Platform for Democratic Debate
Partner: Forum Mulher
Bevilliget beløb: kr. 499,738.00
Projekt start: 10/1/2018 Projekt slut: 9/30/2020
The Platform for Democratic Debate is an alternative communication and information initiative aimed at counteracting self-censorship and the monopoly of media outlet in Mozambique. By encouraging free flow of information it promotes a more democratic environment. It provides Mozambican civil society with a safe online platform for gathering, producing and promoting relevant information and content on the country’s social, political and economic situation. It will be supported by the establishment of a partnership based on knowledge and expertise sharing with a successful similar platform in Brazil; and the execution of an educational workshop aimed at creating the base of permanent contributors and promote democratic participation in the country’s public debate.
The overall objective of this intervention, is the strengthening of Mozambican civil society through the creation of the Mozambican Platform for Democratic Debate (the Platform). Mozambican civil society is hampered by the democratic shortcomings of Mozambique. This includes the above mentioned constraints such as limits to press freedom and freedom of expression. Conditions in Mozambique exacerbate the global trend of “shrinking space for civil society” . Reversing this process, necessitates a system where the people of the world, not just a narrow political and economic elite, have information and a voice and thus real power or influence. As such, the logic guiding this intervention is, that by establishing the proposed Platform, a reversal of the current trend of a shrinking space for civil society can be achieved. By providing a space where information can flow freely, alternative opinions can be heard and political debate take place, the Platform will increase the availability of knowledge and perspective, challenge the limitations to freedom of expression, give voice to people outside of the economic and political elite and, finally, enhance the communication, and thus cooperation, between civil society actors.
Immediate goal 1: By April 2019, a digital Platform for Democratic Debate is established and launched
Immediate goal 2:By October 2019, all knowledge sharing- and training activities have taken place
Immediate goal 3: By April 2020, the Platform is known and has contributors and users across Mozambique, contributing to the strength of mozambican civil society and resilience towards tendencies of repression of civil society and free speech
There are different target groups and participants for the various elements of the intervention:
1) The primary target audience of the Platform, are people already active within Mozambican civil society. This group comprises adult people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations and religious beliefs. As civil society activist, these people can be expected to already have an ‘audience’ of their own, or otherwise a ‘target group’ that they conduct their activism in cooperation with, on behalf of, etc. It is our belief that civil society activists can act as catalysts, and thus ensure a wide reach of knowledge, even if the readership of the Platform is limited. As an online platform open to everyone, a secondary target audience exists, comprised of portuguese-speakers in Mozambique and elsewhere, with an interest in Mozambican socio-political and economic issues. While reaching a broader audience will be crucial for the long-term sustainability of the Platform, we do not see this at crucial for what this intervention aims to achieve, but rather as a bonus.
2) The participants in the knowledge-exchange element are the three partners, as well as Brasil do Fato, a Brazilian alternative publication with extensive knowledge and experience. Individuals from each organisation will take part in the exchange and act as catalysts for dissemination within their respective organisations and networks. The knowledge obtained during this element, will play a key role in informing the editorial committee in their work.
3) A group of 12 individuals will be selected to take part in the School for Democratic Debate. They will be selected partly based on their commitment to become regular contributors to the Platform – using the skills gained during the School to this end – and partly on their perceived ability to act as catalysts within their organisations and network and help more people become participators in content creation or debate on the Platform.
Indicator for immediate goal 1:
- The digital platform is created, hosted and published
- A public launch event has been carried out
- Editorial committee of 5 women and 5 men has been established
- Dissemination strategy of the platform is designed and put into practice
Indicator for immediate goal 2:
- 3 knowledge exchange visit have taken place with participants from the 3 partners and BdF
- Editorial committee to produce strategy paper and manual(s) to guide the future work of the committee and the Platform
- Increased knowledge sharing between Mozambican, Brazilian and Danish critical civil society – both in terms of best practices, but also enhanced capacity among partners to analyse and engage with the challenge of a shrinking space for civil society
- 12 selected representatives of Mozambican CSOs (6 women, 6 men) participate in the School for Democratic Debate and catalyse knowledge into host organisations
- Base of regular contributors to the Platform established, ensuring availability of content
Indicators for immediate goal 3:
- 1500 people signed up to the Platform’s mailing list
- 70 people have made contributions to the Platform
- A magazine compiling core content from the platform is published. 1000 copies distributed nationwide
- Increased ability of CSO’s to reach and become familiar with other actors working on similar issues, across Mozambique or across sectors
- 2500 users have taken part in debates on the Platform, including Platform’s social media pages
- 200 content pieces created by users who have not taken part in the School for Democratic Debate
- Questionnaire(s) on user experience created and distributed