This page provides a comparative analysis of Strategic Goals outlined by the GFMD General Assembly in 2016 with major achievements between 2016 and 2021.
Following a review of GFMD's activities and building on its achievements, this work plan devised in 2016 has been designed to focus the work of the organisation on a clear set of objectives whilst at the same time sourcing funding to increase modestly the size of the secretariat. Below you will find details of our Strategic Goals and Achievements analysis.
Raising and developing common standards to reinforce the status of media development as an essential part of development policies is an important objective of GFMD.
Members in the field are assisted by GFMD through shared learning, showcasing best practices, demonstrating impact and joining an arena for debate around media development policy.
Around the year GFMD organises workshops on relevant issues such as Countering Violent Extremism, Digital Transition or how to serve the audiences, thereby ensuring the dissemination of industry-relevant knowledge among its members and the convergence towards common standards and approaches.
1.1 World Forum for Media Development
World Forum for Media Development 2016
This GFMD flagship activity takes place every four years in the form of a conference focused on capturing and sharing best practices which can act as a springboard for improving the effectiveness of the field. GFMD has already organised three conferences in Amman in 2005, Athens in 2008 and Grahamstown in 2012. The World Forum is a three-day event, hosting all GFMD members, government donors active in media development, private foundations involved in the field of media assistance as well as representatives from multilateral and international media corporations. The event was scheduled to be organized in Jakarta, Indonesia from 20-22 September 2016 in cooperation with the Indonesian Press Council, Universitas Multimedia Nusantara and the Kompas Media Group.
Titled “Decoding the Future: Rethinking Media for a New World,” the Forum set out to share best practice, new technologies and practical research as well as to seek solutions for common challenges faced by the media development community. The event was attended by over 300 delegates; a very strong turnout which included representatives from all key media development agencies worldwide. Satisfaction levels were uniformly high. An online survey after the event showed that more than 98% of respondents would recommend the World Forum to a colleague whilst 72% rated their overall satisfaction as very good or excellent with the primary reasons being sector-relevant content, effective organisation and diverse participation.
GFMD General Assembly and elections for governing bodies organised.
Fourteen new members were elected to the GFMD Steering Committee, joining five members who will remain in office. During the Forum, the Committee approved a 2016-2018 Strategic Plan for GFMD and agreed to provide the resources and assistance necessary for the implementation of this plan.
1.2 Research, Academic Publication and Knowledge Promotion
Shared Research, Academic Publication and Promoted Knowledge
The field of monitoring and evaluation is an important cross-cutting challenge for all media development actors, including members of GFMD. GFMD aims to circulate and disseminate to the extent possible, all publicly financed audience appreciation research, impact studies and lessons learned from innovation. All research and evaluation knowledge publicised by members is shared through the GFMD media development learning and policy community.
1.3 Public Access to Information within the Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals 16.10 Policy and Advocacy
GFMD will engage in activities to develop monitoring and research systems into practical implementation of Target 16.10 public access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms within the framework of the new United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the work plan period 2016-2018 GFMD aims to grow and develop the available data and research around the specific indicators for Target 16.10, reducing the killing of journalists (16.10.1) as well as increased public access to information laws and their implementation (16.10.2). GFMD will connect media actors from different countries in order to create a community of practice and share knowledge on how to make better use of the legal context for access to information, increase awareness and skills, as well as monitor the implementation of this target specifically. GFMD will also continue to advocate for increased academic interest in and investments into openly accessible research that is crucial for all development actors in this domain. To that end, GFMD aims to build a coalition with academic institutions, private and multilateral actors who are specialised in this field, such as UNESCO, the World Bank and regional actors.
