Funding landscape - report

In this section of the December 2021 meeting of the Joint Coordination Mechanism, a media development consultant and expert presented a report on the media development funding landscape in Lebanon.

Michael Randall, a media development consultant and expert, presented some of the initial findings from a report on the 'Funding Landscape for Media Development Actors in Lebanon'.

The report presented at the meeting was a work in progress, it was revised on the basis of the discussions at the December 2021 coordination meeting and may be subject to further revisions and updates.

The report 'Funding Landscape for Media Development Actors in Lebanon' is available here. If you have any relevant information or illustrations you would like to share to be included in the report please contact us at:

Methodology: A series of interviews, and desk research and analysis of the most recent calls for proposals published in the Lebanese media development sector, and across the wider region as well.

Themes in the calls of proposals analysed: Strong emphasis on viability, on fact-checking and coalition building, and on the need to increase the public’s trust.

Donors have started in recent times to conduct needs assessments, to quote the findings of those assessments in terms of reference, and to to act upon them

There is evidence of efforts to minimise the administrative burden on grantees

Local organisations are looking for an equal partnership with their international counterparts. The commitment of international partners such as DW Akademie and International Media Support (IMS), which have established a presence in country and have long term relationships with local partners is encouraging.

European Commission, certainly for larger programmes, will hold information sessions and respond to requests for clarifications

What still needs improvement

Clarity of terms in the terms of reference proposals:

Terms of reference still tend to blur the distinction between media, professional journalists and civil society activists.

Lack of focus and realism

Some programmes (espeically larger ones) present a wish list of activities, and encourage applicants to try to address them all of the issues related to media development. This leads to projects being less effective due to their lack of focus.

Donor feedback

Few donors provide detailed feedback on unsuccessful applications, which provokes frustration and impedes the ability of local actors to succesfully apply for grants.

Equity and access

The extent to which the calls proposals are open to a broad base of different applicants was a cause for concern for many organisations. The introduction of sub granting programmes has somewhat improved that situation, allowing small media outlets and NGOs to apply for grants in a way that they had fewer opportunities to do before. However, sub-granting processes tend to favour applicants with a track record and the skills to apply for the funding.

Donor to donor coordination

There is no obvious evidence of donor to donor coordination.


Urgently improve donor to donor development coordination: It is imperative that donors periodically apportion responsibilities and tasks (who should support what and to what extent) to avoid duplication and/or leaving over areas under funded.

Improve accessibility and enaggement in grant-application processes and design:

  • Simplify language used in granting programmes.

  • Bottom-up processes and practises have proven to be the most effective method to assess needs and design programmes. Positive developments in this area should be accelerated

Iterative monitoring and evaluation: Allow implementing agencies to put greater emphasis on beneficiary feedback and by put in place mechanisms to ensure that projects can be recalibrated based on this feedback.

“And that's something that doesn't happen very often enough - both with smaller organisations and with larger ones - the need to see projects as an evolutionary process, the need to revisit impact and to have an open and frank discussion with donors about what is working and what's not. And I think there's no shame in admitting that activities did not go as planned. “

Coordination and knowledge sharing: Use the Joint Coordination Mechanism to gather knowledge and inisghts gathered from monitoring and evaluation efforts and play a significant role in the effective implementation and coordination of projects.

Aspirational long term development strategies: To what extent is it possible to align donors and implementing agencies with local stakeholders in government and civil society around a strategy addresses the main development priorities and identifies what measures could reasonably be taken to address them?

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