Viewpoint by Niba Mirza*
NEW DELHI (IDN) — Documentaries have always been a potent medium to exchange ideas, information and knowledge. They manifest an inherent tendency of the human beings to document reality of their times and communicate with each other.
Among others, this year’s World Forum 4.0 shall feature “Documentaries for Development,” a unique concept developed by Mr. Manish Uprety F.R.A.S., Special Adviser – Asia and Africa, of the Audiovisual Regional Hub of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Comunicación Audiovisual Parlamentaria, ALCAP, or the Latin American Parliamentary Association of Audio-Visual Communication.
World Forum 4.0 is an international forum of experts, political leaders, CEOs, Managers, Governments, Companies and Organizations linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution where Mr. Manish Uprety F.R.A.S. will be speaking about “Documentaries for Development in the Post-COVID World.”
Scheduled to be held on October 20-21, 2021, World Forum 4.0 under the leadership of the ex-President of the Dominican Republic Dr. Leonel Fernández Reyna will also feature distinguished speakers from across the globe.
The theme for this year’s World Forum 4.0 is “Towards the Post-Pandemic World.” Supported by many reputed institutions both private and governmental, the host of the World Forum 4.0 is the Santo Domingo based Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE).
Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo or the Global Democracy and Development Foundation is a private non-profit organization dedicated to the studies and training of various sectors of the social, political, economic, democratic and international sphere of the Dominican Republic.
It is affiliated with various leading institutions involved in the studies of social sciences in various countries around the world such as Spain, France and the United States.
The organizers of the World Forum 4.0 are the Social International University, International Federation of Multimedia Associations and Global South-South Institute of Digital Creative Industries.
It is generally argued that UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are in the doldrums due to the Coronavirus. Servaes and Yusha’u are of the opinion that it is quite obvious and the predictable failure was visible for some time. Not to mention that Developing and the Least Developed Countries are the most vulnerable in these times of pandemic.
As the world slowly recuperates from the shadows of COVID-19, digital platforms and technology will play a crucial role in the post-pandemic economic recovery and securing the process of sustainable development especially in the context of developing countries.
Countries experiencing and undergoing a gradual shift from the Third to the Fourth Industrial Revolution will witness the fast-tracking the process.
The idea behind “Documentaries for Development” is that documentaries are a very powerful medium to communicate relevant ideas and social messages across cultures and nations.
It is to be noted that audiovisual exchange especially joint-movie / documentary production plays a very important role in the sphere of international development and cooperation. The same was manifested in the SAARC Audio Visual Exchange (SAVE) programme of the SAARC in the 1980s or the recent cooperation between Belgium and Jordan for joint-movie production.
On March 31, 2021, ALCAP signed an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the Government of Ukraine about the documentary production ‘Ukrainian Hearts’, which is about the Ukrainian community in Paraguay. The same will be broadcast on the Public Television of Ukraine and on 22 Regional TV networks of the South America countries.
The more recent project of ALCAP is the documentary “SALIENCE- ESIC’s Scientific and Social Innovations in the times of COVID-19” which is about the innovations of ESIC Medical College, Hyderabad that have a great relevance for other developing countries.
Established in 2016 under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, ESIC Medical College, Hyderabad is a leading medical institution in India which bagged the “ Best ESIC College” in the country award.
Renowned for its excellence, medical care and research, ESIC-Hyderabad is also a model for other states in India. Besides to four upcoming super-specialty medical hospitals in and around Hyderabad in Telangana, ESIC Medical College, Hyderabad is also the mentor for two new teaching hospitals in Alwar (Rajasthan) and Bihta (Bihar).
The concept of ESIC compares very closely to the NHS system of UK that works on the principle of Health service based on clinical need and not ability to pay. It not only serves about 130 million ESI beneficiaries in India that include the employees and their families but also million others by providing them with affordable healthcare.
A very unique social model developed by ESIC Hyderabad to provide affordable healthcare to all is worthy of emulation not only by the developing countries but also the developed ones. Under the model, any worker who contributes 0.75% of one’s salary can avail the best and modern healthcare.
This year’s World Forum 4.0 will have a central forum and 8 thematic discussion forums, in which experts and public figures will share knowledge on the topics of Creative Industries, Law & Global Regulations, Marketing and Communication, Government, Society, Women, in addition to a Free Forum which will be a space for open topics of relevance.
It is expected that at the World Forum 4.0, “Documentaries for Development” will be able to advocate the cause of disseminating knowledge and information through documentaries with the global decision makers and other stakeholders.
The audio visual regional hub of ALCAP has sent communications to many governments and organizations of Africa and Asia countries to explore developing cooperation for joint movie/documentary production, and had signed a MOU with the TTV Media Hub of Sri Lanka in July.
As the COVID-19 pandemic becomes endemic and societies prepare for the next normal, “Documentaries for Development” can be both a solution and tool to strengthen cooperation and developed collaborative and coordinated approaches between countries and cultures to meet the challenges, both existent and evolving. [IDN-InDepthNews – 28 August 2021]
* Niba Mirza is a BA-Philosophy (Honours) graduate from the Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. She is pursuing her post-graduate studies in Development Communication from the Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi and is interested in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Image source: ALCAP
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