Since 2006 the Communications for Social Change Award recognizes significant contributions made by individual practitioners, field workers or scholars and organisations to the theory and practice of communication to facilitate social, economic and technological development. It is administered by the Centre for Communication and Social Change (CfCSC) at the School of Journalism and Communication, within The University of Queensland, Brisbane.
CfCSC has just announced the winners of the 2013 edition!
- Individual winner: Harry Surjadi
Harry Surjadi (see his blog) has trained almost 200 indigenous people in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, as citizen journalists using RuaiSMS, a communication platform based on mobile phone (the only common communication tool available to indigenous communities) and FrontlineSMS. The program allows people to send their news directly to RuaiTV station and report on illegal logging and development. Thanks to this program, communities can maintain the accountability of public servants and have forced palm plantation companies to recognise indigenous people's rights.
In Surjadi's words "For the last 10 years, indigenous communities in Indonesia have been displaced from their ancestor lands as the government issues substantial concessions for palm plantation companies. The mainstream media receives advertising revenue from these companies and do not listen to the voices of these communities".
- Organisational winner: Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR)
The Cambodian Centre for Human Rights has developed an online human rights portal to provide information on media, human rights laws and civil society organisations in Cambodia. The project supports marginalised groups and communities by enhancing access to important information and highlighting violations of land rights. The Centre’s work enables communities to monitor violations and advocate for their own rights independently.
For more information and updates on the Award ceremony check CfCSC dedicated page