Our project Samy Gasy tackles Madagascar’s political fragility, bringing together local leaders for training on dialogue and conflict transformation.
As the 2018 elections approach, new tensions arise around Madagascar’s mining sites. Our work is helping prevent violent clashes.
Final Evaluation–Media for Change:Promoting Responsible Journalism to Enhance Accountability and Citizen Engagement in Governance in Madagascar
In Madagascar, radio is highly influential and was often pinned as the “Fourth Power”. While it remains a major force, it suffers from tremendous limitations in the wake of the 2009 economic and political crisis, especially in regards to the competencies and professionalism of its staff. For numerous unemployed youth, entering the media and the radio sector is the alternative to unemployment. Consequently, it is estimated that more than 80% of journalists in the country have no previous media background or education. This gap contributed to a lack of confidence in media, tarnishing the legitimacy of the profession and its role as a positive force for change.
It is in this context that SFCG implemented a 15-month (October 2015-December 2016) media capacity building project,“Media for change.” Financed by the US Fund for Innovation in Public Diplomacy, the project was implemented in 9 regions to promote responsible journalism and improve accountability and citizen engagement in Madagascar. Training and rapprochement activities were successful not only in building the skills and the confidence of journalists but also in reinstating their credibility with listeners and the authorities. In October 2016, journalists and elected officials signed a Charter on Responsible Communication which guarantees true, objective and unbiased news broadcasting and the respect of media rights and expression. At the end of the project, 90% of listeners believed that the media had addressed issues of concern to them. The number of people who believed information from the media was “balanced” and “unbiased” increased more than three-fold, from 20% to 71% of the population. In addition, 56% of interviewed listeners indicated that they had changed their behavior as a result of programs and programs broadcast by targeted radio stations. The project “Media for Change” was quite successful, but the Malagasy media still has challenges to overcome, such as journalist’s working conditions in terms of equipment and social benefits.
Samy Gasy is an international training program in conflict transformation and peacebuilding targeting influential groups in Malagasy society.
Search for Common Ground’s conflict transformation training has changed the work of Koto and Justome, two elderly mediators from rural Madagascar.
We are supporting the peaceful settlement of land disputes arising around Madagascar’s mining sites.