Media Sector DRC Assessment
USAID/DRC Mission Strategic Support Program
Short Term Assignment
SoCha and MSSP Overview
SoCha is an international development company based in the United States with field offices in Kinshasa and Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our name is based on a combination of the words Social and Change. We provide a variety of professional services to multilateral and bilateral donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and global clients that need analytical and technical services. In the last decade, we’ve delivered 50 contracts to 17 clients in 28 countries that address global health, economic growth, agriculture and trade, education, biodiversity and climate change, urban programs, women in development, youth, and collaborative partnerships.
SoCha is contracted to provide technical and advisory services to the United States Agency for International Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo (USAID/DRC) on the 5-year Mission Strategic Support Program (MSSP). MSSP works to strengthen Mission strategic monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) systems; manage high quality data; provide geo-intelligence; produce rigorous analyses that inform decision making; institutionalize collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) practices; expand localization through targeted and deliberate capacity building; generate action-oriented data visualizations and communications; and provide Mission personnel with third-party monitoring in areas they cannot access.
The current USAID Media Sector Development Activity (MSDA) implemented since July 2019 promotes citizen participation and engagement in the elections and political processes. It does so by i) Increasing accurate and reliable information on electoral and political processes to Congolese citizens; ii) Strengthening the capacity of journalists and community radio outlets to produce and air news and information on the electoral and political processes as the situation develops; iii) Strengthening the capacity of electoral CSOs to advocate for and communicate about electoral reforms and processes, and iv) Supporting existing youth movements and their online platforms to reduce disinformation on elections and political processes.
Among its major achievements in the past year, MSDA has a) developed the skills and knowledge of hundreds of journalists, civil society and political party representatives on fact-checking particularly in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Bukavu through trainings, b) held roundtable debates that provided an opportunity for citizens to access information on the elections, c) engaged with mostly youth and women audiences through a combination of radio program and rumor bulletins shared through social media platforms (thus creating a pathway for promoting active citizen participation in the electoral process), d) funded the ideas of several hackathons to create two major apps – on the electoral process and on electoral information (the latter for CSOs’ use only), e) launched a rumor-tracking dashboard that collected more than 300 election- related rumors and produced bulletins that identify and debunk rumors, f) identified 70 WhatsApp groups with around 17,000 members, 13 Facebook groups and 107 influencers popular on social media platforms that will be engaged when distributing social media content addressing hate speech, fake news and misinformation cases related to the electoral process.
USAID/DRC/DRG is looking at further support to this program that would enable the mission to respond to further advancing media freedoms in the DRC by overcoming or softening pending legal challenges, improving the capacity of traditional and new media outlets, and prevention of and resilience to disinformation. USAID/DRC/DRG is also looking forward to designing the next media program and activities where the recommendations of this Assessment will be used.
Scope of Work
Objectives Of The Assignment
The objective of this assessment will be to prepare a robust analysis of the media landscape in DRC, identifying the broader needs of the sector/s and provide recommendations on possible areas for USAID programmatic interventions that will advance the objective of defending and expanding independent media.
MSSP is seeking a local team leader with a strong background in the education sector and experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative studies to lead this study. The study aims to inform the future design of school funding programs that lead to improvements in education outcomes for low-income populations. The team leader will perform the following tasks during the assignment.
The specific objectives of this assessment include:
- Assess the media landscape in the DRC including critical capacities and challenges to media effectiveness and development.
- Identify lessons learned and persisting gaps from USAID past and ongoing media programs, including MSDA, to inform the design and implementation of USAID/DRC’s future media program.
Purpose of the consultancy
MSSP is seeking a Team Leader with strong expertise in coordinating and leading studies to support the implementation of Media sector assessment in the DRC. The Team Leader will work with the Local Firm to ensure the effective implementation of the assessment across six provinces. The assessment findings will inform the development of USAID/DRC’s future media program.
Task 1: Conduct preliminary consultations and desk review and develop an Inception Report
The Team Leader shall develop an Inception report with a detailed methodology of the assessment. This Inception report will be developed in collaboration with MSSP, and the Local Firm. The Inception report shall describe the methodology, the geographical scope, stakeholder mapping, data collection tools, data collection procedure; data management and analysis, implementation plan, quality assurance; potential limitations, risks, and mitigation measures etc.
Develop the data collection tool:
The Team Leader will develop an assessment matrix specifying for each assessment question and sub-question: the data source, data collection method, location, timeline, responsibility.
The team leader will also develop the data collection tools (roundtable discussion guide and reporting template, key informant interview (KII) and focus group discussion guides) during the inception phase.
Task 2: Conduct an in-depth desk review
The Team Leader will collate information already known to inform discussions during the Media Ecosystem Roundtable.
The desk review will aim to inform the consultation and will focus on key articles, reports, and publications of interest related to media development, media and democracy, and journalism-related topics in the national context. The consultant should select the existing publications, critically analyze them, and focus on explaining findings to a general audience.
Task 3: Conduct the Media Ecosystem Roundtable (MER)
The Consultant will lead the MER. This will be a two-day discussion session on key aspects of the media development situation in the DRC.
This meeting with civil society and media industry stakeholders will result in an overview of the media situation in the country, providing key information on the three main areas of the media sector assessment, namely: 1) the political economy of the media; 2) institutions, journalistic professionalism, and managerial professionalism; and 3) audiences: access and inclusion.
Findings from the MER will be summarized, used to refine the assessment methodology and capitalized in the assessment report.
Task 4: Collect data for the assessment across the targeted provinces
Prior to data collection, the team leader will participate in the pre-testing, oversee the adaptation and finalization of the KIIs and FGDs guides with the Socha MSSP team based on feedback from the pilots testing.
