Youth for civic action and reporting on climate change through citizen journalism in Pakistan

  • Amount funded: £60,000
  • Year: 2022
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Locations: Pakistan
  • Grant stream: Annual Grants Call

Communities in Pakistan are vulnerable to the impact of climate change with heatwaves and heavy rainfall adversely affecting health, economy and food security; however, media reporting on climate and environmental issues is limited.

Project partners
Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO)
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How we are helping

This project will create a network of youth citizen journalists to raise awareness of climate change and environmental issues, promote sustainable behaviours and advocate for policy reform.

About the project

Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change is widely acknowledged: six cities rank in the 100 most polluted cities in the world, Lahore is classed as having the second-worst air quality worldwide (IQAir), and Pakistan was placed fifth in a list of countries most vulnerable to climate change (Germanwatch annual report 2020). Climate change can impact on health, economy, biodiversity and food security. Media reporting on climate and environmental issues is often limited due to lack of public interest in environmental issues, engagement between journalists and climate change experts, and youth mobilisation.

Project partners, Sustainable Social Development Organisation, will create a network of youth citizen journalists to improve public awareness, identify and share stories from communities affected by climate change, and advocate for policy action and legislative change.

This will be achieved through:

  • Creating a youth network comprising 60 students selected from Mass Communication Departments of three universities.
  • Facilitating capacity building workshops covering critical thinking analytical skills, journalistic techniques on reporting, investigating, writing and editing.
  • Creating knowledge-based awareness about environmental issues such as climate change, pollution-induced health problems, food insecurity and coping strategies; introducing network members to current debates in this domain through engagement with experts.
  • Increasing network members’ knowledge of existing environmental policies and laws in Pakistan and equipping them with the ability to file RTIs and use them where necessary to extract data from government.
  • Enabling network members to share their work on the SSDO platforms and encouraging them to develop their own online platform to post blogs, investigative articles, photojournalism, digital storytelling and video essays. Content will include a weekly article or video to promote sustainable behaviours, including interviews with experts, government officials, activists, NGOs and community mobilisers.
  • Brokering links between network members and renowned journalists, international media outlets and relevant ministries to foster dialogue, create awareness and encourage mentorship.
  • Producing an Urdu documentary to raise awareness of climate change and be used as a tool for outreach and learning.

As a result of this project it is anticipated that there will be greater public awareness of climate change and environmental issues due to enhanced journalistic capacity of the youth network to independently use their platform; uptake on adoption of sustainable behaviours owing to a focus on sharing personal stories of those directly impacted by climate change; and that articles created by the youth network provide a reference for government to identify areas to address and opportunities for policy reform.

Project Partners
Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO)

SSDO is a research-based advocacy organisation working on issues of peace and sustainable development in Pakistan. SSDO initiate public and policy dialogue on democratic and just governance, rule of law, strengthening of democratic institutions, civic and human rights, countering violent extremism, and social development policies. SSDO work partnership with government institutions, parliamentarians, government departments, media, academia and youth and religious groups. SSDO engages with stakeholders through research, advocacy, campaigns, capacity development, and technical support, and community engagement.

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