Program Day 2

Tuesday 1st October

Session 3: International coordination
Coordination: Deutsche Welle Akademie

Poor coordination of activities and strategies between media development organizations in the same country or context is known to be a notorious source of inefficiency and subsequent problems in media development. It leads to redundancies, uncoordinated duplications, and overlaps. Better coordination could prevent that only few “donor darlings” absorb all funding, or that single issues absorb all attention (such as the issue of disinformation/fake news or climate change at times). However, past experiences with international coordination have shown that it can be time-consuming; it also often results in the predominance of simple and traditional media development formulas. This section discusses how efficient and contemporary international coordination could look.

During this session, the symposium guests are invited to participate in a fishbowl conversation on preconditions, challenges, and chances of international coordination. The call for better coordination concerns various actors of the sector – be it at the level of donors (see principle 5 of OECD’s Development Co-operation Principles for Relevant and Effective Support to Media and the Information Environment), local organisations as well as international media assistance organisations. The fishbowl conversation gives room to different perspectives and allows to collect ideas on how to make it work.

Among the discussion questions:

  • What are donors’ rationales behind having more and more calls for consortia?
  • Aren’t consortia eating up even more resources that could be spent elsewhere?
  • Coordination only seems to work well when it is about journalists’ safety – why is that?
  • How do local organization perceive the situation: Does international media development happen in a coordinated manner? Does one organization know what the other does?
  • What lessons can we learn from coordination attempts made in various countries such as Myanmar, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Ukraine?
  • What lessons can we learn from coordination attempts in various networks such as Hannah-Arendt-Initiative, Journalists in Distress (JiD), PRIMED
  • Isn’t it naïve to expect coordination between competitors?
  • What are incentives for coordination?
  • What are challenges and chances of coordination?
  • Where do coordination efforts hit a wall and why?

Session 4: Measuring Impact
Coordination: Erich-Brost Institute, in cooperation with Christoph Spurk and Fondation Hirondelle

What does the sector learn from what it implements? While monitoring, evaluation, learning and accountability (MEAL) activities are commonly carried out as part of media development, what exactly is known about the criteria assessed?
Internal or external evaluations can prove that our projects were relevant and implemented according to plan. However, due to a lack of resources or methodological difficulties, the long-term effects and impact of projects often remain in the shadows; effects are claimed but this claim is not backed up by evidence because measuring these effects is difficult to afford under current funding programmes. Or we are overwhelmed by scientific demands.
This panel will explore the flaws that often surround impact measurement… but also the latest underlying trends that are emerging to help document the ability of our actions to transform (for good or ill) the information ecosystem.
Moderation: Christoph Spurk
– Two representatives of donor organizations (TBC)
– Dr. Sara Namusoga-Kaale, Makerere University, Kampala (Uganda): The unexpected effects of our actions in the field and the do-not harm principle
– Jeff Conroy-Krutz, associate professor and chair of political science at Michigan State University, editor of the Afrobarometer Working Papers series; New perspectives in quantitative impact studies in media development – case study of the Central African Republic
Input: Dr Michel Leroy: The social impact and sustainability of our actions, as seen through 20 years of evaluations: what conclusions?

Discussion of the recommendations and conclusions

Before concluding the two days of work, this session aims to summarise and organise the various ideas discussed or that have emerged in the different sessions, as well as the contributions of all the participants, in order to see to what extent it is possible to come up with a list of common recommendations that could be taken forward by the sector as a whole.
Moderator: Sofie Jannusch, fome coordinator
A fome network coordinator since 2018, Sofie Jannusch has worked at the Catholic Media Council (CAMECO) as resident expert for Asia, Eastern Europe and the Pacific. With a MA in journalism from the University of Eichstätt, she has worked as a journalist for a daily newspaper, and as a producer for radio and television. In addition to her regional skills, she specialises in monitoring and evaluation, organisational development and strategic planning.

Farewell and end of the symposium

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