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Funding free expression_by_anne_ nelson_ifex_cima


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A presentation made to the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) meeting in Beirut, May 2011. It is based on a report on trends in freedom of expression funding, by Anne Nelson in conjunction with IFEX, for the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA).

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Funding free expression_by_anne_ nelson_ifex_cima

  1. 1. Funding Free Expression:Perceptions and Reality in a Changing LandscapeA report to the Center for International Media Assistanceby Anne Nelson with the International Freedom of Expression Exchange<br />
  2. 2. CIMA (the Center for International Media Assistance), is a project of the Congressionally-funded National Endowment for Democracy. It aims to: <br /> strengthen the support, <br />raise the visibility, and <br />improve the effectiveness of media assistance programs. <br />IFEX (the International Freedom of Expression Exchange) is a global network of over 80 organizations that support freedom of expression. This research is based on surveys of IFEX members (2009) and donors (2011). <br />
  3. 3. List of Survey Respondents<br /><ul><li>Adessium Foundation (Netherlands)
  4. 4. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (United States)
  5. 5. Canadian International Development Agency
  6. 6. Danish International Development Agency
  7. 7. Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Canada)
  8. 8. Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Netherlands)
  9. 9. International Development Research Center (Canada)
  10. 10. John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (United States)
  11. 11. John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (United States)
  12. 12. McCormick Foundation (United States)</li></li></ul><li>List of Survey Respondents (cont.)<br /><ul><li>National Endowment for Democracy (United States)
  13. 13. Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
  14. 14. Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  15. 15. Open Society Foundations (OSF)
  16. 16. The Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK)
  17. 17. Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
  18. 18. Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
  19. 19. U.S. Department of State, USAID, and Middle East Partnership Initiative
  20. 20. UNESCO
  21. 21. United Nations Development Programme
  22. 22. The World Bank</li></li></ul><li>Seven key findings emerged from the CIMA research:<br />1. Overall donor funding has increased -- not decreased – over the past 3 to 5 years.<br />2. It is impossible to conclusively measure the amount of free expression <br /> funding.<br />3. Changes in the political landscape of individual countries have a major <br /> impact on freedom of expression funding.<br />4. Many donors are reacting to the economic pressures resulting from the<br />2008 global financial downturn.<br />
  23. 23. Seven key findings (continued):<br />5. The community of free expression funders is evolving, adding and subtracting players.<br />6. Internal and structural reorganizations are taking place across the board.<br />7. Freedom of expression activity has been broadening, with the addition of emerging Internet freedom organizations.<br />
  24. 24. Perception of Funding Trends<br /> Most (65%) donor respondents believed funding for free expression work has not decreased<br />
  25. 25. But in 2009, the majority (69%) of IFEX member respondents said it has become more difficult to raise core funding<br />
  26. 26. Future Free Expression Funding (Next 3 to 5 years)<br />In 2011, some (26%) donor respondents expect their institutions’ funding for free expression activities to further increase.<br />
  27. 27. Three factors have escalated the competition for <br />freedom of expression funds:<br />Many donors’ administrative processes have been disrupted by massive internal reorganization<br />Number of organizations has greatly expanded<br />Funding is directed to newer, <br />non-traditional freedom of expression<br />activities and institutions<br />
  28. 28. Funding has Increased (in some areas more than others)<br />
  29. 29. Top Funding Institutions for Freedom of Expression <br />– as reported in 2009 IFEX member survey<br />The Norwegian Ministry<br />Of Foreign Affairs<br />The European Union<br />The Open Society Foundation<br />Swedish International<br />Development Cooperation Agency<br />United Nations Educational, <br />Scientific and Cultural Organization<br />Knight Foundation<br />Free Voice<br />The United Kingdom’s<br />Department for International<br />Development <br />The National Endowment<br />For Democracy<br />The Ford Foundation<br />
  30. 30. Free Expression Funding Portfolios Have Generally Grown or Held Steady Over the Past 3-5 Years<br />
  31. 31. Free Expression funding resides in widely varied portfolios -- making the totals difficult to measure. <br />*Respondents indicated more than one category<br />
  32. 32. Shifts in the Political Landscape (in Both Donor and Recipient Countries) Influence Funding Trends<br />
  33. 33. Arab Countries Are a Recent Funding Focus <br />
  34. 34. There are risks in the “flavor of the month” approach -- with massive funding surging in and out of regions.<br />Funding Hot Spots:<br />Post -1989 the former USSR / Eastern Europe / Balkans<br />2000s Africa<br />2011 Middle East and North Africa (MENA)<br />Looming Crises? <br />Mexico and Central America: Narco violence<br />China: Internet censorship and repression<br />Hungary: Official Assault on Enabling Environment<br />Need: Sustainability tools and management skills for all regions<br />
  35. 35. The Funding Community is Rapidly Evolving <br />
  36. 36. The new tech philanthropies occupy a stronger economic position than <br />traditional U.S. media-based philanthropies.<br />.<br />recently funded media partnerships and freedom of expression initiatives.<br />International Press <br />Institute<br />Contributed <br />$5 Million<br />Contributed <br />$3 Million<br />Index on Censorship Reporters Without Borders<br />
  37. 37. The Omidyar Network (eBay): announced in May that it will broaden its government transparency initiatives in media.<br />Contribute<br />$1.7 Million <br />Contribute<br />$450K<br />Contribute <br />$2 Million<br />Contribute <br />$800K<br />
  38. 38. But traditional U.S. media-based philanthropies are struggling<br />The  New  York  Times  Company  Foundation  and The  Boston  Globe  Foundation,   supporters of  international  <br />freedom  of  expression  work,  <br />suspended  grant­making <br />altogether  in  2009.<br />The  McCormick  Foundation, a  major  funder  for  press  freedom in  Latin  America, <br />has  scaled  back operations.<br />
  39. 39. Monitoring & Evaluation have taken on new importance – but donors use a daunting range of tools. <br />
  40. 40. Promoting Stability: Open Society Foundations support many long-term thematic and regional efforts through multiple offices and programs. <br />OSF’s London-based Media Program allocates about a quarter of its own $10 million annual budget to media freedom – primarily for three principal areas:<br /><ul><li> Traditional freedom of expression efforts
  41. 41. Media law reform
  42. 42. Journalists’ safety</li></li></ul><li>Internal and Structural Reorganization <br />(can mean Disruption)<br />
  43. 43. Merging Government-Funded Institutions<br />The Dutch government favored proposals from funding consortiums, for example:<br /><ul><li> Press Now
  44. 44. Free Voice
  45. 45. RNTC’s Foreign Projects Department</li></ul>In April 2011, the three institutions merged into a consortium called, Free Press Unlimited<br />
  46. 46. Donors and IFEX Members Diverge on Priorities: <br />2010 IFEX member survey on priority issues (in order):<br />Impunity<br />Media Law Reform<br />Freedom of Information / <br />Access to Information<br />
  47. 47. 2010 Member Priorities <br />(continued)<br /> Media Ethics and Self Regulation<br />Protection Against Physical Violations<br />Self Censorship<br />Internet Policy – legal and regulatory issues<br />
  48. 48. *from respondents’ answers to survey question:<br />“A 2010 consultation of IFEX members identified the following as the highest priority issue areas for free expression work. Which of these do you plan to fund in the coming 3 to 5 year period? (Please select as many as apply)” <br />
  49. 49. The Internet Freedom community is growing – but with few connections to traditional freedom of expression groups.<br />
  50. 50. New Technologies In Freedom Of Expression<br />Media scholars are asking: <br />Do new technologies offer a net gain in freedom  of expression?<br />
  51. 51. Donors are funding new Internet freedom research and activism initiatives – such as the Oxford Internet Institute and Hong Kong University's China Media Project.<br />Citizen Journalism: Viable In a Censored Internet?<br />
  52. 52. In 2010, the Omidyar Network granted $1.5 million to  Herdict, a project at Harvard’s Berkman Institute, to record real-time data about global web accessibility and outages .<br />YouTube – Broadcast Yourself<br /><br />Inaccessible Accessible<br />3547 1528<br />
  53. 53. Conclusion<br />Free expression groups are concerned about shifting priorities among donors and narrowing varieties and sources of funding.<br />The landscape of free expression funding is evolving -- with arrivals and departures among donors and NGOs alike. <br />This research points towards greater transparency in the grant process and improved communications between  donors  and  grantees in the future. <br />Online technology will be a significant factor in every area. <br />
  54. 54. For More Information:<br />CIMA Reports and Database <br /><br />IFEX Clearinghouse<br /><br />Anne Nelson on media:<br /> PBS MediaShift<br /><br /><br /> twitter: anelsona<br />With thanks to Dean Zambrano<br />