effectively present evidence-based advocacy with a human face will gain greater attention from local and international media and raise support for positive change."
 
Kyrgyz social media specialist Aibek Baratov joined participants on the workshop’s final day, offering examples on use of new media technologies in advocacy, including YouTube, Twitter, blogs and podcasts. 
 
Following the workshop, participants will receive ongoing support in promoting their social accountability work, including site visits and distance coaching.