CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Assessing Media Development in Kenya using UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDIs)



Within the framework of:

  • Major Programme V, Main Line of Action 1 of UNESCO’s 39 C/5: “Fostering freedom of expression online and offline, promoting the safety of journalists, advancing diversity and participation in media, and supporting independent media”;
  • Expected Result 3 of MLA 1: “Media development is strengthened, and Member States have improved monitoring and reporting systems, and these results are reinforced by external grassroots projects supported by the IPDC”;

UNESCO seeks the services of a research/academic institution or media organization to partner with, to conduct a comprehensive study and analysis of the state of media development in Kenya using the UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDIs) endorsed by the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). The MDI assessment will result in an evidence-based baseline about the state of media development in Kenya and contribute to media policy dialogues for improved the media landscape in Kenya. 

Under the authority of the Director of UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa and under the direct supervision of the Communication and Information Specialist, the contractor shall; 

  1. Establish an inclusive, gender-balanced National Steering Committee of stakeholders representing variety of actors involved in media development, including government; private, public and community media; civil society; journalism education institutions; professional associations; journalists’ unions, among others. The purpose of the National Steering Committee will be to oversee and provide input to the research process, creating a bridge between the assessment process and national stakeholders;
  1. Identify, recruit, and train competent researchers, under the leadership of a lead researcher, to collect data on media development as part of the process of assessment of media development in Kenya, based on UNESCO’s methodology. The lead researcher should be an expert on media issues with competences in academic research, data collection, and analysis;
  2. Organize, in close consultation with UNESCO, one-day consultative workshop for the National Steering Committee and identified stakeholders, including experts in media development, researchers, with the aim to officially launch the project, brief the participants on UNESCOs MDI methodology and to discuss the modalities of their implementation as part of the assessment of media development in Kenya;
  3. Ensure that the lead researcher identifies potential data sources, to provide a basis for investigating the indicators in compliance with the methodology as laid out in UNESCO’s MDI Guidelines for Researchers. The data sources should include literature/desk review, Focus Group Discussions (FGD), and expert consultations/interviews as the case may be.
  4. Collect data according to the approved methodology and prepare an analytical research report in English. The report should be drafted following the Media Development Indicators: A framework for Assessing Media Development, and should include:

A detailed analytical assessment of the state of media development in Kenya based on the five categories as outlined in the framework;

A summary of the main findings from the assessment; and

A set of evidence-based key-recommendations for each of the key indicator categories of MDIs.  

  1.    Finalize the research by submitting a revised draft report based on the inputs from the National Steering Committee, peer reviewer(s), comments from validation meeting, and UNESCO’s feedback. As the MDI assessment will take the form of a UNESCO publication, final decisions on content will lie with UNESCO. 
  2. Document the activities organized, including preparing relevant photographs (with captions) to be included in the final report;
  3. Ensure due credit is paid to UNESCO throughout the whole process, including in each of the public statements made in relation to the assessment;
  4. As the pursuit of gender equality is one of UNESCO’s global priorities, the Contractor shall endeavour to ensure equal participation of women and men in this activity and to report thereon in the final report.

Application process

To apply for the contract to conduct this assessment, please provide the following:

  • Technical research proposal, indicating the approach and methodology for conducting the assignment, a detailed work plan with timelines for proposed activities, CVs of key researchers, and comments on ToR if any (in brief); and  
  • A detailed financial proposal quoted in USD Dollars for all foreseen expenses related to this assessment; and
  • Brief profile of the applicant, inventory of similar tasks undertaken, references, and a copy indicating the legal status of the applicant.

Link to UNESCOs publications

a) Applying UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators: Applying UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators: A Practical Guidebook to Assist Researchers, link:

b) Media Development Indicators: A Framework for Assessing Media Development, link:

Submission deadline:

Please send your technical research proposal and detailed financial proposal to; copied to, and not later than COB, Friday, 13 December 2019.

Your proposal and any supporting documents must be in English. UNESCO places great emphasis on ensuring that the objectives of the work assignment, as described in the Terms of Reference, are fully met within a mutually agreed timeframe. Accordingly, in evaluating the proposals for the assignment, attention will focus first and foremost on the technical elements. From those proposals deemed suitable in terms of the criteria in the Terms of Reference, UNESCO shall select the proposal that offers the Organization best value for money.

It is the responsibility of your organization/institution to ensure that your proposal is received by the deadline.

Thank you for your interest in this UNESCO assignment; and we look forward to receiving your proposal.