CMDPS is a Rongo University research center/ think tank anchored on the University’s vision of nurturing research, innovation and outreach initiatives for the betterment of communities both locally, nationally and internationally.
The Horn of Africa and Africa at large, is facing serious challenges regarding peace and security and democracy is still threatened in most parts of the continent. Media technologies (including social media) is currently being blamed as being part of the problem due the sensational ways conflicts around the continent are covered; which fuels more violence, yet it can as well be part of the solution see https://toda.org/assets/files/resources/policy-briefs/t-pb-60_fredrick-ogenga_social-media-literacy.pdf
However, the reason why the media covers conflict in a particular manner is an epistemic and therefore, a theoretical concern. Netizens are not social media literate and therefore, they share inflammatory content without understanding the consequences of their posts. At the same time. Journalists in Africa are trained to cover events in a manner that does not give an opportunity to cover their historicity and context. Therefore, events lack nuance and are often covered sensationally and misrepresented. The media is often guilty of representing one side of the conflict as victims or losers and the other side as winners thereby fueling more violence. The center strives to change this narrative and it is envisioned that research projects from the center will help influence policy issues on media, social and climate justice, democracy, peace and security in Eastern Africa and beyond.
To this end, the Directorate has initiated the following activities.
- Publication of research findings and policy briefs
- Fostering the development of the MSc and PhD in Media and Security Studies at RU
- Supporting doctoral students in the areas of media and security studies at RU
- Organizing journalism institutes with focus on both traditional journalism and new/social media citizens-journalism;
- Organizing academic and policy workshops for journalists, security officers, public communication officers;
- Building collaboration with domestic and international NGOs, government agencies, security agencies, universities, grassroots, community leaders, etc. in Kenya and globally
- Maintaining information resource and providing free public access, including an up-to-date web page.
- Host visiting scholars, exchange students, journalists, and policy advocates
- Join other activities that promote the mission of the center