The Focus Cities Research Initiative forms part of IDRC’s Urban Poverty and Environment (UPE) Program. The Focus Cities strategy is to advance awareness, policy options and best practices for the reduction of environmental burdens in urban slums through in-depth participatory research with multi-stakeholder research teams. Through diagnosis, experimentation and policy influence, the program aims to develop a shared understanding of environmental burdens affecting the urban poor, test interventions and assess policies, and contribute to integrated planning, development and implementation of sustainable and equitable urban environmental and natural resources practices and policies.
UPE will be supporting nine Focus City Teams with funding of up to $1.2 million CDN each to undertake research linking urban poverty alleviation, environmental management, and natural resource use for food, water and income security. Focus Cities will be selected from the Middle East & North Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia.
In January 2006, five Focus City Teams were selected to participate in the program – Dakar, Kampala, Jakarta, Colombo and Moreno. These teams are being invited to attend the World Urban Forum III in Vancouver in June 2006 as part of a communications and networking strategy for the Focus Cities Research Program and the Focus City projects. As part of the Communications Strategy for the launch of the program, UPE is collaborating with the Communications Division to invite one writer from each of the five Focus Cities to write articles on the Focus City Teams and projects, including accompanying the teams to the World Urban Forum in Vancouver, Canada. The writers will also contribute to providing a southern perspective on the WUF.
The following are the three key objectives of this activity:
1. to provide UPE/IDRC and the Focus City Teams with quality articles that document the initial project stages of the first five Focus City projects (and provide a developing country perspective on WUF and IDRC’s participation);
2. to enhance the visibility and promotion of the Focus City projects and IDRC participation at WUF within the Focus Cities, across urban development practitioners in the respective regions, and throughout the international development community;
3. to build the capacity of a cadre of southern writers with expertise in reporting on urban issues and their impact on development within the Focus Cities. The writers are invited to WUF where, for an entire week, they will enjoy the benefits of working in a highly promoted international event, where they will be given extensive exposure and the opportunity to exchange with peers. This opportunity also features briefing activities and field visits with the objective of building capacities to report accurately on urban-related issues.
To meet these objectives, we will be asking the writer to complete the following tasks:
· Develop and write one article of between 800-1000 words profiling the IDRC Focus City project (by May 5, 2006).
· Develop and write 3 articles of 500-800 words each featuring the participation and experiences of the Focus City Teams and IDRC at the World Urban Forum.
· Develop and write an article (800-1000 words) on the public launch of the Focus City Project (date to be determined).
IDRC offers to pay for international travel and related expenses to and from Vancouver from June 18 to June 23, 2006, to attend the World Urban Forum and will offer the sum of $3,000 Canadian for the five articles.
The selected candidate will possess:
· Demonstrated skills in journalistic writing.
· Fluency in either official language of Canada: English and/or French. Knowledge of both is a definite asset. Knowledge of Spanish is also an asset.
· Interest in and experience writing about urban development issues, particularly poverty and the environment.
· Knowledge of local urban issues in the Focus City.
Suitable candidates are being identified by the Focus City Teams in cooperation with IDRC’s Communications Division. Suitable candidates are requested to submit the following information:
· A cover letter outlining:
o Skills as they relate to this activity;
o Professional development objectives of participating in the World Urban Forum, and working with IDRC and the Focus City Team; and,
o Brief overview of the local media environment within the Focus City (i.e. what are key local media outlets, and what local coverage is there of urban poverty & environmental issues).
· Curriculum Vitae (maximum of 3 pages)
· Two samples of writing.
Please submit this information to Marcia Chandra ([email protected]) by April 24, 2006. Applications can be submitted in English or French.