Internews is looking to employ a research company for up to a 4-month period to lead research on the state of Freedom of Expression, Media Consumption and Trust in Armenia for the USAID-funded Media Program in Armenia project. In coordination with the MPA team, the Contractor will lead the design and implementation of this research. The ideal candidate should be experienced in quantitative and qualitative data collection methods.
Implemented by the Internews-led consortium, the Media Program in Armenia (launched in March 2023) will strengthen the integrity of the information space in Armenia by building greater resilience to economic stresses, disinformation campaigns and politically motivated attempts to curb media freedoms by enhancing journalistic standards and content quality, catalyzing the financial viability of public interest media, and fostering an enabling environment for independent information flow.
Freedom of Expression and Media Consumption Research design
At the inception of the program and annually, Internews will look to identify information needs of the population and the other side, the needs of the journalists, their limitations in the profession and its practice.
This research will produce evidence to provide a deep understanding of how information consumers in Armenia find, share, value, and trust information. The aim is to analyze the supply and demand of information to serve as the project’s baseline, inform partner selection, and identify growth opportunities. A representative sample should be used for this segment to identify information consumption habits and patterns across population.
The objective of this research is providing the Media Program in Armenia and stakeholders with granular insight into the state of Freedom of Expression (FoE) in Armenia, identify threats to and constraints on FoE from the vantage point of citizens and media practitioners, and understand the extent to which the most widely used and most trusted media in the country needs support to maintain the democratic space that FoE creates and sustains. This research objective should be attained by applying a mixed methods approach including a national survey to identify patterns and trends in information consumption habits, The survey could be followed-up up by focus groups with a specific social group, where information consumption patterns raise concerns or are striking different from other population groups (youth, for example).
Additionally, focus groups with media practitioners should be conducted to investigate challenges and needs to meet the evolving consumption habits and to identify how they navigate and deal with these challenges, and limitation of freedom of expression (if any). In case budget allows specific research companies, media practitioners could be also questioned.
Internews will commission this research towards the end of May through the end of July of 2023.
The contractor will develop, review and finalize the research design in collaboration with Internews staff and the consortium members of the MPA project.
Based on this research, Internews will work with journalists, content providers, CSOs, government officials and other stakeholders to develop clear recommendations for project programming.
Internews anticipates approximately 30-45 full working days will be needed to conduct this research, with a tentative schedule as follows:
|Launch of ToR and bid acceptance||Deadline for applications: May 22, 2023|
|Selection of implementer and initial debrief||Selection: by May 26, 2023 Debrief: as soon as possible upon selection.||The contractor is expected to have initial meetings with staff to inform inception report (see below)|
|Inception report||By June 5, 2023||Relevant documentation will be made available and the inception report will include: Literature reviewDraft methodologyData collection toolsOutline of final report structure|
|Mid-term meeting||After data collection, the contractor is expected to meet with Internews for a meeting to brief about data collection phase and initial findings.|
|First draft report||By July 20, 2023||Internews staff will review the draft for further clarification and structure|
|Final draft report||By July 28, 2023|
The maximum budget is 20,000 USD. Please note that the budget should cover all logistical costs associated with conducting this evaluation, including translation costs if required (language requirements can be found below). In your application, please specify whether data will be collected in the country or remotely.
The program will be VAT exempted as soon as we manage to register in Armenia and the donor will provide for the needed documentation. We will be timing the signing of the contract with the VAT exemption status.
Note that the draft and final reports should be presented in English and be no longer than 35 pages (excluding any relevant annexes) and contain a concise Executive Summary of core findings and recommendations. The latter should be specific and action-oriented and tailored to all relevant stakeholders (i.e., Internews and the donor). It should also include a methodology section that makes explicit any limitations for the evaluation.
APPLICATION GUIDELINES AND REQUIREMENTS
Interested parties should send their applications to: Corina Cepoi, Chief of Party, at [email protected].
Applications should include the below documentation (Deadline: May 22, 2023):
- A 2-3 page statement of interest/draft proposal, highlighting how your methodological approach will address the scope planned for this assessment as well as describing how your profile meets the criteria (see Qualifications)
- CV of the main researcher(s)
- Evidence of previous relevant work (e.g., link to reports or PDF attachments) highlighting evaluation theories and approaches.
- A short cost justification (not included in the 2-page limit) and estimated level of effort (number of days), as well as other relevant expenses.
To perform this job successfully, a contractor must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
- Based in Armenia OR with extensive network base in Armenia
- Fluency in English required, as the final report will be delivered in English
- Experience in quantitative and qualitative data collection/survey design, implementation, and analysis
- Experience of working in Armenia; familiarity with Armenian FoE issues
- Excellent interpersonal communication skills and cultural sensitivity, including the ability to forge strong relationships and build trust, demonstrated through previous experience
- Strong team management, presentation, writing, and communication skills
- Report writing experience
- Ability to work discreetly and securely
- Understanding and demonstration of a commitment to upholding Internews’ Core Values
- Experience in implementing Information Media and Ecosystem Analyses is highly preferred
- A minimum of 5 years’ experience in monitoring and evaluation of large internationally funded media or government programs, preferably those with media development components and ideally in Armenia. Experience monitoring USG-funded programs strongly preferred
- Previous work experience with U.S.-Government-programs and projects
- Experience with media and government-related projects