The Network on Governance (GovNet) within the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched a consultation (English/Francais) on a set of “Principles for Relevant and Effective Support to Media and the Information Environment”.
The Principles aim to provide clear operational guidance as to the ways in which Overseas Development Aid addresses challenges to public interest media and the information environment.
While the Principles are being informed by widespread consultations led by GFMD and Centre for International Media Assistance (CIMA) with journalism and media development organisations which began in 2021, until now there has not been consultation on the actual text of the principles.
What are the draft principles?
- Increase support to public interest media* and healthy information environments, as a critical response to authoritarianism and democratic backsliding.
- Take a whole-of-system perspective on supporting the media and information environment to make support more effective and sustainable.
- Strengthen local leadership and ownership, empowering media partners as well as other actors in the information environment to meaningfully participate in policies and programmes.
- Improve coordination of support to the media and information environment, both among different donors and between development and diplomatic efforts to support media freedom.
- Ensure that assistance does not harm public interest media.
- Invest in knowledge, research, and learning.
For further details read the draft Principles developed by the OECD DAC’s GovNet in English and French.
* For a working definition of “public interest media”, see Enabling Media Markets to Work for Democracy: An International Fund for Public Interest Media (2021), which defines public interest media as “media that is free and independent, that exists to inform people on the issues that shape their lives, in ways which serve the public’s rather than any political, commercial or factional interest, to enable public debate and dialogue across society, and to hold those in power to account on behalf of the public interest.”
Why is the OECD DAC’s GovNet embarking on this process now?
- As a response to the unprecedented challenges and existential threats to free and independent media and information integrity.
- In recognition that assistance to media and free flow of information is limited (only 0.3% of Overseas Development Assistance) and remains largely siloed from related fields of development.
- To test the draft of the Principles with key stakeholders to build consensus, improve the draft, and identify any concerns
What are the objectives of the consultation?
- Gather feedback, inputs and insights from relevant stakeholders to further inform and shape the draft Principles;
- Ensure inclusivity and transparency in the formulation of the Principles;
- Build consensus and foster a collaborative approach among stakeholders;
- Identify potential concerns and opportunities associated with the Principles;
- Gather inputs on how respective stakeholders see their own role in the implementation of these Principles.
Who is the GovNet looking to consult with?
- OECD DAC Member States
- Non-DAC bilateral donors
- Multilaterals (UN, Development Banks)
- Philanthropic organisations
- Expert organisations
- International fora and platforms on media and information environment
- Professional organisations
- Media houses, especially those based in the global South
- Think tanks, academia/research, and policy organisations
How can you submit your comments, concerns, ideas?
Submit your comments on the draft Principles by email to DCD.GovNet@oecd.org in Word format. Deadline: 9 February 2024. You can also send requests for further information and questions to the same email address.
How can you learn more about the Principles and ask questions?
- Email to DCD.GovNet@oecd.org
- Attend the GFMD/CIMA online meeting at 4 pm CET on 16th January 2024. Register here.
Further CIMA/GFMD consultations
If you would like to help GFMD organise a consultation in French or another language, or in a different time zone, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International fora, platforms and network organisations are important stakeholders that may be very helpful in facilitating access to the above groups.
At the end of the consultation window, the GovNet working group will review all inputs received from the consultations and decide on the contributions that will be retained in an updated version.