This post from TechChange highlights three important components to successfully integrate technology in Monitoring & Evaluation. TechChange provides professional development in technology and social change through a unique online social and collaborative learning platform.
In this article, the Rockefeller Foundation discusses social innovation labs and how they use diverse perspectives and unique tools to create social change.
Over the past decade, the internet has become a vital part of the way we live our lives, and its importance is only expected to grow. This article discusses the problems facing those who do not have access to the internet, why this is a disadvantage to them, and what we can do to solve the problem.
Coca-Cola has partnered with BT Global Services to turn vending machines in South Africa into WiFi hotspots. They hope to empower South Africans in rural and impoverished communities by helping them access information and education opportunities they would not have otherwise.
When writing about work related to international development, it is easy for the narrative to take on a condescending tone. In this post from From Poverty to Power, the author discusses how this can be avoided, and how we can better communicate, write, and reflect on international development efforts.
By Luisa Ryan
Media development projects and organizations tend to concentrate on media quality – journalism skills and ethics are generally the main training themes. However, a key concern in developing media sectors is financial sustainability.
Media development partners don’t focus as much on the financial side of the sector. Perhaps this is because financial sustainability is a long term issue, and funding is doled out in 2-5 year cycles, making longer term planning problematic. However, thinking about the money side of media is crucial, and not just in terms of training media administrators on the technical financial management of their organization.
Financial issues can impact on the independence of journalists and media organizations, and hence on the quality of reporting. If the media organization doesn’t bring in enough money to pay staff or to cover expenses, they will be more vulnerable to “pay for play” reporting, or presenting the opinion of whomever can pay the highest fee. If the independence of the media organization is not in question, it may still not be able to hire the best and brightest if offering limited or no salary, or it may have to compete for staff time with better paying jobs.
Media development partners can “prop up” local media with unrealistic salaries, equipment and logistics which the local organization is unable to sustain once the development partner withdraws. Strategies to create income include advertising, transparently paid-for-advertorials (often by international NGOs and other development partners) and increasingly, partnerships with mobile phone operators. But will these be enough to create a sustainable, independent and pluralistic media market?
In the west, we are also struggling with this. In an age of free content, how can good quality journalism survive? How can the media development world learn lessons from the conversations currently being held in the west, to ensure that the media organizations we support in developing contexts are able to continue to deliver high-quality reporting in the absence of donors?