Building indicators in media assistance; four ways evaluation reports present “change”

Noske-Turner, Jessica (2013) Building indicators in media assistance; four ways evaluation reports present “change”. In ICA Regional Conference : Communication and Social Transformation, 8-10 November 2013, Shanghai, China. (Unpublished)


The international aid and development community has supported programs that aim to build the capacity of media professionals or contribute to an enabling environment throughout the past 20 years. However, two decades on from the first modern media assistance programs, the sector is still struggling to identify, measure and understand the changes effected by their programs. There are questions raised as to whether it is even feasible to identify impacts on society and governance. This paper draws on some preliminary findings from a comparative thematic analysis of 47 evaluation documents of media assistance programs. The aim of this analysis is to identify trends in impact evaluation practice in the media assistance field, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of different evaluation approaches. This paper presents four types of social change claims commonly presented in reports; hypothetical changes, introduction of new opportunities, concrete examples of immediate impacts, and analysis of ongoing social and political changes. Although these types may appear as a spectrum from weak to strong, the interactions are perhaps more accurately understood using metaphors such as building blocks. This paper explores these types in more detail and suggests that a robust set of impacts-types could be useful in developing more grounded theories of change and indicators.

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ID Code: 66804
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Media Development, Media Assistance, Evaluation
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > International and Development Communication (200103)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Author
Deposited On: 03 Feb 2014 01:34
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2014 20:12

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