The ways in which people consume, produce, contribute to, interact with, and behave around information are what makes information ecosystems dynamic and diverse. Information Ecosystem Assessments are Internews’ unique, human-centered approach to capturing the relationship between information supply and demand.
The goal of an Information Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) is to gain a deeper understanding of how people find, share, value, and trust information in their own local contexts, whether it comes from the media or not. IEAs map both sides of the relationship between information supply and demand in an information ecosystem through a multi-phase approach. To analyze the information supply, Internews captures the reach, content, quantity, quality, and capacity of the media available in the country or locality in focus, as well as the business, legal, and regulatory environment in which media outlets operate. To analyze information demand, the IEA process partners with communities to conduct field research on the information needs, access, sourcing, trust, influence, sharing, and literacy of community members through a qualitative-first approach involving observation, questionnaires, and interviews.
The insights gained from conducting IEAs inform Internews’ approach to designing contextual programming to address information gaps, foster greater information literacy, and support the development of media outlets and journalists around the world.