Assessing Impact, Evaluating Adaptability: A Decade of Radio La Benevolencija in Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC
For the past decade, Radio La Benevolencija (RLB) has worked in Rwanda, Burundi, and the DRC to provide citizens with tools for recognizing and resisting manipulation to violence and healing trauma. Until now, however, its numerous programs, projects, and contributions had not been synthesized, and its findings had not been evaluated as whole.
The Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania conducted an evaluation of RLB’s past ten years of work in the Great Lakes Region. In addition to understanding the aggregate impact of RLB’s programs, this meta-evaluation seeks to investigate what RLB’s work offers to others engaged in this field. We therefore seek to understand the adaptability of RLB’s methodology to other countries and contexts and how the RLB model might be used a prototype for future interventions.
In cooperation with the Center for Global Communication Studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, CIMA is pleased to publish this report. All over the world, studies that rank countries by media freedom figure prominently in civil liberties debates, aid programming, foreign policy decisions, and academic research. Evaluating the Evaluators: Media Freedom Indexes and What They Measure examines the strengths and shortcomings of existing media freedom indexes and offers recommendations to improve them.
In view of the breadth and depth of these studies, the report recommends that organizations that evaluate press freedom continue to refine their methodology by increasing technical sophistication, cultural neutrality, and transparency and that they incorporate digital media into their evaluations. The report, by John Burgess, a former Washington Post reporter and editor who specializes in international affairs and technology, is based on a collection of academic papers on this subject submitted to the Annenberg School for Communication.