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Communication crucial to reducing poverty says Panos London Executive Director

Panos London Executive Director, Mark Wilson, sets out the roadmap for greater transparency through communication in development at an address to donors and NGOs today. The event is part of the charity's five-year strategy to raise awareness on how open communication is essential for improving the lives of the world's poorest people by giving them a voice in their own development.

One of the greatest challenges of this century is how to help the 1.4 billion people living on less than US$1.25 per day escape the poverty which constrains their lives. For this to happen, there have to be channels that exist for these people to communicate at all levels and be involved in a country's political, economic and social life.

The growing power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as mobile telephones and the Internet can be harnessed to improve livelihoods. While a diverse, dynamic and free media offers accurate and fair reporting on key development issues, giving people both the chance to scrutinise their own government's performance on tackling poverty and to have their own opinions on what is needed reported to a wider audience.

The event organised by international development charity, Panos London, is an opportunity to present the case for involving poor and marginalised people in the developing world in development thinking and practice.

Mark Wilson, Executive Director of Panos London, says,

'The harsh reality is that poor and marginalised people are often politically muted. They are seen as a problem to be solved by others, and not part of the solution. If governments and other policymakers are serious about ending poverty, they have to find and support ways that enable these people to participate in the debates and decisions that affect their lives.'

Mark was followed at the event by Alex Kirby, an environmental journalist, Prof Lawrence Haddad, from the Institute of Development Studies and Daniela Chiaretti, a fellow from the Climate Change Media Partnership. You can download the speeches that both Mark Wilson and Alex Kirby presented on the evening in the right-hand column.

For further information, to arrange an interview Mark Wilson, or for a copy of Panos London's strategy please contact:

Tia Jeewa, Senior Press and Communications Officer,

Phone: 020 7239 7616, 07944 808784,


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