The Panos Institutes are a network of independent non-governmental organisations working "to ensure that information is effectively used to foster public debate, pluralism and democracy". Globally and regionally, Panos works with media and other information actors to enable developing countries to shape and communicate their own development agendas through informed public debate. They particularly focus on amplifying the voices of poor and marginalized people.
The first institute, based in London, was founded in 1986 by journalist Jon Tinker. The organisation's first major project was for Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), producing studies on the sustainability of Nordic aid programmes, written by journalists based in the recipient countries. Panos subsequently followed that method, having reports written by people from the developing world. Jon Tinker described this as, "Providing authentic Southern voices on Southern issues".Since its inception, Panos ran a number of programmes relating to issues affecting developing countries. These include an environment programme, a media development programme, an AIDS/HIV programme and an oral testimony programme.
The Panos office in London closed in 2013 after 26 years of working in the field of media and communications for development. During that time it produced a wealth of journalism, information and resources which shed light on underreported issues and gave a voice to many people living in poverty. It also helped to build up a network of Panos offices around the world.
The six Panos network offices in Paris, West Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean continue their great work in media pluralism, journalism and communication for development. Six useful publications on development are archived here.