To help new members and those unfamiliar with the processes and rules that govern GFMD's General Assembly we have put together some answers to some frequently asked questions.
Please note that these questions are abridged summaries. Full details are available in the GFMD Constitution.
A new draft of the Constitution will be discussed and voted on by members ahead of the General Assembly.
It is available here.

How often is the General Assembly?

It is taking place a year later than planned due to the pandemic.
(Under the proposed new constitution, the General Assembly will take place every year but will only meet in person every four years to elect a new Steering Committee.)

What is the General Assembly?

The General Assembly is the sovereign body of the GFMD and brings together all General Members.
The programme is prepared by the Steering Committee in consultation with members.

What is the difference between the World Forum for Media Development and GFMD's General Assembly?

The General Assembly is constitutionally mandated. Attendance and voting rights are accorded only to GFMD general members. Its procedures are governed by the GFMD Constitution.
The General Assembly normally takes place every four years alongside a wider conference for the wider media development and journalism support community that involves - among others - donors, partners, and supporters, as well as GFMD members.
Meetings of the General Assembly (and a wider conference alongside it) have previously taken place in Amman (2005), Athens (2008), Makhanda/Grahamstown (2012), and Jakarta, (2016).
In the past, the conference that occurs at the same as the General Assembly has been referred to in different ways, including:
To avoid confusion the Secretariat proposes that the future meetings are referred to using the following naming conventions:
Global Forum for Media Development - General Assembly - Tirana, 2021
The Global Forum for Media Development's General Assembly will take place in Tirana in 2021.
The General Assembly of the Global Forum for Media Development of 2021 took place in Tirana, Albania.

Will the 2021 General Assembly be anything like Jakarta 2016?

The short answer is, no.
The 2016 Global Forum in Jakarta featured a plethora of keynotes, panels and workshops.
Sadly, due to the pandemic, this year's General Assembly will bear little resemblance. It will be a scaled-back affair with some delegates attending in-person, with the majority attending and participating online.
The agenda for the 2021 General Assembly of the Global Forum for Media Development can be found here:

What happens at the General Assembly?

The General Assembly:


What is the Steering Committee?

The Steering Committee
  • Manages and oversees GFMD affairs
  • Deals with major strategic and policy matters facing GFMD and its membership between the quadrennial General Assembly.
  • Delegates the execution of strategy and administrative matters to the GFMD Secretariat.
  • Oversees the work of the Secretariat.

What does being on the Steering Committee involve?

Steering Committee members need to dedicate 2/3 hours per month to:
  • Attend Steering Committee meetings
  • Communicate with GFMD Executive Director
  • Participate in strategic decision making, providing inputs and guidance.

Is being on the Steering Committee a paid position?

No, Steering Committee members do not receive remuneration for their engagement with GFMD and they are generally expected to cover their travel expenses for an annual in-person meeting.
In exceptional circumstances, on a case to case basis, GFMD may cover some of these expenses.

Who is currently on the Steering Committee?

How long can a member sit on the Steering Committee?

Representatives of GFMD general members can serve a maximum of two consecutive terms.

Who can sit on the Steering Committee?

Any GFMD general member can nominate a representative to be a candidate for the Steering Committee at the General Assembly.
The Secretariat has proposed reforms to the composition of the Steering Committee to make it more efficient and representative.
  • You can find the current composition of the Steering Committee here.
  • The proposed new structure is published in the new Constitution (See Articles “6.2.1 Categories of members” and “6.2.2 Composition”)
  • General members will vote on the new constitution between 20 and 28 September.
General members must have paid their 2021 (and previous) membership fee to be able to nominate a representative to be a candidate for the Steering Committee.

Who can vote for the Steering Committee?

Each GFMD General member has one vote at the General Assembly.
Members must have paid their 2021 (and previous) membership fee to be able to vote.

Does the Steering Committee have subcommittees?

Yes, the Executive Committee. See below.
The Secretariat is also proposing two additional committees to be added to GFMD statutes. Read more about them here. (See article "6.9 Steering Committee subcommittees")


What are the GFMD Subcommittees?

Under the new GDMD Constitution the Steering Committee has three subcommittees:

Which Subcommittees are voted for at the Steering Committee meeting on 30th September?

Only the Executive Committee is elected at the Steering Committee on 30th September following the GFMD General Assembly.
The others will be elected at the next Steering Committee Meeting.

What is the purpose of the GFMD Subcommittees?

6.9.2 General purpose of subcommittees
Steering Committee subcommittees shall play an advisory role to help guide the Steering Committee and Secretariat about matters falling within their mandates. Subcommittees shall not have decision-making powers but shall be able to act in a more flexible and efficient way to advise the Steering Committee, Executive Director and Secretariat staff, in accordance with this Constitution.


For more details see the article "6.9.3 Executive Committee" of the new Constitution. (The previous version is available here)

Who elects the Executive Committee?

What positions are on the Executive Committee?

Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, and Treasurer.
(In the new Constitution the position of Secretary-General is replaced by Deputy Chairperson)

Who is currently on the Executive Committee?

  • Chairperson: Ricardo Corredor, Fundación Gabo (Colombia)
  • Secretary-General: Jan Lublinski, DW Akademie (Germany)
  • Treasurer: Thierry Vallat, CFI (France)

What is the role of the Chairperson?

The Chairperson of the Executive Committee also chairs meetings of the GFMD Steering Committee.
The Chairperson also acts as a figurehead for GFMD alongside the Executive Director.


What is the role of the GFMD Secretariat?

To implement GFMD's strategy and activities in partnership and collaboration with our members and partners.
To provide administrative and logistical support to the GFMD Steering Committee and Subcommittees.

Who is in the GFMD Secretariat?

Profiles of the GFMD Secretariat are available on the GFMD website:


Please get in touch - [email protected] - if you think we have missed something from the FAQs.
The draft agenda for the 2021 General Assembly:
The rationale for proposed changes and the first draft of an updated constitution was shared with all members on August 13th:
The final draft of the updated GFMD constitution that will be voted on by members ahead of the General Assembly is available here:
The draft strategic plan for 2021-2025 that will be discussed at the General Assembly is available here: