• LA-DEM-MED course



Can a website create a welcoming and open platform to discuss law, democracy and media independence in a country divided by civil war?

In collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, we developed a shared space where the Ethiopian partners in the project could advocate for social transformation through collaboration, engagement and empathy. The name comes from the three main focus areas of their work: law, democracy and media.

We developed a website with interactive functionalities including a members area, online course and forums. The creative challenge was to design an online space which is conducive to bottom-up public participation and encourages active citizenship in Ethiopia. We used images of hands and fire to evoke community and connection, all on a background of Ethiopian landscapes, to establish a national identity without alienating any specific ethnic groups at a time of civil conflict.

The project was rounded off with skills transfer and training to equip the Ethiopian partners to add to and maintain the website.


international universities have collaborated with Ethiopian policy makers and independent media channels to advance freedom of expression, critical debate, and policy reform, and to promote government performance particularly in the justice sector.