Afsan Chowdhury

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Afsan Chowdhury "is based in Dhaka, where he is Director, Advocacy and Human Rights of BRAC, the world's largest NGO. His responsibilities include policy direction and implementation of the information and communication activities of BRAC. He has supervised community based communication activities, which together form the largest communication initiative in Bangladesh.

"As Regional Director for South Asia Panos Institute based in Kathmandu. 2000-2001, he supervised Panos activities in five south Asian countries including the Panos India office, and he was responsible for the preparation of all donor proposals, reports and media publications.

"He was on the staff of UNICEF 1986-1994 with responsibility for programme communication and information activities. He supervised numerous communication related studies and research which fed into national programmes. They include reports on Public Service Broadcasting (1988) and the dissemination of messages on health issues through broadcast media (1989). His study on factors Relating to AIDS/ STD in Bangladesh (1993) was the first review on the topic and formed the basis for subsequent programmes.

"As a member of the UNICEF Regional (ROSA) office core team on development of media advocacy and health rights, he contributed to policy documents on AIDS and the Media in India and Nepal. He has carried out many assignments on key developmental, media and management issues for international organizations including UNDP and OXFAM -UK, and for independent policy institutes and ngos in Bangladesh. He has participated in policy advisory groups for UNICEF and WHO. In 1998 he was nominated Ashoka Fellow for Life on Sex Education.

"He has written or co written books on health and environmental issues, refugees, and issues of Human Rights and Identity for minorities. His books include 'Media in Times of Crisis' (Srabon Publishers. 2003). His report 'Radda Barnen: Non-Commercial sexual abuse of children' prepared for Breaking the Silence Group in 1997, is due for publication as a book in 2004.

"His media-related Studies include a Country Report on Bangladesh for the UNDP- supported Paragon Project (2001 -2003) [1]; and for the Nordic Consulting Group, a Media study on CBM in South Asia relating to cross border conflicts [2]

"Afsan Chowdhury has extensive experience in the print and broadcast media, both radio and television. He has been on the editorial staff or contributor to leading newspapers and journals in Bangladesh over a period of more than 20 years, a frequent contributor to the BBC World Service, and stringer in Dhaka for the BBC South Asian Service (1993-95). He has produced video documentaries on social political and developmental issues in Bangladesh.

"For the Media South Asia Project, Afsan Chowdhury wrote a Country Profile and report on the media in Bangladesh; set up and conducted Focus Group Discussions and conducted interviews with leading media practitioners and observers. He spoke at or chaired discussions on broadcasting policy issues at Media South Asia project conferences in Delhi, Kathmandu, Dhaka and in Manikganj." [1]

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  1. Afsan Chowdhury, Media South Asia, accessed March 17, 2008.