Since 1997 researchers and experts of the Osservatorio di Pavia have been working in the field of technical assistance and capacity building in partnership with international governmental and non-governmental organisations and institutions including the United Nations, the European Union, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe – Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the African Union and the Council of Europe.
The Osservatorio and the Unis pour la Démocratie project in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Since September 2023, in collaboration with the Swiss NGO Fondation Hirondelle, the Osservatorio di Pavia has been involved in the project Unis pour la Démocratie – Des médias citoyens et engagés pour le renforcement de la culture démocratique en RDC 2023-2025, a project lasting two years and financed by the European Commission with the contribution of the International Cooperation of Switzerland.
The project aims to contribute to strengthening democratic culture in the DRC through media monitoring and debate for credible, transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections.
The theory of change underlying the intervention is as follows: if the DRC media and the Regulatory Authority were strengthened to carry out their work in a professional manner, then the quality of content that will circulate during the project period would improve, thanks to the combined action of more responsible journalists and a regulatory body that monitors shortcomings and initiates directives.
The Osservatorio di Pavia deals in particular with support to the media regulatory body, Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel et de la Communication (CSAC), providing training and consultancy activities for the monitoring of the media foreseen on the occasion of the electoral campaign (the elections are scheduled for 20 December 2023), and subsequently contributing to strengthening the capabilities of the CSAC in the field of monitoring and supporting it in an advocacy strategy to propose a new regulation of online media.
The Observatory and the MEDIA-B project in Benin
From April 2022 and for a period of three years, in partnership with the Milanese NGO WeWorld and some local NGOs and thanks to the funding of the European Commission, the Observatory is involved in a project in Benin that has as its main aim to maximise the potential of the media (traditional, community, and social) on the dynamics of the conflict, to help build and consolidate a long-lasting peace in the country.The project is designed to help prevent the emergence of violent extremism in the departments of Benin most exposed to this risk (Alibori, Atacora, Borgou, and Donga) by strengthening the skills and mobilisation of the media, religious communities, local authorities, and civil society actors for the consolidation of peace.
In particular, the Observatory will strengthen the professional capacities of the directors of production of community radio, the directors of radio schools, and the councillors of the ODEM (The Observatory of Deontology and Media Ethics of Benin). The projects include: the production of a series of civic education commercials in local languages, to highlight the role of the media in the prevention of violent extremism; the organisation of a series of workshops for the revision of the Code of Deontology and Ethics of Journalism in Benin; and training in media monitoring of ODEM councillors.
Consultations for the amendment of the Code of Deontology and Ethics of Journalism will be organised in plenary sessions involving associations of media professionals (Union of Media Professionals of Benin, National Council for Audiovisual and Press Advocacy) and the High Authority for Audiovisual and Communication (HAAC).
Technical assistance and capacity building
Media monitoring and analysis on a variety of subjects: election coverage, political pluralism, social pluralism, gender, media ethics, inflammatory language and hate speech, minorities, conflict coverage
Media regulation: analysis and development
Institutional communication, public outreach and advocacy
Elaboration of methodological tools for new and old media observation
Development of a tailored technical tools (professional Databases, websites and social media monitoring tools) for media monitoring
Electoral technical assistance
During several worldwide missions, the experts of the Osservatorio di Pavia contributed to the strengthening the capacity of media regulatory authorities, electoral commissions and civil society organizations engaged in the creation of media monitoring centres through technical assistance and training activities.
The Osservatorio di Pavia also carries out a number of training courses addressed to the above-mentioned institutions and organisations in its headquarters in Pavia – Italy. The in-house, full-immersion approach of the training activities of the Osservatorio di Pavia was highly appreciated by the interlocutors.