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Meet the Team: Chloe Pethick, MEL Officer

Meet the Team: Chloe Pethick, MEL Officer

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Chloe Pethick, and I joined Media Defence in February 2024 as the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer.

I hold a BA in Russian and International Relations, and an MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies, so I’ve previously had quite a strong regional focus. Prior to joining Media Defence, I worked as Programme Officer at Conciliation Resources, a peacebuilding organisation, in their South Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) team. Before that, I was a Project and Evaluation Officer at European Human Rights Advocacy Centre, a strategic human rights litigation organisation with a focus on Russia, Ukraine and the South Caucasus. In my role, I managed projects and grants in Russia and Ukraine, as well as cross organisational monitoring and evaluation. 

Why do you believe Monitoring and Evaluation is essential for organisations like Media Defence?

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) is essential for a number of reasons. As a human rights organisation, I believe MEL is important to ensure that the work we are doing is relevant and responsive to the contexts that we work in and is as effective as possible to support individual journalists, lawyers, and partners. An additional challenge for organisations like Media Defence is that it can be really difficult to demonstrate the impact of human rights litigation. Legal processes are long and complicated, especially at the international level, and sometimes external factors can completely change an anticipated outcome. Having robust and flexible MEL practices means that that we can have a deeper understanding of how our work contributes to long-term changes and see success in different spaces.

What are you most looking forward to in your role?

MEL work often means the opportunity to work across different teams, as well as switching between internal and external perspectives. So, a bit of everything, everywhere, all at once. I’m always excited to have the opportunity to build relationships with partners, to understand the individuals we support in more depth and gain insight into the challenges and opportunities they may face. As Media Defence has a global mandate, that’s a lot to get to grips with, but I’m looking forward to expanding my horizons in this way. 

What attracted you to Media Defence?

Media Defence’s dual programme approach of Emergency Defence and Strategic Litigation seem to me to be a great way to be able to provide immediate support to journalists in need, while also being able to address wider issues to protect freedom of expression in the long-term. 

Why is freedom of expression important to you?

Through my previous work, the past decade has increasingly shown that journalists and independent media are under threat. Russia is obviously a clear example of this, where the state has practically eroded all free and independent media in the country through various methods including introducing restrictive state legislation and the physical and verbal intimidation of journalists. During the invasion of Ukraine, and the conflict continuing now, intentional attacks on journalists are a deliberate strategy to restrict the flow of information. During my time at Conciliation Resources, it became clear that independent media has a key role in peace-building efforts. Yet, journalists and media outlets are attacked if they challenge official positions or assumptions, which are often jingoistic. Protecting this space, and people who are brave enough to speak out, is incredibly important to support a thriving civil society which can hold those in power to account.

Interested in joining our team? Keep an eye on our opportunities page! We also look for volunteers on rolling basis, you can register our interest here.

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