1.4 Bi-weekly Webzine “Mediadev Insider” and Communications
Newsletter and Communications
The GFMD provides advice on programme development and evaluation to its media development assistance network through the bi-weekly publication of the Mediadev Insider and dissemination of worthwhile research. Through its global network of expertise the GFMD has already been providing ad-hoc advice to direct members towards tools created for media support groups by its other members, such as curricula developed for digital safety or legal expertise. GFMD aims to develop this functionality in the coming period in order to provide a guide for all members that combine and point at already existing tools and digital knowledge developed by and for GFMD members and beyond. The communication service of GFMD already serves as an advertising platform for media development professionals. It also provides information about funding opportunities for members. The guide and reference functionalities of GFMD will be developed in consultation with GFMD members.
GFMD has put considerable effort into improving the design and content of its biweekly newsletter the MediaDev Insider. An overhaul of the design and a call for membership content have been the main focus of the improvements so far. An update of the existing GFMD website has been underway in 2017 with a focus on design, graphics and content. Much of the website content was outdated, and the site was not flexible. Efforts have been made to remove old content, update organisational information and align headings and links. Information on funding for media development is consistently published in Mediadev Insider. Successful local media development actors in developing countries are portrayed in Mediadev Insider. An annual activity report is shared with members and published. GFMD social media have taken off in 2017, publicizing news from the sector, members’ information, #mediadev jobs and #mediadev events.
On 24 July 2018, GFMD was formally granted special consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This success is the culmination of three years of concerted efforts by GFMD’s UN representative, Bill Orme, the GFMD Steering Committee, and the GFMD Secretariat in Brussels. UN consultative status makes it easier for GFMD and its member organisations to participate in UN processes, especially in monitoring and advocating for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and apply for and receive project funding at the local, regional, and global levels from UN agencies, grant-making initiatives, and donor countries – along with much more.
The objective of GFMD is to integrate media development as a priority in the international development arena as well as the human rights system. The importance of independent media in enabling democracy, enhancing good governance, protecting human rights, and improving accountability in societies is widely acknowledged within international diplomatic and development assistance circles. However, evidence that media contribute to development, and research into impact attributable to independent media, are difficult to find and in fact have not been a high priority in development aid policy and research. Support to media remained low on the development agenda and such support tends to be poorly coordinated or integrated in a coherent overall development policy and strategy. Advancing the understanding, recognition and prioritisation of media development within international donor and development agendas through advocacy initiatives. This increases the visibility of in-country media development actors, especially where media freedom is constrained, and amplifies the voices of those organisations working in the most difficult environments to the international arena where decisions on policy are made.
2.1 Regional and National Advocacy
Involving Local Media NGOs in Regional and Global Advocacy
An example of involving local media NGos in regional and global advocacy are the Women in Media and SDG 16.10 working groups. The Women in Media working group was launched in March 2018. Five meetings have been held within the group that year, along with 3-4 consultation meetings initiated by members interested in submitting a joint proposal for the UN Commission on the Status of Women conference (CSW63). As result of these consultations, GFMD hosted a panel on women in media and digital spaces at a side-event for CSW63 together with Fondation Hirondelle, IMS, FPU, MDI, IREX and Internews with participants from local and regional organisations. Launched in August 2018, the SDG 16.10 working group submitted two rounds of joint comments to UNESCO towards their initial template on the methodology for measuring the SDG 16.10.2 indicator. GFMD is also participated with the Transparency, Accountability, & Participation (TAP) Network, and is contributing to the review of the SDG Accountability Handbook.
GFMD launched its Capacity Building Programme in mid-September 2018. Three webinars on donor-funding and application-writing presented by media development expert Michael Randall were held in October and November. promising, with 36 participants over three webinar sessions. The smaller numbers Participation has been very reflect the fact that the webinar series is only for paying GFMD members. Initial registration of non-members has in fact resulted in a few new members to the organisation due to an offer to access the programme for free for three months followed by full membership in 2019.
2.2 Global and Multilateral Advocacy Efforts
Positions and priorities of local media development actors are conveyed to donor agencies, government and multilateral organisations.
