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Renewing MediaDev principles

Renewing the principles for effective media development and support to journalism.

Overview

With support from the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), GFMD International Media Policy and Advisory Centre has taken on a leadership role in the OECD's Development Assistance Committee's Network on Governance adopting a process to "Renewing principles on effective support to journalism and media".
The concept note for the initiative argues “that an agreed set of principles will improve overall results and impacts of media assistance and help to overcome long standing weaknesses in media development efforts.”
To support the process GFMD and CIMA issued a statement calling for engagement by the Summit for Democracy and the Media Freedom Coalition in March 2023. The document outlines some of the key findings from the consultation process.

The process so far

This process aims to renew and operationalise a set of principles that can be used to guide donors in their media assistance strategies. It is informed by a series of consultations during 2021 and 2022 among major stakeholders in the field of media development.
More than 190 representatives from bilateral donor agencies, implementing organisations, civil society representatives, and media development experts have actively participated in this process so far.
Starting with the most recent, below is a list of the consultations and interventions that have been made in the procress so far.
30 March 2023 - GFMD & CIMA host a working meeting on how to operationalise the principles for effective media assistance on the sidelines of the Summit for Democracy in The Hague, The Netherlands.
27 March 2023 - As part of the process to gather commitments to the Summit for Democracy via the Media Freedom Cohort: The Media Freedom Coalition’s Media Development Working Group, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United Kingdom, the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), and the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) have committed to advancing their engagement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee’s Network on Governance (GovNet) to update the existing media assistance principles so they better respond to the current context, and include a more operational focus. This is in line with a GovNet commitment in its programme of work 2023-2024.
Feb. 3, 2023 - in partnership with UNESCO IPDC, the Namibia Media Trust, and the Editors' Forum of Namibia, GFMD organised a roundtable on media viability in Namibia. The roundtable was part of a series of national consultations that brought together key local and international stakeholders, including media support organisations, donors, big tech representatives, policymakers, and media professionals around the question of building resilience in the Namibian media sector. Participants drafted policy recommendations that are intended to feed into future high-level policy discussions on media viability.
Jan. 24, 2023 - in partnership with UNESCO IPDC, the Al Khatt Foundation, and the EU's Programme d'appui aux médias tunisiens, GFMD organised a roundtable on media viability in Tunisia. The roundtable was part of a series of national consultations that brought together key local and international stakeholders, including media support organisations, donors, big tech representatives, policymakers, and media professionals around the question of building resilience in the Tunisian media sector. Participants drafted policy recommendations that are intended to feed into future high-level policy discussions on media viability.
Jan. 18, 2023 - in partnership with UNESCO IPDC, the Samir Kassir Foundation, and the Maharat Foundation, GFMD organised a roundtable on media viability in Lebanon. The roundtable was part of a series of national consultations that brought together key local and international stakeholders, including media support organisations, donors, big tech representatives, policymakers, and media professionals around the question of building resilience in the Lebanese media sector. Participants drafted policy recommendations that are intended to feed into future high-level policy discussions on media viability.
Nov. 25, 2022 - UNESCO's IPDC council supported the principles process. Explicit support came from Netherlands and France. A request came from Oman that the principles take account of the new landscape and competition from tech companies.
Nov. 23, 2022 - GFMD co-organsied a seminar with the Sahafa Med project (funded by the EU) on the challenges and perspectives for media support programs in the Southern Neighbourhood region. The meeting brought together 40+ donors, NGOs supporting media and journalists and implementing partners working with media outlets and journalists in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
