Monday, December 23, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
The Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C. invites applications for fellowships in 2014-2015. This federally-funded program enables democracy activists, practitioners, scholars, and journalists from around the world to deepen their understanding of democracy and enhance their ability to promote democratic change. Dedicated to international exchange, this five-month, residential program offers a collegial environment for fellows to reflect on their experiences and consider best practices; conduct independent research and writing; engage with colleagues and counterparts in the United States; and build ties with a global network of democracy advocates.
The program is intended primarily to support practitioners and scholars from developing and aspiring democracies; distinguished scholars from established democracies are also eligible to apply. Projects may focus on the political, social, economic, legal, and cultural aspects of democratic development and may include a range of methodologies and approaches. Fellows devote full time to their projects and receive a monthly fellowship payment, health insurance, travel assistance at the beginning and end of the fellowship, and research support. Awardees may not receive concurrent funding from the Endowment or its family of institutes during the fellowship period. The program does not fund professional training, fieldwork, or students pursuing a degree. A working knowledge of English is required.
2014-2015 Fellowship Sessions
Fall 2014: October 1, 2014-February 28, 2015
Spring 2015: March 1-July 31, 2015
For more information, visit our website http://www.ned.org/fellowships/reagan-fascell-democracy-fellows-program/applying-for-a-fellowship.
Monday, July 01, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Invitation to May 30 event "Using Technology to Promote Good Governance and Economic Transparency in West Africa," featuring Kwami Ahiabenu,II and Larry Diamond
The International Forum for Democratic Studies
at the National Endowment for Democracy
cordially invites you to a luncheon presentation entitled
"Using Technology to Promote Good Governance
and Economic Transparency in West Africa"
Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, National Endowment for Democracy
with comments by
Founding Coeditor, Journal of Democracy and Co-chair, International Forum for Democratic Studies' Research Council, National Endowment for Democracy
International Forum for Democratic Studies
Thursday, May 30, 2013
12 noon–2:00 p.m.
In recent years, a majority of the 15 ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) member countries have enjoyed expanded political freedoms and have passed a variety of reform measures to combat corruption, including the establishment of a regional anti-corruption institution. Despite this progress, the region still confronts instability, limited transparency, and weak democratic governance. In response to these ongoing challenges, countries across West Africa have begun to harness the power of information communication technologies (ICT), primarily as a tool to monitor elections. Beyond their application in electoral environments, however, the full potential of new technologies to enable transparency, fight corruption, and monitor public service delivery has yet to be fully realized. In his presentation, Kwami Ahiabenu will provide an overview of how new digital technologies, including online platforms, mobile apps, SMS, and social media, are being used to promote democratic governance and economic transparency in ECOWAS member states. He will assess relevant projects, identify gaps in project deployment, and offer recommendations for the effective use of technology to strengthen democratic governance in West Africa. His presentation will be followed by comments by Larry Diamond.
Mr. Kwami Ahiabenu is founder and president of the International Institute for ICT Journalism, an Accra-based organization that promotes journalistic innovation and professionalism across Africa through the effective use of information communication technologies (ICT). Under Mr. Ahiabenu's leadership, the Institute established the African Elections Project, which seeks to enhance the ability of mainstream media and citizen journalists to harness the power of ICT technologies to provide timely, relevant, and impartial election coverage and analysis. One of Ghana's foremost experts on information technology and democracy, Mr. Ahiabenu has conducted numerous ICT trainings for African journalists and has written extensively on the political uses of information technology, including mobile phones, micro-blogging, community radio, and social media. He is also involved in accountability projects aimed at strengthening the media's monitoring role over the extractive sector in Ghana and Uganda. During his fellowship, Mr. Ahiabenu is working to develop guidelines for enabling ordinary citizens to use information technology to track local government expenditure and ensure that public funds are being used for their intended purpose. Mr. Larry Diamond, the founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and the co-chair of the Research Council of the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy, is the director of Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
A 13 -member Governing Council of the African University College of Communication (AUCC) has been inaugurated with Professor S.K.B. Asante as its chairman.
Other members of the Council include Hon. Kojo Yankah, Mr. Tim Acquah-Hayford, Mrs. Emma Mitchell, Mr. James Kwamena Anaman, Mr.J.E. Allotey-Pappoe, Dr. Sam Dapaah, Mr. Kwami Ahiabenu, Nana Essilfie-Conduah, Mr. Kwesi Gyan Appenteng, Mr. Kwasi Osei, Ms Judith Aidoo and Madam Dorothy Gordon.
In his inaugural address, Professor S.K.B. Asante said that the establishment of the Centre for Africana Studies by AUCC to complement the study of Communication was a laudable venture as it would enable the country to address the high level of intellectual dishonesty associated with Africa's political history and socio-cultural institutions.
He further stated that it had become imperative for Ghana to address the unfortunate deficit in the projection of a positive African personality as far as the training of young men and women is concerned. He reiterated that "if we lose our sense of history, we lose our sense of identity, and if we lose sense of identity, we lose our sense purpose".
He added that it was important for each generation to pass on to the next generation, "stories that would help us to make sense of our experience as a people".
