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What did we learn in 2017?

What did we learn in 2017?

MLDI is committed to being a transparent and accountable organisation, so we want to share our most important findings from our 2017 evaluation activities.

As a lot of the data and information that we collect is sensitive, we have collated our learning into a short report which you can download here.

Our evaluation activities are structured around our key outcomes:

  • Facilitate high quality legal defence for journalists, bloggers and free media.
  • Journalists are able to defeat abusive legal challenges and continue to report on issues of public interest.
  • Ensuring high impact of MLDI litigation, partnerships and training where media freedom is under legal threat.
  • Provide support in all regions where media a freedom in under legal threat.
  • Ensure sufficient enablers (the internal resources that underpin MLDI’S work)


Highlights from the Learning Report 

We learned that MLDI’s reputation and need for its services are growing, requiring us to increase our ability to respond to the demand for support. Breaking down our evaluation data by region has proven to be an effective way to monitor our global reach, for example we learned that we maintained our strong presence and caseload in Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, increased our presence in Latin America, maintained a small number of cases in Middle East North Africa (Mena) and saw some decline in the number of cases supported in the Asia Pacific region.

We also discovered that 73% of our funded partners were successful in achieving their case targets; moreover, our partners in Central Asia and Europe had the highest rates of success in meeting case targets.

Our journalist impact survey informed us that 65% of the journalists we supported did not receive further financial funding from other organisations, and many reported that without MLDI they think that “they would have lost their case” or that the “financial burden would have been too much to bear”. Encouragingly, 95% of the survey’s respondents stated that they would recommend MLDI’s support to others in a similar situation. This evaluation ratified our commitment towards enabling free press in the world, confirming that we are making an important contribution to the capacity of independent journalists to defend themselves in countries where press freedom is limited (see Freedom’s house 2017 Freedom Press Report

From our outcome evaluation of our East African Litigation Surgery, we also learned that the surgery was effective in improving the skills, knowledge and confidence of the trained lawyers in freedom of expression law and litigating at international courts. Furthermore, it has created a budding network of freedom of expressions lawyers in East Africa that can collaborate with each other. Click here to download the full report and see how we are implementing these learnings.

If you would like to know more about any of MLDI’s monitoring and evaluation activities please email


Attached files:
PDF icon 2017 Learning Report Final.pdf

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