GFMD team and IG working group have produced an issue paper on Internet governance and media development that was launched at the 13th global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in 2018, and have started a process to establish a Dynamic Coalition within the IGF. This issue paper is now a go-to document to examine the intersections between media development and Internet governance.
The revised strategy document sets out the strategic objectives for the Global Forum for Media Development until the end of 2020, drawing on input from members of the Executive Committee and experts from the wider network. It recognises the fundamental requirement to assess the needs and interests of GFMD members on a rolling basis and to develop programmes which respond directly and promptly to these needs.
GFMD’s overall Theory of Change is stated as: GFMD recognises that collective efforts are the most effective way of driving system-level change and overcoming key challenges within this sector. If there is a structure that allows local, regional and global journalism support and media development NGOs to participate in global policy and decision-making processes on an even playing field. Then nuanced context-specific strategies can be developed, piloted and tested for appropriately targeted assistance that optimises resilience of public interest media content for various tiers of media system and then an evidence base can be generated and disseminated for context-effective and forward-looking models of journalism and media development assistance that can sustain demand-driven public interest content streams over time. Leading to the widespread application of these models, ensuring that demand-driven streams of public interest media content continue to reach and engage target audiences within the dynamic matrix of local and global pressures that will continue to affect local media markets. This makes for a more coherent journalism support and media development sector in which GFMD relays the structured policy arguments of civil society in policy discussions with government and private sector actors.
To address political, economic, social, and structural constraints to journalism sustainability and media freedom through targeted, peer-led advocacy and to ensure that the voices, needs, and priorities of journalism organisations, news media, and journalism support and media development organisations are properly reflected in relevant policy processes. (2018 - 2020)
GFMD provides a structure that allows local, regional and global journalism support and media development NGOs to participate in global policy and decision-making processes on an even playing field. This makes for more coherent journalism support and media development sector in which GFMD relays the structured policy arguments of civil society in policy discussions with government and private sector actors. GFMD shares the belief that collaboration is critical to solving the biggest crisis for journalism and democracy, as we know it. Our response to new challenges requires innovative and improved mechanisms of connecting different stakeholders to efficiently match the information needs of local communities with committed donors, philanthropists, and their peers. We aim to help facilitate policies and processes that reduce monopoly power, remove commercial pressures, install public interest protections, and build efficient and sustainable funding alternatives for future journalism and media. GFMD will, on behalf of its members and the wider community, engage with decision-makers and funders to better formulate the needs within the sector and to have a two-way conversation with policymakers and funders. GFMD will continue to advocate for increased understanding and recognition of journalism support and media development within the international donor community. This will also entail regular engagement with the representatives of key donor and philanthropy organisations to better articulate existing needs and priorities within the sector. GFMD will actively encourage increased cooperation and exchange in order to strengthen industry impact, efficiency and professionalism and will provide platforms to facilitate this objective.
GFMD Joint Policy and Advocacy
To address political, economic, social, and structural constraints to journalism sustainability and media freedom through targeted, peer-led advocacy and to ensure that the voices, needs, and priorities of journalism organisations, news media, and journalism support and media development organisations are properly reflected in relevant policy processes.
Launching an Emergency Appeal for Journalism and Media Support on World Press Freedom Day (3 May), signed by more than 180 organisations. The appeal called upon governments, journalism and media development donors and funders, journalism and media organisations, technology, telecommunication companies, and Internet intermediaries, advertisers, and people who read, watch, listen to trusted news services – large and small, local and international, print, digital, or broadcast – to take steps and address the emergency the journalism and media support organisations face. The appeal was an overwhelming success and continues to act as a foundation for GFMD’s advocacy going forward. It was also translated into four languages: Arabic, Bahasa (Indonesian), French, and Spanish.
