GFMD MediaDev coordination and information sharing
This resource centre is run by the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) to share information about media development assistance efforts.
The need for coordination and information sharing within the media development industry is widely recognised – particularly in the wake of conflict or crisis.
Common wisdom holds that it plays an essential role in avoiding duplication or contradictions between programmes funded by different donors and offers a unique opportunity to explore synergies between complementary strands of work.
Stakeholders suggest that coordination can also help to harmonise or combine efforts to assess the needs of beneficiaries and to evaluate the impact of programming across a wide portfolio of projects. Ideally, then, coordination should involve donors, implementing agencies and local organisations - recipients of the assistance, thereby ensuring that the development community can make optimum use of available resources by determining priority areas and apportioning spheres of interest and responsibility.
Dedicated coordination and information sharing also enable media development actors to address diverse needs within any given media ecosystem and, therefore, ensure that the impact of any one project is not undermined or blunted by endemic weaknesses in the operating environment.
While there have been numerous attempts to coordinate project-based activities on a national as well as a regional level, these initiatives have generally struggled to maintain stakeholder buy-in over a sustained period of time. Furthermore, the level of donor participation in groups convened by implementing agencies has been underwhelming and, in at least one country, donors and implementers have formed separate coordination bodies which work in parallel and are connected only through a shared mailing list. These have rarely facilitated an open and constructive dialogue between donors, implementing agencies, and local partners with a view to determining strategic priorities.
Common obstacles to effective coordination include widespread competition between implementing agencies which is driven primarily by mechanisms used by donors to disburse funding. These market forces mean that agencies are often unwilling or unable to share the information which might give their rivals a competitive advantage. Moreover, the donor-implementer-recipient relationship remains top-down and is shaped by shifting programmatic priorities that may reflect political imperatives or ephemeral themes rather than actual needs. Also, the sometimes chaotic nature of the media development landscape can prove disorientating for beneficiaries, particularly those seeking sustained and consistent support.
Responding the needs outlined above, GFMD IMPACT in cooperation with the Samir Kassir Foundation’s SKeyes Centre for Media and Cultural Freedom and the International Media Support (IMS) commissioned a study that analysed the scope and focus of media assistance coordination efforts, highlighting common pitfalls as well as best practice models.
It also presents a set of recommendations for practical steps that could be used to orchestrate future coordination initiatives, including in conflict and emergency situations.
Responding to requests from members, partners, and donors GFMD is carrying out a number of activities to support information sharing and coordination of media development and journalism support organisations in different regions. These include:
You can find more information about dedicated information-sharing and coordination efforts below: