Renewing MediaDev principles
Renewing the principles for effective media development and support to journalism.
On this page you will find information about the process - led by the GFMD help desk and the Centre for International Media Assistance (CIMA) - to renew the principles for effective media development and support to journalism.
For background, please read the draft concept note.
Use the naviagtion options below or scroll down for more information.

The process so far

This process has been informed by a series of consultations during 2021 and 2022 among major stakeholders in the field of media development.
More than 150 representatives from bilateral donor agencies, implementing organisations, civil society representatives, and media development experts actively participated in this process.
Starting with the most recent, below is a list of the consultations and interventions that have been made in the procress so far.
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.
Depending on buy-in and support for this process from key stakeholders, a potential timeline and key milestones for developing media support principles and recommendations could be as follows:
13 Sept. 2022 - GFMD and CIMA hope that process to develop principles for effective media development will be formally adopted into the OECD DAC GovNet programme of work 2023-24.
21-22 Nov 2022 - OECD DAC plenary meeting in Paris.
24-25 Nov. 2022 - The principles process is on the official agenda for the annual meeting of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IDPC).
Ongoing - In parallel to the activities mentioned above, CIMA intends to commissions research into the experiences of principle development in other areas of international development – with a view towards translating those experiences into clear and actionable recommendations for how actors like MFC, GFMD, IFPIM, UNESCO/UNDP, CIMA and other stewards of our field can ensure that these principles matter. This could take the form of an options note.
Ongoing - Amid the process of collecting inputs and conducting consultations regarding principles, it is hoped that OECD member states could determine whether to make an official request for the DAC Secretariat to pursue principles and recommendations for the media sector.

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.
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:

Draft concept note

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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MEDAS 21 : Lessons learnt from a Media Development Research Program (2022)

Media Development Assistance in the 21st Century

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
188KB
PDF

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On this page
The process so far
Next steps
Literature review
Draft concept note
ESPAÑOL - Nota conceptual - Desarrollar principios para el apoyo efectivo al periodismo y los medios de comunicación
MEDAS 21 : Lessons learnt from a Media Development Research Program (2022)