Launching the Dynamic Coalition on the Sustainability of Journalism and News Media (DC-Sustainability) within the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
We champion the idea that journalists, media and media development organisations have a great deal of expertise to share with one another, and as such will facilitate peer-to-peer learning and exchanges. GFMD will continue to leverage the expertise that exists within the media development sector to provide up-to-date, relevant knowledge and experience to its members and the wider community. We will actively contribute to building capacities of local organisations and professionals in their interaction with international implementers and donors. This objective will be pursued through sharing and showcasing best practices and research that demonstrates the impact and ensuring the dissemination of industry-relevant knowledge among its members. Workshops, consultancy clinics, training sessions and webinars will be aimed at equipping media, journalists and media development staff with the ability to successfully apply for grants from international donors, foundations and philanthropists. Through the learning programmes, local organizations will gain a better understanding of the basic building blocks of non-profit management. GFMD experts will also provide more general strategic advice enabling beneficiaries to better navigate the international donor landscape and negotiate effective partnerships contributing to the overall professional level of the sector. Members – particularly those in the Global South – are eager to gain the skills necessary to successfully apply for grants in their own right and to manage donor funding in an effective way. As part of this cycle, they also need to be able to monitor and evaluate impact, thereby demonstrating the value of their work and ensuring that media development remains high on the donor agenda.
GFMD Peer-to-Peer Learning, Networking, and Knowledge-sharing
GFMD will actively encourage increased cooperation and exchange in order to strengthen industry impact, efficiency and professionalism. It will provide platforms to facilitate this objective as well as new and improved mechanisms for connecting different stakeholders. Networking will ensure that the voices of media development NGOs in the Global South carry as much weight as those of their counterparts in the North • This will enable local NGOs to deal with large media support organisations on an even playing field, thereby legislating for a more coherent and equitable media development sector.
The Strategic Plan, proposes placing increased emphasis on providing members, donors and overall sector with access to the latest research, studies and analysis which can help shape their own implementation strategies. Over recent years, GFMD’s online presence has been enhanced by a revamped website with the resource centre, a biweekly newsletter and dynamic Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels. These platforms have served to increase the organisation’s outreach and energise its communications activities. Enhanced communications will also ensure that GFMD is more reactive to upcoming challenges and can facilitate a constructive exchange of views across its global community. This drive will continue throughout the period covered by the Strategic Plan, thereby improving GFMD’s visibility and building its reputation for driving knowledge management processes.
To enhance and expand the resources offered to members, donors and overall sector, including knowledge management and communications platforms.
Continue building the GFMD network, facilitating the sharing of information and knowledge globally, in particular including organisations in the Global South. Expand member engagement to reach members’ partners, ensuring GFMD’s activities benefit media and journalism organisations as well as media development and journalism support organisations. Shape the discussion on media development donor funding.
As well as gaining new members, feedback from current GFMD members has been overwhelmingly positive, as is illustrated in a selection of testimonials below, many of which came following the GFMD 15th Anniversary celebration events:
Patrick Leusch, CEO DW Media Services: “Congrats for 15 years of media development power and brain. Thanks to all that contributed to the GFMD and it’s members over the past years. It’s good to see the GFMD is doing well and delivering."
Vusumuzi Sifile, Executive Director at Panos Institute Southern Africa: “Congratulations everyone who's played a part in GFMD in the last 15 years. As Panos Institute Southern Africa we are proud to be part of such a great Forum advancing the media development agenda.”
Wesley Gibbings, The Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers (ACM): “Best wishes from an organisation of the global south that attended the inaugural assembly in Amman. Proud to have been a part of 15 years of growth of an organisation that has an undeniable role to play in excess of its brief to promote media development.”
Ruth Kronenburg, Director of Operations, Free Press Unlimited: ”Congrats to all the members of GFMD and to GFMD itself. The work is very important and will become even more important in the coming years. So hopefully next year we can celebrate in person.”Wendy Everett, Director, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union: “Congratulations GFMD! This is a great virtual event that reinforces why we are all part of this network. Best from Asia :)”Leli Bibilashvili, University of Georgia: “Thank you so much! We are happy and proud to become part of this wonderful team and family. Hope we will soon meet in person:) Pleasure to participate!”Toby Mendel, Centre for Law and Democracy: “A huge congratulations to GFMD for all of the wonderful work it has done over the last 15 years. It has really met enormous needs in the media development sector. Here’s to the next 15 years!!”Ehsan Ahmed Khan Sehar: “Happy 15th anniversary to GFMD. We are delighted to join this global network of more than 200 organisations. We really appreciate Mira and her colleagues for providing us [with] opportunities to connect from rural Pakistan.”