In collaboration with the local firm, the team leader will collect data in Kinshasa and remotely oversee all the data collection by the local firm in the other selected provinces.
An estimated 53 key informant interviews will be conducted with the main stakeholders identified. 12 FGDs will be conducted with selected stakeholders, 2 in each targeted province.
Task 5: Develop a PPT to present preliminary findings
Just at the end of the data collection phase, the Team Leader will make a brief presentation of the preliminary findings of the study to MSSP and the mission. This presentation will enable her or him to identify any aspects that require further investigation during the analysis phase.
Task 6: Analyze the data collected
The Team Leader will work with the Local firm to ensure that all qualitative data collected will be transcribed by converting audio-recordings of interviews and FGDs to text format and all recordings will be transcribed verbatim (i.e., word-for-word). To facilitate the process, at the end of each interview and FGD, data captured in the audio-recorder will be readily transcribed into a Word document. Written notes and transcripts will be analyzed using content analysis. During the analysis, emerging themes, ideas, and concepts that emerged from the data will be identified and interpreted.
To answer each quality question, the related data will be grouped into small items and categories to facilitate analysis. Data analyzed will be accurately interpreted and a report developed highlighting the key findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
The Team Leader will need to ensure continuous analysis of all data through regular team meetings, as this iterative process will allow emerging issues to be explored. Collecting data from a variety of sources will allow the team to triangulate findings to generate robust study results.
Task 7: Develop a draft Assessment Report
The final report of this assessment to be developed by the Team Leader and its team will describe the strength of the evidence on which the conclusions were drawn, in order to support the reliability and validity of the Assessment. The report will reflect a rigorous, methodological, and thoughtful approach, with conclusions and recommendations based on the Assessment findings. The executive summary will be prepared in English and French as a stand-alone section of the final report to communicate key findings and recommendations to external audiences. The Team Leader will forward the report to MSSP and USAID for comments and feedback.
At a minimum, the final assessment report will be made up of the following sections: Table of Contents; Acknowledgement; Acronyms & Abbreviation; List of Tables; List of Figures, Executive Summary, Introduction, Background and Purpose, Methodology; Main Findings; Conclusions; Recommendations; Bibliography; and Annexes. Annexes will include, but not limited to data collection instruments, bibliography; list of people interviewed; terms of reference etc. Two versions of the report will be published: an internal version and an external version.
Task 8. Organize a dissemination workshop.
- The team leader will liaise with MSSP and USAID/DRC to organize a dissemination workshop at which the results will be presented. Participants in this workshop will include key media sector stakeholders, representatives of USAID-supported media outlets and organizations, USAID representatives, IPs supporting media and CSOs in the DRC and other relevant stakeholders. The workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss the assessments’ findings and address any factual errors or misunderstandings.
- A maximum of 35 people representing the key stakeholder groups will participate in the workshop. The workshop will be an opportunity to validate the results and recommendations of the study and to reach a consensus on the study. A workshop report will be developed and will be fed into the final Assessment report.
Task 9. Revise and submit finalize the report/ Reporting.
The Team Leader will consider the comments received and feedback from the workshop, revise and resubmit a final Assessment Report. MSSP will share a draft template for the study Report with the Team Leader. Two versions of the report will be prepared: an internal and external version for publication (a version of the internal report with sensitive information redacted for stakeholders).
Deliverables and Timeline
The period of performance for this assignment is from September to November 2023. However, the exact number of days for this assignment will be determined based on the Assessment Team’s implementation plan and the commencement date will be agreed upon in the contract.
The main deliverables of this assignment and timeline are summarized below. The final documents and reports shall be submitted to MSSP in English.
|Preliminary consultations, preliminary desk review and inception report||September 8, 2023|
|Desk review summary report||September 29, 2023|
|Media Ecosystem Roundtable Summary Report||October 9, 2023|
|Conduct and supervise field data collection||October 21, 2023|
|Preliminary findings presentation||October 23, 2023|
|Data analysis||October 31, 2023|
|Draft Report||November 4, 2023|
|Final presentation||November 22, 2023|
|Final Report||November 28, 2023|
Required Qualifications and Competencies
- Advanced degree (Masters/PhD in Communication/Journalism, Social Sciences, international relations, human rights, media law, governance, Political Sciences, or a closely related field.
- Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the media sector in the DRC.
- Previous experience in carrying out works or studies including analysis of the media sector is an asset.
- Previous experience in managing a team and coordinating qualitative data collection.
- Excellent organizational skills and ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks.
- At least 5 years’ experience leading studies and surveys and expertise in qualitative data analyses (familiarity with qualitative data analysis software: NVivo, Atlas.ti etc.)
- Previous experience synthesizing and analyzing large amounts of qualitative data with the ability to produce high-quality reports in English.
- Professional fluency in French, and English is required.
- Strong writing and interpersonal communication skills.
How to apply:
Interested Consultants should submit their application which should contain:
- Cover letter (1 page) explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for this assignment.
- Updated CV to include qualifications/competencies.
- Copies of similar studies the Consultant has authored.
To submit your application, please apply directly on our recruitment page on our website, using this link :
Candidates will only be considered if they apply directly on our website. The deadline for submitting applications is September 30, 2023. Review of applications will be on a rolling basis.
Evaluation of Applications
Applications will be first screened and only candidates meeting the minimum criteria will progress to the pool for short listing. Shortlisted candidates will then be assessed and scored against the technical evaluation criteria and interviews will be conducted accordingly.