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Winter 2019 Newsletter

February 9, 2019



Greetings from our busy and far-flung team of media developers. Please feel free to contact us individually if you have a specific media development project we might work on with you. At the beginning of 2019,  here is a snapshot of some of the work IMDA members have been doing individually and in teams:



  • In Somaliland, strengthened the management, marketing, sales and digital operations of a half-dozen media houses. A key to that was helping those media organizations better understand the types of content their audiences engage with through the use of Google and YouTube Analytics, as well as other performance metrics. 

  • Helped organize and lead a multi-day session in Kenya for Somali media leaders and women journalists from throughout Africa.  Central themes included identifying why gender diversity in reporting and staffing is not just good journalism, it's also good business.

  • Provided M&E support to a Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism project in Somalia, working with international and local partners on carrying out organizational capacity building assessments, a social network analysis of how people get their news and information, and using outcome mapping to help with M&E and program design and development

  • Conducted a series of trainings in Tunisia on strategic communication in relation to good governance and transparency issues.



  • In Central America, worked with media house leadership team to identify both short- and long-term business strategies for digital conversion. 

  • Advised Guatemala's national election authorities on media relations and access-to-information policies


  • Taught a Master's course at Colorado University in Boulder on Media Activism and Public Engagement



  • Finalized an audience research study of media preferences and information needs of Syrian citizens.  The study assesses audience reactions and opinions about a wide range of media outlets and looks at how Syrian audiences access news and information during this period of conflict and instability


  • Assisted in designing survey on perceptions of donor performance among local and international media development groups and news organizations in the countries of the EU's Eastern Partnership. The goal was to develop better RFPs, streamline red tape, and improve relevance of funding to needs.

  • Presented a paper at the Safety Conference in Oslo. Paper was: Fear, trauma and self-censorship among local journalists: Implications for peacebuilding. Click here for conference

  • Was part of an expert group that initiated an inclusive process for analyzing the transition of UN Peacekeeping Operations’ radio stations. A first roundtable was held in Geneva on December 6-7, 2018.

  • Conducted an assessment of the media landscape in Macedonia in preparation of a forthcoming USAID media development program

  • Implemented a project for local and regional media on reporting corruption in local communities in Ukraine

  • Assessed strategic communication achievements and challenges in a key ministry in a Balkan country.

  • Wrote a "Practical Guide" for European Union diplomatic delegations in developing countries, about access to information laws and policies. 


  • Worked with an international media development NGO partner on designing and administering a media development charrette to better understand journalism and media innovation in the global south.


  • Surveyed sustainable business models for supporting cross-border investigative journalism

  • Wrote research paper on media development and audience research in Somalia and Syria, accepted for presentation at the International Communication Association annual conference in Washington, DC.

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