I am inspired today by the Listening Project, an initiative begun in 2005, to listen to the experiences of people who have been on the receiving end of development aid. Their important work reminds us of what really should drive international development work, and helps us to better think through how we assess the impact of media development.
To get to the next stage of understanding the role of media development in the overall development agenda, perhaps our field could take heed and undertake a few listening projects designed and aimed at media development. By becoming the audience of our recipients, we can better understand the impact of media assistance, and donor goals and strategies. Listening can also strengthen our approach to program design, and help us to more fully integrate media with broader development goals. Take a look through the Listening Project’s website, and let us know what you think — what could the media development community gain by a listening initiative?
Susan Abbott is the Deputy Director for Program Development at Internews