Jamila Karimi, Pajhwok Afghan News reporter interviews a women activist in Ghor. © Pajhwok

UNDP Afghanistan, in partnership with Pajhwok Afghan News, recently conducted a three-day training in investigative journalism for 21 Afghan journalists (including 6 female participants) through its Anti-Corruption, Transparency, Integrity and Openness (ACTION) project. Six local media entities from various provinces across the country were represented in the training: Radio Sarhad, ASR Radio and TV Network, Radio Mazal, Badloon Radio, Khayber Nawakht Radio, and NAN Radio.

The training was designed to enhance the knowledge and skill of local journalists in conducting investigative journalism, reporting corruption, and collecting evidence-based data for news reports. It is hoped that these journalists will use the knowledge and skills they have learned to produce high quality investigative reports in their respective provinces, ensuring transparency and uncovering corruption.

“Pajhwok strongly believes in the transfer of knowledge and sharing its 16 years’ experience with local partners. Through these trainings we have built local partners’ capacity in term of investigative reporting, with more focus on reporting corruption issues,” said Mr. Danish Karokhel, Director & Editor-in-Chief, Pajhwok Afghan News.

UNDP’s ACTION project is committed to building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels by substantially reducing corruption and bribery in all their forms. Through the project, UNDP supports civilian engagement to increase public trust in the transparency of Afghan security and justice institutions and also to help civil society organisations (CSOs) to work with their local partners, building their capacity in institutional and technical areas.

“This training will not only be instrumental in creating a cadre of grassroots journalists to work on anti-corruption, but also to sustain the momentum created by the project even after it is closed,” said Abdallah Al Dardari, UNDP Resident Representative in Afghanistan.

Shakor Kamran interviews a construction worker in Machalgho Dam in Paktia province. © Pajhwok Afghan News

The training was conducted virtually and all the 21 participants were connected through a video link due to the current public health crisis.

“This training program was very useful for me and I learned the principles and methods of investigative reporting and it will help us in our future investigative reporting,” said Ms. Ziwar Amiri, a Journalist from Sarhad radio of Ghor province.
As a result of the first peer to peer training on investigative journalism conducted with UNDP support, Pajhwok Afghan News and 6 local media entities produced 18 investigative reports on different corruption issues.

Initiatives like the ACTION training will actively contribute in achieving sustainable development and the SDGs Goal 16 - to promote peaceful and inclusive societies and provide access to justice for all.

This training is part of UNDP Afghanistan’s ACTION project’s peer to peer training and with financial support from the Royale Danish Embassy, Afghanistan.

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