Civil Society & Independent media

Civil Society & Independent Media

The mobilisation of the civil society through a broad network of NGOs and CSOs, and the development of independent media that can foster public debate are critical in the early stage of state building.

Altai Consulting has developed a strong expertise in mapping and analysing civil society organisations and assessing their potential role in advocacy and alternative to public services delivery. Our media experts have designed innovative methodologies to map out media landscape, analyse audiences, monitor media content and support media support strategies in the most sensitive environments.

Recent projects

Civil Society Mapping

Altai was commissioned in August 2015 to carry out an assessment of the Libyan NGO/CSO sector to support the UK government in implementing a range of programmes. Research was conducted in 6 major urban centres (Benghazi, Tripoli, Misrata, Sebha, Tobruk and Beida).

The project achieved the following objectives:

  • Providing an overview of the civil society landscape in Libya and gaining a more in-depth understanding of Libyan CSOs, their capacities and needs.
  • Evaluating the impact on civil society of the conflict that erupted in the summer of 2014.
  • Identifying >100 local CSOs able to contribute to the development of the country that may be reliable counterparts for HMG and other international donors.
  • Suggesting practical and effective ways in which the international community can support Libyan civil society during the crisis through researched programming

Assessment of the Media Landscape, Audience Research, analysis of the impact of the media on Opinions & Behaviours over 10 years

In 2005, 2010 and 2014, as major investments were being made by the international community in terms of Media Development and communication strategy to support the country’s stabilization & development, Altai Consulting was mandated by USAID & Internews to assess the state of the Afghan Media,  get a comprehensive picture of audience, program preferences, and measure the impact of the Afghan Media on opinions and behaviors, together with Afghans expectations in terms of programming & messaging. These three comprehensive 6-month assignments include quantitative and qualitative research components to track Media consumptions. In 2010, 34 Provinces were covered, with interviews of over 7000 individuals in 100 districts. The study also included numerous key informant interviews of Media professionals in the country to map out the Media scene and understand the business models and potential of each selected Media outlet, and the design of a rating tool to measure specific audiences across media along the week.

Post-Revolution Media Landscape Assessment and Follow-up Survey

In 2013, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office contracted Altai Consulting to conduct an in-depth assessment of the Libyan media landscape and media consumption patterns as a follow-up to the rapid assessment of the Libyan media landscape conducted by Altai in 2011 – 2012. The study was designed to:

  • Identify key public and private media institutions and development programs, at a national level and in six key cities, and identify the changes that have occurred over the last twelve months
  • Identify the major Libyan public and private media channels, including printed media (daily and weekly newspapers and magazines), radio, terrestrial and satellite television
  • For the top five most popular channels in each media category, identify the audience share and typology, distribution volume/access, typical content, frequencies (where relevant), approximate popularity, ownership, political affiliation and financing models
  • Understand quantitatively levels of Internet access nationwide, and in the key cities, together with current trends in Internet use and in the development of social media, in particular twitter and Facebook.
  • Identify auxiliary public and private media organisations, including news agencies, production centres, etc.

Evaluation of the ACME Program Impact

Altai Consulting has been contracted to monitor and evaluate the Afghan Capacity for Media and Elections Program (ACME), funded by AUSAID and implemented by Internews. The program began in 2013, and continued until 2015. Altai Consulting designed the monitoring and evaluation framework to evaluate the impact of ACME on knowledge, understanding and practice around the electoral process. The research project includes perception surveys, in-depth interviews with journalists and impact-analysis of online elections resources. So far, Altai Consulting has completed a baseline study and a mid-term review of ACME, and it will conduct the second mid-term report after the Afghan presidential elections.