As the GFMD General Assembly scheduled for 2020 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the report above covers 2016-2020. A full report will be shared with Steering Committee and General members for 2021 in early 2022. In the meantime, below is a short summary of GFMD achievements so far in 2021.
From 2016 to 2021, GFMD has welcomed a total of 61 new members. As our membership structure has changed throughout the period, GFMD now has a total of 103 members, based in 46 countries.
However, many general members became “associate members” and stopped paying fees. We hope that the new constitution, a new fee structure which will be approved by the new Steering Committee and our new services for members will either persuade them to become general members or to become an “affiliate member” under the new proposed structure.
In 2014 and 2015 a network analysis found that members of GFMD were quite selective with their communicative relationships to other members and many of those relationships were among members in the Global North.
This analysis was presented at the 2016 World Forum for Media Development in Jakarta by Adam. J. Saffer, Ph.D.
The 2021 report compared the results from the earlier network analysis as well as additional items that were included to assess members engagement behaviours.
The top three reasons members participate in GFMD were:
- 1.Information and knowledge exchange
- 2.Policy and decision making support
- 3.And to build networks
Overall, the connectedness of the GFMD network has improved since the previous network analysis. It appears that members are forging connections with each other and in such a way that the connections are distributed somewhat equally rather than concentrating around a select few organisations.
Following on from GFMD’s fundraising webinars in 2018 and 2019, GFMD launched the MediaDev Fundraising Guide in 2021.
- A series of 11 incremental learning modules that cover preparation and planning, identifying opportunities, writing a proposal, budgeting and other important aspects of the fundraising process.
- Profiles media development funders of media development.
- Emergency grants and granting mechanisms.
- Information for journalists and media about small grants, funding for mental health services, financial assistance and legal aid and representation
- A collection of fundraising guides and tips and advice from GFMD members and partners
- Relevant articles related to fundraising, capacity building and recent initiatives related to journalism support in the covid-age
- Supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations, the GFMD Secretariat produced the guide in collaboration with fundraising expert Michael Randall.
- The final draft was reviewed by an editorial board of peers composed of fundraising experts from six organisations.
Latin American collaborative journalism platform Chicas Poderosas was among the organisations to extensively review the guide. You can see the quote from Raquel Bennet, their Membership Manager on the screen along with some of the other reviewers.
Latin American collaborative journalism platform Chicas Poderosas was among the organisations to extensively review the guide.
“It is clear and accessible, very easy to understand and to go through. I love how you divided it in parts and that the platform allows you to go directly to a specific theme - this is very useful for people that want to use it on a day-to-day basis.” - Raquel Bennet, Membership Manager, Chicas Poderosas“... full of pertinent details, very practical, friendly....I liked it!” - Laurence Burckel, Development and Partnerships Manager in the Africa Department (CFI)“So important to have this kind of resource specifically for media development.” - Maria Gerey Bak, Head of Fundraising, International Media Support“The resource centre looks brilliant -- a really useful tool for journalists.” - Emily O’Sullivan, Editorial Assistant, Global Investigative Journalism Network
- The MediaDev Fundraising Guide will continue to be promoted by Bottom Line - a new GFMD fundraising focused newsletter.
- Working with our members to add new case studies.
- The Secretariat is seeking funding to produce the guide in more languages while adapting it to the fundraising environment in different regions.
