Today, on 21st of May, 2017 the Media and Social Innovations Lab was opened in Dushanbe.
A social effect from the activity of any NGO depends on how innovative its methods, instruments and approaches to addressing social problems will be. The Media and Social Innovations Lab is a unique event that makes it possible for the non-governmental sector to have a new insight into social problems, study innovative practices for using them in own work. This year the Lab is for the first time being held in Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan. From the 21st to 23rd of May, 2017 more than 100 participants, mentors and experts — representatives of mass media, NGOs and IT sphere from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan — will share their experiences, discuss and create new initiatives.
The project takes place as part of ARGO’s “Partnership for Innovations – P4I” Program and Internews Network’s “Supporting Access to Information” Program with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Innovation for Change (the Global Initiative for Innovations in Social Sphere in Central Asia).
The Lab was opened by representatives of the organizers, the hosting party — Dilbar Khalilova, Director of International Public Organization “Fidokor”, and Abdumalik Kadirov, Director of Internews Representative Office in Tajikistan.
The first panel session “The Customer and the Developer – How to Find a Common Language in the Project Development?” dedicated to interaction between the customer and the developer was held in an extremely lively and even pressing atmosphere. It is clear that this burning issue is one of the most important, and sometimes can be quite charged. Speakers shared their ideas and experiences on this issue, and both the developer’s and customer’s opinions were expressed.
During the discussion fierce debates emerged on the topic of feasibility of creating any media product in the social sphere. The two principled positions were sounded: feasibility dictated by problematics and feasibility dictated by demand of the target audience (which is not one and the same thing as it may seem at first glance).
Further on, “Partnership for Innovations – P4I” Program Director Kaisha Atakhanova held an introductory session on topic “Innovations in Civil Society”. In the course of the discussion arisen, the Lab participants came to common understanding of the phenomenon of innovations that will lead to effective work on the days to follow.
On the whole, the 2017 Media and Social Innovations Lab started at a very lively pace and with an unfailing interest of its participants. It will undoubtedly become a platform for studying and disseminating innovative methods, instruments and approaches that allow achieving a significant social effect in the NGOs activity. During the next days the Lab participants will gain knowledge and acquire skills in the development of innovation projects, discuss social innovation best practices and obtain experts’ consultations on implementation of own project ideas, learn how to speak about social problems in a new fashion, get the public involved in addressing such problems, develop modern social initiatives.