Evaluation of Radio Tamazuj / Free Press Unlimited

Altai Consulting has been contracted by Free Press Unlimited to conduct the Radio Tamazuj monitoring and evaluation programme from December 2014 to November 2017. This includes a quantitative baseline survey in late 2014/early 2015, two qualitative in-line assessments (Focus Group Discussions) in late 2015 and late 2016, and finally a quantitative end-line final assessment in late 2017. The overall objective of the M&E programme is to assess the existing level of Radio Tamazuj’s listenership in areas targeted by its current programming as compared to other media and to non-listeners, as well as to areas where Radio Tamazuj seeks to expand. Key indicators will be created in collaboration with Free Press Unlimited, as these will be tracked throughout the life of the M&E programme.

Evaluation of Radio Ergo

The aim of this evaluation was to provide strategic direction to Radio Ergo (RE), International Media Support (IMS) and the project’s funders, based on an assessment of (i) ‘RE’s performance in delivering on its objectives, outputs and activities, (ii) ‘the value attached to RE’s programming by Somali listeners, humanitarian organisations working with the project and RE’s FM partners’, and (iii) ‘the outcomes of RE’s training with Somali journalists and correspondents in terms of strengthening reporting for RE and the Somali media landscape in general’. The report incorporates a collection of the most informative results from this research, which were conducted across 12 districts in South-Central and Puntland regions of Somalia July– August 2014. Overall, the project involved interviewing 601 randomly selected respondents, with a 79-question questionnaire, together with 46 Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with stakeholders including radio partners, Stringers (or local correspondents) and humanitarian organisations.

Baseline & Endline of the AMDEP Media Program

Altai was appointed by USAID and Internews to conduct a comprehensive baseline and a set of endline studies in support of the AMDEP program (Afghanistan Media Development & Empowerment Program), a 3-year program that aimed at building the capacity and sustainability of Afghan independent media.

To this purpose, Altai developed a set of tools that were adapted to each program activity:

  • Specific sets of tools were developed to assess the impact of multimedia centres that were initiated by the AMDEP program in partnership with local NGOs. This included the interview of a number of users of the centres in their opening phase (baseline) and then again 18 months later; the analysis of pieces of multimedia content produced by the trainees; as well as visits to the media centres that involved observations of activities, and interviews of managers, trainers, and other local NGO representatives.
  • To evaluate general media development and the scope for content improvement, a baseline survey was designed and implemented in 10 treatment and 2 control provinces.
  • To evaluate training activities targeted at media managers and journalists., trainees were interviewed before the training (baseline), as well as a few weeks after, in order to measure their perception of the training and its impact on their activity. Pieces of media content were also selected before and after the training and assessed based on a formal media content methodology.

For each layer of monitoring, the Altai monitoring team provided Internews and its partners with concrete recommendations for program improvement and future evaluations to be conducted.

Evaluating Camera as Voice Program for Informing Youth

In 2010, Altai Consulting was mandated by IREX Europe to conduct an evaluation of its ‘Camera as Voice’ program, which aimed to educate Yemeni youth about social radicalism caused by unemployment, limited roles of women in the community, qat chewing, AIDs, and religious extremism. The program involved youth creating short films about social problems in their towns and cities and screening these films in universities. The youths were supported by a network of NGOs supported technically by IREX Europe.

Altai’s involvement involved assessment of the umbrella NGO in charge of implementing and monitoring the program from Sanaa. Altai’s evaluation team visited five cities around the country and assessed the work done the local NGOs, and the direct and indirect impact on beneficiaries. The evaluation was based on 1-to-1 interviews with partner NGOs management teams, focus groups, film screening, data analysis (exit interviews) and film-screening to review the variety and quality of the products developed. The results were used by IREX Europe in the design of the second program phase.

Media Survey to support Program Development

In 2013, Altai Consulting was mandated by the BBC to conduct an assessment of media consumption patterns in Libya, in support of its work rehabilitating the Libyan national broadcaster, Al Wataniyah. The assessment took the form of a survey of 1,000 Libyans, and had a focus on understanding usage of traditional and social media, and understanding mechanisms whereby the national broadcaster could create programs to inform and educate the population about the constitution-building process. Altai ran the survey through its call centre in Tripoli, Libya.