Media assistance M&E and democratization measurement characteristics in USAID program reporting documents
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International media assistance, the endeavor to help emerging nations and developing countries build or develop media similar in nature and function to those in existing liberal democracies, has greatly expanded since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. U.S. media assistance funders have linked media assistance to democratization efforts. This case study of USAID media assistance program reporting documents (n=68) looks at specific monitoring and evaluation characteristics as reported over a 20‐year period and how reporting documents make the link to democratization. The analysis found that although M&E activity has improved as reported over the 20‐year period of the study, 75 percent of the documents ranked in the lower half of cumulative M&E characteristics scoring. It also found that the relationship between democratization characteristics and media assistance are not clarified by the monitoring and evaluation data as reported. The study does show the USAID database to be a rich source of data about how media assistance programs have been implemented in different cultures, countries and political environments.