A Year in Review: Our 2019 Learning Report

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Posted on: 
12 May 2020

At Media Defence, we take the monitoring and evaluation of our work very seriously, undertaking a variety of internal and external evaluations each year. We do this in order to understand the effectiveness and relevance of our programmes, as well as the impact of legal defence for journalists in an increasingly contracting space for media freedom globally.

We are committed to being a transparent organisation and wish to share the lessons and findings from our evaluations with our supporters, but due to the sensitive nature of many of our evaluation reports, we are not able to share the full reports externally. Instead, we have created this Learning Report to share key findings from 2019.

This year’s report includes a summary of the following programme and project evaluations carried out in 2019:

  • Strategic Output and Outcome Indicators
  • 2015-2020 Strategy Evaluation
  • 2019 Journalist Impact Survey
  • Digital Rights’ Advocates Project Phase 1 – Final evaluation
  • Macedonia – Media Development Centre (MDC) partner evaluation
  • Strategic Litigation Impact Measurement Framework – case study on Konaté v. Burkina Faso

2019 was a successful year in which we achieved most of our targets.

We provided support in 116 new cases - a record number of cases supported in a single year for Media Defence and an 18% increase on the previous year. Additionally, 90% of cases we supported were based in ‘Difficult and Very Serious’ or ‘Problematic’ countries as defined by RSF 2019 Press Freedom Index. Countries with the highest number of new cases in 2019 were Azerbaijan with 39 cases, Russia with 9 and Turkey with 7.

In 2019, the first phase of our Digital Rights Advocates Project came to end. During the two-year programme, we trained 72 lawyers at six litigation surgeries on freedom of expression law in all regions of Africa.

Out of the 22 who responded to our Journalist Impact Survey questionnaire, 100% of journalists stated that they would recommend our support to a journalist facing legal action, and 100% continued to report and practise journalism following the conclusion of their case.

To read the full report, please click here.

If you are a journalist in need of support, please click here.

If you would like to support us through donating funds or pro-bono legal work, please click here.


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