Dili, Timor-Leste, August 4, 2020

On Tuesday, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched a media training programme to strengthen the ability of the National Parliament of Timor-Leste to produce and broadcast Parliament-related news, including and a twenty-episode civic education campaign.

This initiative is part of the COVID-19 response within the EU-UNDP Project “Strengthening Integral Local Development by Building the Capacities of the Municipal Authorities in Timor-Leste.” The measures will assist the National Parliament in maintaining regular operations and strengthen its mandate to track and monitor the government’s Covid-19 response actions.

In March, the National Parliament identified citizen access to reliable information as essential in fighting the pandemic. The Parliament increased its efforts to develop and disseminate clear and concise information to citizens – especially vulnerable groups – on COVID-19 developments.

The media training programme, implemented in coordination with the National Parliament’s Director for Communication, aims to develop an outreach campaign on social issues, including the impact of COVID-19, to enhance accessible and transparent communication with citizens.

The training has been designed using a participatory and “learn-by-doing” methodology to produce twenty 5-minute episodes on civic education to be broadcasted on national television under the name “Canal do Parlamento.” It will serve as a communication platform to ensure the Parliament gets closer to the citizens it represents.

Several episodes will be on the role and mandate of the National Parliament, particularly in relation to the principles of democracy and decentralisation. In addition, the TV programme will address diverse social issues affecting Timor-Leste such as climate change, domestic violence, misinformation and fake news, urban planning and natural disasters, social protection, rights and liberties in times of COVID-19…

The launch of the programme took place at the Conference Room of the National Parliament in Dili. It was attended by Mr. Luís Nascimento da Costa, Secretário Geral Adjunto, Ms. Karla Leitzke, EU Programme Officer for Governance and Civil Society and Mr. Bruno de Lencastre, UNDP Project Coordinator for Parliament Project.

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