Digitalization offers opportunities as well as risks. In Jordan, DW Akademie focuses particularly on young people, strengthening their critical and constructive use of the media.
Jordan has a young population, with approximately two thirds under the age of 30. Given the high unemployment rate and few opportunities for political participation, young people's prospects are limited. Social media are their primary information source and offer them room for dialog.
However, social media also present risks, with disinformation and hate speech widely spread. State surveillance and censorship limit free expression, and women who aim to play a greater role in society are targets of gender-specific threats. Youth, refugees and ethnic minorities are also quickly marginalized in the digital discourse since radical groups use social networks to be heard and attract new members. As a result, youth are poorly equipped to counter the dark side of digitalization.
In Jordan, DW Akademie supports educational organizations in strengthening young people’s resilience to disinformation and in empowering them to engage in constructive dialog and participatory politics. DW Akademie advises the Jordan Media Insitute (JMI) as it establishes a national Media and Literacy (MIL) center and where MIL experts are also trained. These can in turn train others to promote MIL, who can prepare teachers to introduce MIL into the classroom. Anchoring MIL in Jordan also involves further developing the StartMIL symposium with respect to economic sustainability. The annual conference has so far been held near the city of Irbid. DW Akademie is now advising the project sponsor, Family and Child Protection Society (FCPS), in expanding the conference regionally and in developing financing concepts.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Program Director: Heike Thee
Locations: Amman, Irbid/northern Jordan
Focus: Social participation, Media and Information Literacy, qualification