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Media and Technology for Community Development in Iraq (MTCD)

The Media and Technology for Community Development (MTCD) program develops Iraq's independent media sector and strengthens local participatory governance using Information Communication Technology.

Working in Iraq since 2005, IREX has developed an effective approach to working in Iraq through maintaining a responsible level of flexibility and taking advantage of unique opportunities – methods adopted in IREX’s implementation of the Support for Independent Media in Iraq (SIMI) and Building Bridges through Technology (BBTT) programs.

MTCD is a program of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

Goals

Support the development of Iraqi journalism training capacity and the professionalization of Iraqi media outlets through new media initiatives, small grants, training in specialized and basic reporting, internships for young journalists, and support for business development initiatives.

Support Iraqi advocacy and media law reform efforts through support to legislative drafting processes, Iraqi media NGOs and associations, and coalitions of media freedom advocates.

Facilitate cross-sectoral and on-line dialogue sessions between government officials that provide the opportunity to discuss the issues facing Iraq after the 2010 parliamentary elections.

Offer applied ICT trainings, E-Governance projects and facilitation/cooperation trainings.

Background

Despite recent progress towards a more participatory, free and transparent society, the situation in Iraq remains volatile. Many of the basic foundations of a functioning democracy, including a free and open media and the mechanisms for participatory governance, remain noticeably underdeveloped.

While violence and security persist as primary concerns, corruption, the small amount of professional and critical journalism, limited citizen-state dialogue and a lack of faith in the government hinder the development of an environment that encourages a more open, pluralistic democracy with a government responsive to needs of the public.

Project Activities

• New Media Training

• Student Internships at Iraqi Media Outlets

• Grants to Support Specialized Reporting

• Market Research as a Tool for Audience Responsiveness

• Support for Media Reform Advocacy by Media NGOs and Associations

• Support legislative and regulatory reform in support of Free Media

• Cross-Sectoral Dialogue Sessions, Online Dialogue Sessions between Government and Civil Society Representatives

• Applied ICT Trainings for Government and Civil Society Leaders

• Promotion of E-Governance Projects

• Trainings on Consensus-Building, Advocacy, Facilitation and Collaboration