21-22 Nov. 2022 - The proposed OECD GovNet work on ODA to public interest media and information ecosystem integrity that was on the agenda of the meeting. There were no opposing voices and we expect these three points of the work plan to be formally adopted on 9 December. The process to develop principles for effective media development is adopted into the OECD DAC GovNet programme of work 2023-24.
Sept. 13, 2022 - The process to develop principles for effective media development is adopted into the OECD DAC GovNet programme of work 2023-24.
June 28, 2022 - GFMD Chair, Zoe Titus presents the principles process at a joint GovNet-UNESCO event on ‘The economic Impact of Covid-19 on media and potential ODA responses”.
June 2022 - GFMD held a series of meetings for members (in English, French and Spanish) with members to discuss the structural, environmental, and administrative challenges they face when applying, implementing, and reporting on journalism support and media development projects and programmes.
June 15-16, 2022 - The principles process is accepted onto the offical agenda of the annual meeting of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IDPC) in November 2022.
May 2-3, 2022 - With UNESCO and the Government of Uruguay, CIMA and GFMD hosted a three hour roundtable discussion with participants at the UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day Conference in Montevideo, Uruguay. CIMA and GFMD also hosted a panel discussion at UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day Conference in Uruguay - “Developing Principles for Effective Media Assistance” - featuring Abraji, Sembra Media, and UNESCO.
April 14, 2022 - In partnership with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), GFMD organised a round table discussion in Belgrade, Serbia with 15 other organisations. The 25 participants were asked to contribute ideas for how to make the general principles for effective media development more specific and actionable and to interpret how the principles might be actioned in specific contexts.
April 13, 2022 - GFMD's Executive Director presented the work on the principles to date to the OECD DAC's GovNet session on Overseas Development Aid (ODA), public interest media and information ecosystems. The objective of the session is to firm up interest among OECD member states and galvanise support for this area of ODA for GovNet's programme of work 2023-24.
Feb. 9, 2022 - CIMA and GFMD organised a session on “Renewing the principles for effective media development” at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in Tallinn, Estonia. The session was co-convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), United Kingdom Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (UK FCDO), and UNESCO. As well as hearing from all co-conveners, the session also heard from the Council of Europe, as well as regional and international media development organisations.
Feb. 1, 2022 - After a review of the literature to identify the general principles and guidelines for effective support and engagement, GFMD launched a survey to gather perspectives from across the field. The survey is being used to query donors, practitioners and other stakeholders on which of the general principles have seen the greatest progress, which the least, which should be prioritised and gaps.
Jan, 27, 2022 - CIMA and GFMD convened an invitation-only virtual roundtable conversation to discuss principles for effective media assistance with 18 representatives of national and regional media development organisations, members of GFMD’s policy and learning committee, and GFMD IMPACT regional coordinators.
Dec. 7, 2021 - CIMA and GFMD hosted a webinar on principles for media development which was one of over 40 events held on 7 December as part of the Global Democracy Coalition Forum, a virtual 24-hour event convened to provide recommendations to the Summit for Democracy. The webinar, which heard from four civil society and media development stakeholders, as well as representatives from UK FCDO and UNESCO, distilled three recommendations to the Summit for Democracy.
Nov. 23, 2021 - A first draft of the concept note, developed by CIMA and the GFMD IMPACT help desk, was discussed at the Media Freedom Coalition’s Working Group on Media Development. After the meeting the roadmap and rationale were revised.
July 2021 - Recommendations from the submission were used as a basis for an options note presented by the UK FCDO to a meeting of the MFC Working Group on Media Development. The option to review and update the principles for effective media development was among the options that were received positively.
May 2021 - Responding to a request from the Media Freedom Coalition (MFC), the GFMD IMPACT help desk - in partnership with the Centre for International Media Assistance (CIMA), produced a two-page briefing on ways MFC could work with members to improve media assistance, ODA data, and information sharing.

