In November 2021, IFPIM commissioned the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) to conduct a survey of its members, partners, and other interested stakeholders to help inform the Fund’s priorities during its initial phase. The survey, conducted over three weeks, garnered a noteworthy 173 responses. Cara Stern, in her report prepared for GFMD, presents key findings and recommendations based on the survey responses.
Respondents identified a number of ways in which IFPIM can make a unique contribution to the media community, including:
- Supporting media with limited opportunities to receive funding from other sources.
- Providing support in ways that other funders cannot or do not.
- Expanding access to quality information for underserved audiences.
- Prioritising countries and themes where other funders are less active.
- Providing a buffer between funding and any one particular funder.
- Leveraging the collective power of the Fund’s own contributors.
While maintaining a neutral stance, the report refrains from influencing IFPIM’s decisions but offers strategic recommendations for the Fund’s progression, based on responses and comments from the survey respondents, including:
- Engaging in targeted follow-up consultations, especially in regions with low response rates and likely in their local languages. Notably, almost half of the respondents represented organisations operating internationally or in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other regions each had less than 10% representation, indicating a need for targeted outreach. Direct engagement with donors is also proposed to enhance response rates.
- Exploring and articulating a clear theory of change to address concerns and enhance understanding of the Fund’s goals, strategies and expected impact. This would define the Fund’s vision of impact and provide a framework to measure and communicate success.
- Ensuring contextualisation to accommodate the complexity of media environments and local knowledge. The report recommends conducting gap analyses to ensure the Fund supports those in need, maintaining flexibility in parameters. This includes accommodating funding for organisations outside a traditional media definition.
- Cultivating trust through transparency, regular consultation and information sharing, a do-no-harm policy, and security practices to protect at-risk contacts and partners. Establishing and maintaining trust is integral to IFPIM’s success as a global media funding entity.
- Developing contingency plans for adaptive management that ensures ongoing monitoring, iterative learning, continuous feedback, and responsive adjustments. This underscores the need for IFPIM to be quick in addressing emerging needs and opportunities.
- Simplifying bureaucracy, particularly in application and reporting requirements. IFPIM should consider its potential long-term role in leading standardisation of requirements across funders in order to streamline processes for recipients.
Impact of the Survey
The findings of the IFPIM survey have had a significant impact on the Fund’s work. This impact is evident in key events where GFMD’s Chair, Zoe Titus, presented the survey findings. Notably, on February 9, 2022, at the Global Conference for Media Freedom session titled “Scaling up support to Independent media”, and on April 8, 2022, at the Perugia International Journalism Festival session titled “The International Fund for Public Interest Media: where to from here?”
Leading up to IFPIM’s announcement of its funding model and priorities at UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2022, the GFMD IMPACT team engaged in briefing meetings and discussions with the IFPIM team in the first half of 2022.
The survey findings now serve as a foundational guide, providing valuable insights into the expectations and priorities of stakeholders regarding IFPIM, steering the Fund toward impactful contributions in the global media ecosystem, supporting independent media and diverse voices and enhancing information access for everyone.
To access the executive summary of the report, please click here.
Click here to access the full version of the report