Case studies that demonstrate interesting, effective or innovative approaches to the design, measurement, evaluation, and learning, from media development and journalism support initiatives.


DW Akademie / EthioCheck Lab

February 2021

DW Akademie initiated a human-centered design (HCD) process as a starting point for a media development project in Ethiopia.

The aim was to develop a better understanding and assess the current situation regarding misinformation and dis-information.

The process with journalists and media experts from Ethiopia was conducted between October 2019 and February 2020 in Addis Ababa in order to find an accepted and feasible way to support fact-checking in Ethiopia.

How to use this document

Ongoing reforms in Ethiopia have led to an opening up of the media landscape.

But challenges remain: Increased access to all manner of information and the spread of mis- and disinformation, coupled with low media literacy, is contributing to the escalation of conflicts throughout the country.

This case study shows the process of gaining insights into the “context of use” for fact-checkers and the main results of the ideation on fact-checking initiatives within the very diverse Ethiopian context.

The goal of the HCD approach: To find an accepted and feasible way to launch a fact-checking initiative in Ethiopia.

An overview of DW Akademie's engagement against mis- and disinformation in Ethiopia, including a video giving background about the project, here.

Watch Karolina Luczak-Santana and Mikias Sebsibe talk about how DW Akademie used human-centred design to kick the project in this video produced for GFMD IMPACT's June meeting on disinformation.

An Indonesian journalist shares the lessons they learned through building a collaborative fact-checking platform called CekFekta.


October 2020

In an effort to determine the impact of the disinformation campaign on voters, the RAND Corporation, in partnership with IREX, conducted the first study to use a randomized control trial to understand the effect media literacy messaging could have on social media users. With short, social media–sized media literacy content, RAND tested how using various interventions and revealing the source of the content changed audience reactions.

The report, Russian Propaganda Hits Its Mark: Experimentally Testing the Impact of Russian Propaganda and Counterinterventions, utilized media literacy messages developed as part of IREX’s Learn to Discern (L2D) approach and revealed the following three important findings about the way propaganda influences audiences and the role of media literacy in countering disinformation in the United States.

  • Kremlin propaganda evokes emotional responses.

  • Exposure to media literacy can shift the behaviours of hard-to-reach groups.

  • Labeling has a positive effect on reducing the probability of liking/sharing in partisan audiences.

It is encouraging that IREX’s approach to media literacy may offer users potential emotional awareness and emotional regulation tools to resist the urge to react to—and spread—Kremlin-sponsored disinformation. Further research is needed to understand more about specific types of media literacy messages, the audiences they best influence, and the effects of different levels of exposure.

Learn to Discern (L2D) builds critical thinking and healthy habits for engaging with information, online and offline. It reaches youth and adults in classrooms, libraries, community centers, youth clubs, fellowship programs, peer-to-peer networks, online, and other contexts.

IREX - Very verified

Very Verified, a free online interactive course based on L2D methodology, created for Ukrainian young adults learning English.


BBC Media Action - Analysis of COVID-19 disinformation responses


In this section, we have featured interesting projects that do not have analysis or evaluation reports published.

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