Our Profile

Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) is a regional non-profit, non-governmental communication for development organization. We use innovative methodologies to engage the media and other key stakeholders to ensure that the development agenda is shaped and driven by the most affected members of Southern Africa’s communities.
PSAf was founded in 1996 as a branch of Panos London, and became an autonomous institution in May 2005. Our regional office is located in Lusaka, Zambia, and our satellite offices are in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Maputo, Mozambique. PSAf works in 12 Southern African nations, namely, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. PSAf is part of a Global Network of independent and autonomous Panos Institutes based in London, Paris, Canada, South Asia, Eastern Africa, West Africa, and the Caribbean..

Our Vision:

A Southern African community that drives its own development.

Our Mission:

To amplify voices of the poor and marginalised to shape their own development.

Focus of our work

We work to ensure that information is effectively used to foster development by empowering communities to shape their own agenda. We particularly focus on amplifying the voices of the poor and marginalized. We do this through:

  • Innovative communication approaches
  • Working with mainstream and alternative media
  • Interfacing development actors and local communities
  • Providing platforms for informed debate and voice

12

countries


Donec vestibulum justo a diam ultricies pel lentesque. Quisque mattis diam vel lac.
Donec vestibulum justo a diam ultricies pel lentesque. Quisque mattis diam vel lac.
89

projects


Donec vestibulum justo a diam ultricies pel lentesque. Quisque mattis diam vel lac.
Donec vestibulum justo a diam ultricies pel lentesque. Quisque mattis diam vel lac.
97

Publications


Donec vestibulum justo a diam ultricies pel lentesque. Quisque mattis diam vel lac.
Donec vestibulum justo a diam ultricies pel lentesque. Quisque mattis diam vel lac.

Our Strategic Objectives:

  • Provide communication channels to enable the poor and marginalized to receive and debate information, and to communicate their perspectives in public policy domains and for their voices to be heard and to influence how development takes place.
  • Provide platforms for improved policy dialogue on local, national, and international development policies and programmes to ensure equitability and accountability.
  • Promote free, plural, and effective media and communication channels, which work to enhance individual freedom and liberties, democracy, good governance, development, and poverty alleviation.
  • Strengthen capacities of media and other communication actors in generating and disseminating relevant and useful development content.
  • Generate balanced, objective, and evidence-based information to inform decision-making in public policy making arenas.
  • Promote partnership, ownership, and accountability within the response to HIV and AIDS and other health issues.
  • Strengthen capacities of local media and other communication actors in responsible reporting on humanitarian and natural disasters.

Our Core Values:

  • People most affected by development processes – often the most marginalized societies and families within societies – should help shape and drive such change. To achieve this, more balanced information flows between and within societies on issues that affect the poor are urgently needed.
  • Both freedom and pluralism of information within societies are essential preconditions for sustainable development. Panos believes, in particular, that the role of the media is critical in ensuring genuinely democratic public debate.
  • Information is central to change, and that people need and have a right of access to understandable, relevant, and unbiased information in order to be able to take informed action and play an active role as citizens in democratic societies.
  • Informed and inclusive public debate is an essential ingredient in the effective functioning of democratic societies.
  • Panos is committed to a more equitable world and opposes all forms of discrimination.
  • Analysis and reporting on developing country issues should principally originate from people in these countries. Panos is committed to producing content which is principally derived from journalists, experts and, more importantly, the communities for which information is generated, in particular those resident in the developing world.
  • Excellence in all that it does, and insists on adhering to the highest standards of integrity, accuracy, and authority in its information outputs and activities.

At Panos, we believe that true development can only be achieved through engagement with the most vulnerable members of our communities. We use our innovative communication approaches to raise awareness on key issues in development among the poor and marginalized, and give them platforms from which to address policy makers and intervention specialists concerning their most pressing needs. We help the voiceless to gain a voice and effect changes locally, nationally, and internationally on issues vital to their advancement and well-being.

By working with both mainstream and alternative media, we provide an essential link between the general population and their leaders. Panos works to ensure that the results of our endeavours foster dialogue and debate between all levels of society to formulate a development agenda that is inclusive, sustainable, and egalitarian.

We address development-related topics in a number of different thematic areas. These include Media and ICTs, HIV and AIDS, Health, Governance and Development, Vulnerable Groups, and Environment and Natural Resource Management. Find more details about particular programmes on the Programmes page. We engage issues and players in these fields by applying a well-defined set of strategic approaches to our communication endeavours.

Strategic Approaches:

  • Public policy analysis and research: PSAf strives to provide platforms for policy debates and works to disseminate information on existing policies to the poor and marginalized so that they can actively participate in the process of policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring.
  • Rights-based approach to development: A rights-based approach (RBA) to development makes the rights of poor, marginalized, and vulnerable people the primary focus of the development agenda. Panos recognizes that the poor do not simply lack wealth, but rather, lack opportunities and influence over decisions that affect their lives and communities. We inform them and give them a chance to engage with their leaders directly through the media.
  • Gender mainstreaming: True development cannot be achieved as long as gender inequalities exist. Therefore, Panos is determined to focus on women as a disadvantaged group within already marginalized communities. Because women form a critical mass of these vulnerable groups, gender analysis and mainstreaming are essential components of progress in ensuring that the voices of the voiceless are amplified.
  • Communication methodologies: Conveying information and ensuring two-way communication between the people and their leaders are integral to our mission. Panos uses a number of methodological approaches, both time-tested and innovative, in the pursuit of our vision of creating a Southern African community that is informed and empowered to drive its own development. PSAf uses the following methodologies in implementing our projects:

Listings

Oral testimonies
Radio listening clubs (RLCs)
Interactive radio programmes (IRPs)
Research reports
Manuals/toolkits
Roundtable discussion/debates
Policy briefs