On the 4th of August 2020, the Beirut port blast ripped a city to shreds and reopened old wounds for a fragile population already facing civil unrest, an ongoing socio-economic crisis, on the top of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Immediately after the blast, the Samir Kassir Foundation’s SKeyes Center created a locally-led Lebanon Media Recovery Fund and requested that the International Media Support (IMS) and GFMD bring together all major international, local, and regional media assistance groups as well as representatives of journalism and the media sector to form a Joint Coordination Mechanism.
The Joint Coordination Mechanism facilitated information-sharing and coordination of international and local media development and journalism support organisations to coordinate recovery and assistance efforts in Lebanon through the following activities:
- Two successful coordination and information meetings that discussed the needs and priorities of journalism and media communities on the ground and areas for potential partnerships, collaboration and innovation.
- Mapping of media support to Lebanon and active projects in the country.
- A literature review of recent research and policy papers.
- Snapshot research on media sustainability and viability from the perspective of media assistance professionals and representatives of Lebanese media.
This coordination and information sharing approach driven by local GFMD members is a model that we would like to extend to other countries.
“SKeyes was the initiator of one of the largest media recovery initiatives following the August 4, 2020 Beirut port explosion, which garnered unprecedented support from international partners, facilitated by GFMD’s unique convening and coordination expertise.” - Ayman Mhanna, Executive Director, Samir Kassir Foundation’s SKeyes Center
The International Media Policy and Advisory Centre (IMPACT) is a Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) initiative to create a learning, knowledge-sharing, and analysis destination for the international journalism support and media development community. It was launched in April 2021.
Vision - Stronger, healthier, and more effective international development and philanthropic systems focused on supporting journalism and independent media.
Mission - Offer donor agencies, philanthropic organisations, and media support actors required insights, and a range of tools and resources for informing strategy, programme, and project design, as well as implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.
Goal - Maximise effectiveness of the funds available for this sector and catalyse efforts to build stronger, healthier, and more sustainable media and information systems.
Focus - Research and learning in order to enhance understanding of the sector and to provide insight into “what works, what doesn’t, and what shows promise,” taking into account the unique context in each case.
Approach - Practitioners, donors and academics are increasingly eager to collaborate and bring academic rigor to research and evaluation of media development programmes. This is a collaborative project designed to bring together media development and journalism support groups, donors and funding organisations, academic and research institutions, as well as technology, media, and governance experts.
GFMD IMPACT will organise up to four donor-practitioner-academic learning meetings in 2021 to facilitate regular communication, knowledge sharing and experience exchange between donors and practitioners.
Two further meetings are planned for October and December on:
As well as continuing our programme of meetings and analysis of the latest research, in 2021 GFMD IMPACT will establish
- A Help Desk - A network of experts and resources brought together by the GFMD IMPACT will respond in a timely fashion to requests from donors, practitioners and policymakers.
- An Advisory board - Will be established by GFMD’s Steering Committee to oversee the governance and editorial independence of the initiative.
“SDC supports the GFMD IMPACT project because the media development and journalism support sector requires a better long-term mechanism for exchanging evidence about what works and formulate policy guidance in order to respond effectively to this rapidly changing and challenging field. The Global Forum for Media Development, we believe, is best positioned to address these issues on a global scale.” – Melina Papageorgiou, Governance Advisor, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)"GFMD Impact is providing a much-needed space for dialogue, critical reflection and community building for the media development sector. The IAMCR Media Sector Development Working Group is grateful for our partnership with GFMD Impact. Especially during the pandemic time period, GFMD has come up with great events, kept the lines of communication going and fostered a sense of direction by providing servant leadership that's contributed to the growth and well-being of its members." - Susan Abbott, Co-Chair, Media Sector Development Working Group at IAMCR“It is critical to deal with the relationship between donors and practitioners, as well as the knowledge and information that they accumulate during the course of their work. We must share knowledge and learn about what works and what doesn't, as well as catalog that knowledge, in order to achieve better results and articulate those results. The GFMD IMPACT project aims to address these critical sector questions." – Mark Nelson, Director, Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA)