ITP 295 Media Development in a Democratic Framework - EASTERN EUROPE 2021

Please CLICK HERE to download a Programme Brochure in Russian.

Please CLICK HERE to download an Application Form in Russian.



This ITP is a fellowship programme that provides a forum and platform for constructive, creative dialogue between high-level representatives from media, government and civil society on how to improve self-regulatory and regulatory frameworks for media. This programme involves more than training of individuals. It is a full-scale capacity-building programme aimed at real change towards a more efficient and sustainable planning and implementation of media self-regulation.

INTRODUCTION
Across the globe, recent policital, technological and economic changes have placed increased restraints on media freedom while at the same time, the prevalence of "fake news" is on the rise. As a result, there is an urgent need to find new ways to reform media policy and regulate the sector. Civil society and citizens around the world are demanding trustworthy news and accurate reporting, providing them with the information needed to take informed decisions, a prerequisite for a functioning democracy. Regulation, self-regulation and co-regulation of media are a means to that end.

OVERALL OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME
  • The participants and their supporting organisations should contribute to the promotion and protection of the institutional frameworks that govern self-regulation of the media sector. 
  • To contribute to the development of self-regulatory frameworks for the media sector, strengthening the institutional and organisational capacities among relevant stakeholders.
     
  • To contribute to national reform and change processes.

BENEFITS FOR PARTICIPANTS AND THEIR ORGANISATIONS

At the end of the training program, pariticipating individuals and organisations shall have obtained:

  • Increase knowledge about media and freedom of expression in relation to media policy, journalism and self-regulation of the media sector.
  • Extended professional national, regional and international networks.
  • Greater awareness of human rights, gender equality and security for journalists and other media actors.
  • Increase knowledge and capacity to initiate structured, long-term transformation work within and outside the respective organisations.

CHANGE PROJECT
At the start of the programme, each participant will - in close collaboration with colleagues and supervisors - identify an idea that can contribute to the achievement of both the ITP's objective and the organisation's own strategies and long-term goals, as well as the change process on a national level. Based on this idea, a Change Project will evolve as the participants are provided with new knowledge, networks, and experiences during the course of the process. 

The participants work together in country teams, supported by a national facilitator in each country and assisted by international experts (thematic mentors). This support will be continuous throughout the five phases of the programme.

THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAM
The training programme is implemented during a 12 months period and consists of five compulsory phases. The evolution of the Change Project is the the golden thread weaving through all phases.

Phase 1 - Inception
Country teams are established and meet for a start-up seminar in their respective countries. During this seminar, the participants establish a common understanding of the challenges in their country and the overall theory of change. Based on that analysis, a brief baseline study is elaborated. With support from the national facilitators, the participants develop the first concept of what the Change Project connected to challenges could entail. 

During the incption phase, the participants have to pass a compulsory online course, with the purpose of providing a common understanding and knowledge base to build on. The course is composed of online lectures, supporting literature, seminar questions as well as a number of quizzes and tests. The online course covers the following topics:
a) media and freedom of speech with a focus on human rights and democracy;
b) media politics;
c) journalism;
d) self-regulatory institutions

The remaining part of the training programme focuses on how to ignite and manage processes of change within the area of media regulation.

Phase 2 - Course in Sweden (and Denmark), 11-29 Oct, 2021
Participants engage in an intensive programme of interactive discussions, study visits, exercises and skills development, covering all four aforementioned priority themes / topics. All participants are expected to share their own expertise and experiences with their peers. The Change Projects evolves with the support of the thematic mentors' coaching, peer reviews, and individual work. During this phase, an action plan is formulated. Collaboration between the participants, the national facilitators, and the thematic mentors is an essential part of the programme.

Phase 3 - Development
In this phase, the Change Project is further discussed and adjusted, an action plan is formulated and implementation begins. Activities are expected to vary substantially between different participants, organisations and countries. The programme bolsters the process through regular contacts with the national facilitators, meetings in country teams as well as through support from the programme management and the thematic mentors. Collaboration between the participants is encouraged.

Phase 4 - Course in one of the participating countrires, 2 weeks in April, 2022
Participants exchange experiences of implementeing their Change Projects. The participants further elaborate and adjust their action plans. Peer reviews and group discussions among the participants and support from the national facilitators carry the process forward. Additonal theory and trainings are provided, as well as field trips and case studies within the regional / local context.

Phase 5 - Implementation
The participants implement their Change Projects in collaboration with colleagues and supervisors in their organisations or / and in collaboration with other stakeholders. Continuous thematic mentor support is provided. By the end of this last phase, the participants organise a national seminar to present their final Change Project and discuss further actions. 

During phases 1, 3 and 5, work on the Change Project is carried out as part of the participant's ordinary working time. Thus, it is essential that the participant's supervisor allocates and approves such time.

METHODOLOGY
The programme is designed for the participants to actively involve their own workplace and base learning on their own experiences and work context. For the scheduled phases, a range of tools and methods support this learning approach, including group work, discussions, seminars, case studies, study visits and lectures. Participants are expected to actively contribute with their own experiences and expertise. Participants will also manage the development and implementation of the Change Project throughout the 12 months of the programme's duration, albeit with the support and coaching of the national facilitators, the thematic mentors, and participating peers.

The number of participants is limited to 25 (i.e. 7-9 from each country) in order to ensure a close working relationship between participants, mentors and lecturers.

ORGANISERS
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has commissioned NIRAS Sweden AB to organise this ITP in cooperation with International Media Support (IMS), Fojo Media Institute/Linnaeus University, and Global Reporting Sweden AB.

MANAGEMENT AND STAFF
The team includes Swedish and international thematic experts as well as national facilitators from the participating countries, all with extensive experience within their respective fields.

INVITED COUNTRIES
Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine.

TARGET GROUP
The programme targets individuals who can promote standards of self-regulation of the media sector in the respective countries in different ways. The programme management will identify strategically important participants from the media sector, such as media councils, judicial institutions, indepentdent freedom of speech organisations, policty institutions, relevant ministries, parliamentary committees, and independent media outlets.
Although it focuses on individuals, the programme is primarily targeting organisations and efforts are made to establish long-term relationships with the key organisations involved. Such collaborative organisations should be willing to commit themselves to participation over several years and be ready to cooperate with other organisations in the programme, even though they may have different opinions on regulatory frameworks. Capacity and interest to drive processes to achieve long-term goals is a prerequisite to become a collaborative organisation. 

Applicants to the programme should:

  • hold a key position in their organisation, with influence on a strategic level
  • have the drive and power to initiate and drive change processes
  • hold a relevant academic degree
  • be available and motivated for active participation throughout the whole programme

As we strive to obtain a gender balance in the programme, organisations are strongly encouraged to nominate female candidates.

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
The training programme will be conducated in Russian and good Russian skills, both orally and in writing, are required. 
Candidates from countries where Russian is not an official language should do a language test with an official body in the home country, unless other documentation to support the participant's ability can be provided.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS
Considering that the training programme consists of international travel and work away from home in a new environment, good health and full working capacity is necessary. It is therefore recommended that candidates undergo a medical examination before completing the Medical Statement in the application form.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Since much of the programme communication is done by e-mail, the applicant must have a well-functioning e-mail address, be an active user of e-mail and have regular, reliable access to the internet. 

COSTS
Sida will cover the costs for the programme fee, literatureaccommodation, meals, health insurance, and international travel to the scheduled phases.
Participants and/or their employers are responsible for any other costs such as:

  • personal expenses
  • visa fees
  • domestic travel in connection with national meeting and in connection with international travel to scheduled phases in other countries
  • any local airport taxes and departure fees or such
  • any costs for programme work taking place at the home organisation

APPLICATION

  • Please CLICK HERE to download a Programme Brochure in Russian.
  • Please CLICK HERE to download an Application Form in Russian.
  • Make sure that your application is complete, accurate and legible. 
  • A candidate has to be nominated by his/her organisation, and an authorized director / manager must sign the application.
  • A scanned copy of the application should be submitted by e-mail to: olga.vallee@niras.se
  • If a scanned copy is not possible, the original application can be sumbitted to the nearest Swedish embassy / consulate.
  • Dead line for applications: 1 June, 2021

SELECTION
When the selection process has been completed, all applicants will be notified of the results.
The management of each participating organisation and the programme management will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to confirm each party's responsibility and the organisation's commitment to participation and fulfilment of all phases of the training programme. It is only when this MoU is signed by both particies that the participation is accepted.

CONTACT
ITP Media Programme Secretariat:
Address:
NIRAS Sweden AB
P.O. Box 70375
SE-107 24 Stockholm
SWEDEN

Phone:   +46 (0)8 545 533 00
E-mail:   itp295@niras.se
Web:       www.niras.com/Development-consulting

Programme Manager, Ms Olga Vallée:
E-mail:   olga.vallee@niras.se