Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 10/2009

Good, But How Good? Monitoring and Evaluation of Media Assistance Projects

Andy Mosher

June 2009

National Endowment for Democracy


During the early '90s, international media assistance was transformed from a small field to a multimillion-dollar global endeavor. While how to gauge the impact of this wave of assistance was always a concern, the so-called media missionaries' strong sense of purpose and their limited understanding of social science techniques often led them to give short shrift to monitoring and evaluating their media development programs. Since then, things have changed. Interviews with more than a dozen donors, media assistance implementers, and professional evaluators indicate that the importance of monitoring and evaluation has become more widely appreciated. Monitoring-the tracking of programs and activities as they proceed, and the marshaling of the resulting data-has become more rigorous over time. And evaluation-the assessment of a program's impact-has become an integral part of virtually every assistance program, according to those who design and implement them.