Professor Asante also congratulated AUCC for establishing Africa's first Centre for Media, Religion and Culture, whose objectives included demonstrating the African personality in the fields of communication and religious studies.
He intimated that he and his fellow Council members were also discussing the possibility of establishing A Centre for Advancement of Democracy and Governance as reflected in the Africa Union's African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
Professor Asante concluded his inaugural address by fiving the assurance that, having been vested with the power to control and manage the academic affairs of AUCC, the Governing Council would ensure that resources and accumulated knowledge of eminent council members in the field of communication and ICT studies would be tapped to ensure that communication education becomes vital to the development of the whole person –academically and culturally.
The members of the Council unanimously expressed the desire for a much closer working relationship with the School.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Thursday, April 18, 2013
WASHINGTON—The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is pleased to welcome its Spring 2013 cohort of Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows and Visiting Fellows. In residence are leading practitioners, journalists, and scholars from around the world, including Bahrain, Burma/Thailand, Cambodia, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda, and the United States. A list of the 2012–2013 Fellows and their bios can be found here.
Named in honor of NED's two principal founders, former president Ronald Reagan and the late congressman Dante Fascell, the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program seeks to increase the knowledge, enrich the skills, broaden the perspectives, and boost the morale of some of the world's most committed and courageous democracy activists and scholars. Based at the International Forum for Democratic Studies, NED's research and publications arm, in Washington, D.C., the program has enabled over 180 fellows from more than 80 countries to deepen their understanding of democracy and enhance their ability to promote democratic change.
Additionally, the International Forum hosts a small Visiting Fellows Program for scholars and practitioners who conduct independent research and writing in residence on an unfunded basis.
The International Forum offers a collegial environment for fellows to take a step back from the pressures of their daily work; reflect on their experiences and consider lessons learned; conduct research and writing; develop contacts and compare notes with counterparts; and build ties that contribute to the development of a global network of democracy advocates. Dedicated to international exchange, the Forum hosts an active calendar of events and facilitates connections between fellows and the academic, civic, media, and policy communities in Washington, D.C., and beyond.
For media inquiries, please contact Jane Riley Jacobsen at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (202) 378-9700. For more information on fellowship opportunities at the National Endowment for Democracy, visit www.ned.org.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Baseline survey open data, open government and data journalism in Ghanaian newsroom
The International Institute of ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes), Ghana's premier new media organization, is undertaking a baseline survey on how newsrooms in Ghana plans to take advantage of opportunities offered by open data, open government and how they are investing in data journalism skills development. This study is coming at the time, Ghana is expected to pass the Freedom of Information Law which will unlock droves of data for the newsrooms and the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) undertaking Ghana Open Data Initiative (http://data.gov.gh) to make government data online. The World Bank's Open Data initiative (http://data.worldbank.org/ ) is also making bank's lending operations data available.
An unparalleled open data opportunity to help journalists tell compelling high impact stories is now a present reality.
Please take a few minutes to respond to these questions to enable us build a growing body of sector knowledge in this important area here
follow us on twitter @penplusbytes
Saturday, January 26, 2013
This book contributes to debates concerning online reporting of elections and the challenges facing journalism in the context of democratic change. The speed of technological adaptation by journalists and their audiences means online news is gradually becoming a normalised part of media landscapes across the world. Journalists monitor social media for insight into the political process and as an instant indication of "public sentiment", rather than waiting for press releases and opinion polls. Citizens are actively participating in online political reporting too, through publishing eyewitness accounts, political commentary, crowd-sourcing and fact-checking information (of political manifestos and media reports alike). It is therefore growing increasingly important to understand how political journalism is evolving through new communicative forms and practices, in order to critique its epistemological role and function in democratic societies, and examine how these interventions influence daily online political reporting across different national contexts.
This volume covers comparative, research-based studies across a range of national contexts and electoral systems, including Australia, ten African countries, the European Union, Greece, the Netherlands, India, Iran, Sweden, the UK and the USA.
Foreword Bob Franklin
1. Introduction: Online reporting of elections Einar Thorsen
2. "The People's Debate": The CNN/YouTube debates and the demotic voice in political journalism Matt Carlson and Eran Ben-Porath
3. Remediating #Iranelection: Journalistic strategies for positioning citizen-made snapshots and text bites from the 2009 Iranian post-election conflict Rune Saugmann Andersen
4. Online Journalism and Election Reporting in India Saayan Chattopadhyay
5. A Journey Through 10 Countries: Online election coverage in Africa Ben Akoh and Kwami Ahiabenu, II
6. "Second-Order" Elections and Online Journalism: A comparison of the 2009 European Parliament elections' coverage in Greece, Sweden and the United Kingdom Asimina Michailidou
7. (Not) The Twitter Election: The dynamics of the #ausvotes conversation in relation to the Australian media ecology Jean Burgess and Axel Bruns
8. Social Media as Beat: Tweets as a news source during the 2010 British and Dutch elections Marcel Broersma and Todd Graham
This book was originally published as a special issue of Journalism Practice. http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415827515/