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22 Apr 2008 - 03 Mar 2022
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About the BBC World Service Trust
The BBC World Service Trust is the BBC's international charity. We use media and communications to reduce poverty and promote human rights, thereby enabling people to build better lives.
It is an old saying that knowledge means power. The better informed you are, the greater your chances of success.
Kofi Annan, Former Secretary General of the United Nations
Independently funded
We are funded by external grants and voluntary contributions, mainly from the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), the European Union, UN agencies and charitable foundations. We receive a small amount of core support from the BBC (both in kind and cash).
We believe that independent and vibrant media are critical to the development of free and just societies.
We share the BBC's ambition to provide accurate, impartial and reliable information to enable people to make informed decisions.
We aspire to a world where individuals and civil society use media and communications to become effective participants in their own political, economic, social and cultural development.
To achieve this vision, we partner with civil society, the media and governments to build long term development solutions. We do this by:
  • Assessing the information and interaction needs of individuals and communities. More
  • Strengthening the media sector by building professional capacity and infrastructure. More
  • Producing creative programmes in multi-media formats that inform and engage audiences around key development issues. More
  • Extending the reach and impact of our programmes through listening clubs, learning groups and other outreach activities
  • Applying rigorous research so that we can measure impact and value for money, and produce information that informs the development of our work. More
Where we work
We work in over 40 developing and transitional countries in:
In order to achieve the most critical development goals, we focus on six key issues:
  • Education
    For example, we worked with partners to deliver radio programmes and face-to-face tutorials which taught more almost 30,000 people in Somalia how to read and write. More
  • Emergency response
    We broadcast life-saving information on radio to 6.5 million people in Darfur, including two million people living in the region's 85 camps for refugees and people displaced by the conflict in Sudan. More
  • Environment
    We worked in association with Indian NGOs to deliver training to hundreds of journalists and NGOs in nine Indian states to improve the quality and quantity of environmental information published in the media. More
  • Governance and Human Rights
    We work with local media to produce ground-breaking political debate TV and radio programmes in Bangladesh, which help voters hold politicians and their leaders to account. Seven million people tune in every week. More
  • Health
    We worked with Indian broadcasters and government partners to produce a mass media campaign that changed the attitudes of millions of people in India to HIV-related issues, including wearing condoms and challenging the stigma and discrimination against people living with the virus. More
  • Livelihoods
    We produce a national radio programme to help people involved in raising and trading livestock in Somalia. It delivered the practical skills, technical knowledge and business awareness required to increase incomes and improve livelihoods. More
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