Next steps

GFMD and CIMA will continue to host further virtual and in-person consultative discussions with donors, implementers, private contractors, and national/regional media development organisations, respectively.
The consultations will strive also to engage with stakeholders, including in governments and the technological industries, who may not be directly engaged in media development activities, though hold strong influence over the sector. Participants will be asked to contribute ideas for how to make the revised “general” principles more specific and actionable and to interpret how the principles might be actioned in specific contexts.
These consultations may include brief presentations by experts with experience designing and implementing principles in a related field of development.
27 March 2023 - As part of the process to gather commitments to the Summit for Democracy via the Media Freedom Cohort: The Media Freedom Coalition’s Media Development Working Group, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United Kingdom, the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), and the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) have committed to advancing their engagement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee’s Network on Governance (GovNet) to update the existing media assistance principles so they better respond to the current context, and include a more operational focus. This is in line with a GovNet commitment in its programme of work 2023-2024.
30 March 2023 - GFMD & CIMA host a working meeting on how to operationalise the principles for effective media assistance on the sidelines of the Summit for Democracy in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Literature review

The development of principles for effective support to the media sector and journalism would build upon prior efforts. These include:
The latest research on media development cooperation, as laid out in a recent position paper by MEDAS 21: "Lessons learnt from a Media Development Research Program (2022)". In this position paper which draws on the GFMD and CIMA's concept note, MEDAS 21 stresses the relevance of media development in international cooperation. It includes a summary of research and case studies from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that came out of MEDAS 21's graduate school.
Lessons learnt from a Media Development Research Program.pdf
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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which recognises the importance of public access to information, fundamental freedoms and the safety of journalists for the creation of peaceful, just and inclusive societies, under Goal 16, Target 10.
Multilateral guidelines outlined for media support, including the 2013 OECD/DAC study Accountability and Democratic Governance: Orientations and Principles for Development. (Although published by OECD/DAC as part of a research project, these principles were not official adopted and therefore are not an official instrument of OECD DAC)
Declarations such as the Windhoek+30 Declaration on Information as a Public Good adopted by UNESCO member states on 18 November 2021.
Existing strategies and guidelines developed by bi-lateral donors and private philanthropies for their support to independent media.
Codes of conduct, ethical guidelines, and do-no-harm principles developed by media support groups for funders of content.
Indicators: Initiatives to systematically assess and monitor the situation of the media sector and media professionals, such as UNESCO's established Media Development Indicators (2008) and DW Akademie's more recent Media Viability Indicators (2020).
Various initiatives to collect existing learning and best practises in the field, including the International Media Policy and Advisory Centre run by the Global Forum for Media Development - GFMD IMPACT.
For futher literature used by CIMA and the GFMD IMPACT help desk to identify the general principles and guidelines for effective support, see:

Statement calling for engagement by the Summit for Democracy and the Media Freedom Coalition

This statement is being submitted as part of the Global Forum for Media Development’s commitments/pledges to the 2023 Summit for Democracy in GFMD’s role as a civil society co-lead of the Media Freedom Cohort and as a member of the Global Democracy Coalition.
It calls on members of the Summit for Democracy and the Media Freedom Coalition to engage in the process to renew the Principles on Effective Support to Journalism and Media, which was initiated in 2021 by GFMD and the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), in partnership with the Media Development Working Group of the Media Freedom Coalition.
The process has been adopted into the work plan of the Network on Governance (GovNet) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC) and given non-binding endorsement by the Council of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
To strengthen and reinforce effective international support to the media sector through a process that updates and codifies guiding principles, GFMD and CIMA have committed to work together with representatives from bilateral donor agencies, implementing organizations, civil society representatives, and media development experts to use such principles to inform a roadmap for collective action to benefit the media sector.
Timelines and measurement:
Success of this commitment to the 2023 Summit for Democracy will be judged by whether the principles for effective media development have been officially adopted and incorporated into the work of key sector bodies, institutions and mechanisms.
  • Firstly, we hope that the OECD DAC GovNet will have finalized and officially adopted the principles by the end of 2023. Subsequently, we hope that the Council of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) - having given the OECD DAC process non-binding endorsement on November 25, 2022 - recognizes the principles at its November 2023 meeting. Further adoption and endorsement will be sought from Media Freedom Coalition member states by the end of 2023.
  • At a sectoral level, GFMD will update its code of practice – which serves as a statement that GFMD members are committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity, governance, financial transparency and accountability – to ensure that its member organizations adopt the principles to drive better and more equitable relationships across the media support sector.
  • As well as being endorsed and adopted by the OECD DAC, UNESCO IPDC, and Media Freedom Coalition by the end of 2023, beyond the Year of Action, GFMD, CIMA and other partners will continue to work with all stakeholders to operationalize and monitor the implementation of the principles.

Concept note

ENGLISH

The original version of this draft concept note was shared for comments and suggestions ahead of a GFMD/CIMA seminar on 7 December 2021. The seminar was part of the Global Democracy Coalition Forum, which provided recommendations to the Summit for Democracy. Based on feedback received from various stakeholders the concept note before, during and after the seminar, an updated version was published on 4 January 2022. The draft was updated again in February 2022 based on feedback from the CIMA/GFMD session at the Global Conference for Media Freedom on 9 February in Tallinn, Estonia.

ESPAÑOL

Nota conceptual - Desarrollar principios para el apoyo efectivo al periodismo y los medios de comunicación
ESPAÑOL - Nota conceptual Principles on Effective Support to Media - CIMA_GFMD.pdf
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