Where We Work
Albany's work in Sudan covers a broad range of communications activity:
- Strategic Communications
- Public Information
- Community Outreach
- Media development
Our team of communications professionals have been working and promoting peace and development in Sudan since 2006, and continue to do so today for a variety of clients, including the UN, the European and African Unions and the UK and US governments.
Rakubaat Aba Saleh Radio Drama
In early 2013, Albany was contracted by UNAMID, The AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur, to provide radio production services for peacebuilding and reconciliation by creating and producing a radio drama created by Darfuris, for Darfuris. Albany works alongside UNAMID Radio Unit, part of the Communications and Public Information Department, who provide the studios and technical equipment necessary.
Albany began by identifying local drama groups in El Fasher, North Darfur State, and provided the necessary training and ongoing mentoring in order to reach competency, and focus group tested the pilot episodes in North, South and West Darfur. The project builds the capacity of the 20 or so local voice actors, scriptwriters, producers and directors to produce a weekly episode which is then broadcast in Darfur three times a week on al Salam Radio 7.2MHz, 41m band SW.
The key to the project’s success is the authenticity of the radio drama, expressed through the diverse characters and dramatic situations the writers dream up. It is called Rakubaat Aba Saleh (Aba Salih’s Rakuba); a rakubaat is a typically Darfuri symbol associated with dialogue and discussion, and is a shelter under which people meet, sit, drink tea and talk. The drama touches upon such subjects as the role of the youth, maternal health, or relations between nomadic and sedentary communities.
US State Department project
In 2010-2011, Albany ran a US State Department-funded community outreach programme in Darfur supporting the Doha peace negotiations. Focusing on the Arab and nomadic sections of society - communities that hitherto had been under-represented in the peace process - this project solicited and gathered information from the rural populations about a post-conflict Darfur. The material obtained was then processed, edited and fed back to the State Department and other key stakeholders.
African Mission in Sudan / United Nations Mission in Darfur
In 2006, while working under a UK government Department for International Development contract for the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS, rehatted to UNAMID in January 2007), Albany was charged with ensuring the widest possible knowledge and understanding of the Darfur Peace Agreement, across the general population of Darfur and other key stakeholders.
Under this remit, Albany employed a number of traditional and culturally-specific public outreach strategies that included direct engagement with tribal and local community leaders as cultural conduits. We launched, produced and staged:
Darfur arts and music cultural festival, called Afia Darfur
- Radio programmes (in local unwritten languages)
- Street theatre
- Sporting events
Perhaps most notable is Afia Darfur, the arts and music cultural festival in Darfur, developed to promote a culture of peace and reconciliation. A definite highlight within it was the Darfur Horse Festival, which attracted thousands from across the region to a lively celebration of horse-racing, providing an informal forum in which senior tribal leaders were able to air their differences and work on reconciliation.
These efforts led to the establishment of a Sudanese NGO, Afia Sudan, staffed and run by Sudanese. Through advocacy programmes, Afia Sudan continues to win and implement contracts for various UN agencies today in areas such as community sensitization and Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration programmes.
Albany continues to conceive and develop projects in the whole of Sudan, building on its professional staff's intricate knowledge of Sudan, its peoples and cultures, and the institutional memory that has been steadily reinforced since 2006.
Sudan Communication Workshops
Albany Associates International Limited were hired in March 2010 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to organise workshops across the 25 states of Sudan (including current South Sudan territories). In one month Albany Associates delivered a total of 54 workshops across Sudan; total number of participants 1797 (average 30 participants per workshop) across the following areas: Khartoum, Gadarif, Nyala, Dongla, Elfasher, Kassla, Obaid, Kadugly, Rabak, Port Sudan, Eddamer, Ed Damazin, Sinar, Aljenana, Madani, Juba, Yambio, Rumbek, Wau and Malakal