SPEAKERS SAY: Deane, Levy, Førde, Quon, Williams

Susan Moeller's picture
BY SUSAN MOELLER
Director, International Center for Media & the Public Agenda, U of Md

FRAMING QUESTION:  James DEANE, director of Policy, BBC World Trust:  "This is where I think the governance consensus is - there is agreement that there is a problem to be solved in understanding how media development assistance fits into the governance agenda.... Information communication is understood in development to be absolutely critical – but what about the media?"

Brian LEVYadvisor, Public Sector Governance Poverty Reduction & economic Management, World Bank:  "There has been an extraordinary sea change inside the World Bank... The central recognition is now to understand and address political economy and institutional realities.  Increasingly there is an expection that we need to manage risks, to understand the environment in which we work.  We're no longer talking about 'best practices' – we're backing away from 'good' governance to 'good enough' governance.  What are effective means, feasible next steps?"

Bjørn FØRDE, director, UNDP Governance Centre:  "The focus of donors on mutual accountability has limited pressures on local accountability.  As we move into the locus of domestic accountability, media have to be inserted into the broader accountability agenda, rather than to be considered as a separate silo."

Ann QUON, principal director, External Relations, Asian Development Bank:  "I'm not sure we have a shared definition of 'good governance.'  What is it?  Accountability.  Participation.  Predictability.  Transparency.... Does the shift toward good governance then offer an opportunity for greater media development?  The interest in greater transparency, especially, is where the best opportunity lies for attention to media."

Lisa WILLIAMS, policy analyst, DAC Governance Network (GOVNET), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): "In considering ways to work on domestic accountability more effectively, what are the entry-point issues for particular countries that can help us look at the a range of institutions - media, civil society and parliaments - and their interaction?  They should be determined in-country and include resource mobilization, taxation, service delivery – especially in the health sector – and electoral cycles.  The role of media figures squarely in all these issues."

Eric Newton's picture

"What was the most

"What was the most interesting in the post-morning break discussion is that several of the governance folks were simultaneously claiming they weren't doing much 'media development,' yet then describing developing information ethics, open government, distribution of information and ways to analyze and criticize.  They very much are involved in their own version of media work – because it is crucial work – but they just don't want to call it that.  If they admit they are actually setting up alternative media systems, they would have to justify not engaging with existing media systems or helping news systems evolve that are not under their control."