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Handbook

Handbook

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Published by arnegrauls

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Published by: arnegrauls on Oct 12, 2008
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06/16/2009

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Bettina Peters, Director Global Forum for Media Development, IPC, Résidence Palace, Bloc C 2/215,155 rue de la loi, 1040 Brussels, Belgiumdirector@mediagfmd.org 
1
Monitoring and Evaluation Handbook/ToolkitProposal for a Joint Initiative by Media Development Implementers
In recent years, the debate on if and how media development contributes to democratic,human and economic development has increased among donors, the academiccommunity and media assistance groups. Media development programmes have beenaround for years with donor and public spending on media assistance increasingsignificantly in the last 15 to 20 years largely to support programmes focussed oncreating a democratic media environment in transitional countries, especially in former Soviet bloc countries.With more funding going into media development, it is inevitable that donors andgovernments ask whether the money has been well spent. Do media freedom and journalistic independence really make a contribution to creating democratic societies andachieving sustainable development?At the same time the media development community, convinced that free, independent,and pluralist media do make a difference, are looking at ways to better evaluate theimpact of their programmes.The idea is to bring together interested media development organisations, key mediaresearchers and existing initiatives to prepare a handbook or toolkit on monitoring andevaluation of media development programmes.Building on the discussions within the Global Forum for Media Development and building on the paper prepared by Global Partners for UNESCO on measuring impact of media development and building on the conclusions of the Measuring Impact conferencein Bad Honnef in September and of the Measuring Press Freedom and Democracyconference at the Annenberg School of Communication in November, it is proposed todevelop a handbook or toolkit to assist media development organisations in projectdesign as well as monitoring and evaluation.This initiative would work closely and assist in the implementation of the DefiningIndicators of Media Development initiative launched by the IPDC of UNESCO.It is the aim of the handbook/toolkit to provide advice and tips to implementers of mediadevelopment programmes. It is not the aim of the handbook to proscribe one particular way of designing programmes or measuring impact.The main aim of the handbook/toolkit is to provide advice on collection of data,methodologies and tools for measuring change.
 
 
Bettina Peters, Director Global Forum for Media Development, IPC, Résidence Palace, Bloc C 2/215,155 rue de la loi, 1040 Brussels, Belgiumdirector@mediagfmd.org 
2The field of media development is complex and large covering many different sectors of media landscapes. As the list of indicators developed by Global Partners for theUNESCO background paper shows, without being fully complete and dealing with fivesections of desired outcomes, already some 150 key questions are listed. No one mediadevelopment organisations will be able to address all sectors of the media and journalism.The handbook would assist in providing practical advice to implementers and provide asuggested framework into which individual projects can be put.Given the complexity of the field, it is not the aim of the toolkit to provide the ultimatelist of indicators or the ultimate project design. While aiming to be as comprehensive as possible and using the conclusions of the discussions initiated by UNESCO, thehandbook would give implementers a framework and guidance.But it is on the ground that organisations in a given country would decide to add to thelist. The handbook/toolkit would provide the fullest possible picture of indicators, toolsfor measurement and assessment but it would not and could not replace discussion in-country by implementers and policy makers on deciding priorities for action.All media development implementers are interested in making our work better, increasingimpact and creating sustainability. It is an ambitious initiative to try and bringimplementers to work together on this issue but it is a much-needed initiative in order toincrease the positive impact of our work and to provide evidence-based arguments for therecognition of media development as a crucial part of overall development anddemocratisation strategies.It is the aim of the initiative to involve all interested media development organisationsand other relevant groups in the preparation of the handbook/toolkit, in their differentareas of geographical and sectoral expertise.This will be achieved through using the network of 400 media development organisationsof the GFMD as well as through inviting other media development organisations to jointhe initiative. Relevant media researchers active in the field will be invited to join theinitiative.As a result of the conference in Bad Honnef the German forum for media developmentand CAMECO have offered to host a wiki-space to collect and share information. Thenew GFMD web-site will be linked to this space and feed information from its membersinto the discussion.These initial steps can be used to collect relevant information and data to build thehandbook/toolkit.
 
 
Bettina Peters, Director Global Forum for Media Development, IPC, Résidence Palace, Bloc C 2/215,155 rue de la loi, 1040 Brussels, Belgiumdirector@mediagfmd.org 
3The handbook/toolkit would address to distinct and important areas of mediadevelopment programmes:
1.
 
Assessment -- programme and project design
This section would build on the work done by IWPR with the proposal to use the logicalframework as the design framework for media development programmes and projects. Itwould use and further refine the indicators proposed in the UNESCO background paper.In obtaining data to assess media landscapes the media development community can build on the already existing data that is being collected for the indices measuring pressfreedom. Both the Freedom House and IREX MSI index measure and provide data onmany aspects of the media landscape in a given country. Through their involvementindividual data collected can be fed into programme and project design. While theseindices cover many of the issues and indicators listed, for instance, in the UNESCO background paper, they do not address all of the indicators and additional data collectionwould be required.One of the main problems facing media development organisations in developing programmes is that there in many areas there is little statistical or other quantifiable dataavailable. In order to measure impact of programmes over time the situation at the start of the programme has to be measured. In many countries there is no reliable data availableon, for instance, actual ownership of media, size of the media market, size anddistribution of the advertising market. It is often also difficult to obtain data on the practice of media law (rather than the letter), which is crucial in order to assess if mediaand media professionals can operate freely.An important part of the handbook would be to include references and possible sourcesfor data collection, especially in areas where this is difficult. The involvement of localmedia development organisations and local research expertise is therefore crucial to thesuccess of the initiative.At the same time the handbook would include sections on qualitative data, how to obtainit and how to organise base-line studies. A lot of work has been done in this area andmedia development organisations with a larger research capacity
 
, such as, for instance,the BBC World Trust, would be invited to share their experience on methodologies for measurement.The result would be a toolkit with advice on project and programme design that for different sectors of the media system and different categories of desired outcomes would propose indicators and key questions and identify sources to obtain data for assessment aswell as providing advice on how to organise methodologies for measurement.

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