The Media and Advocacy (MA) unit will carry out advocacy work and information dissemination, stimulating debate through media channels.
The unit will disseminate messages and information that promote quality education through mass media in raising public awareness, dialogue, discussion and action. Publications produced and disseminated will be linked and advocacy themes developed, and this will be used as one of the ways to disseminate messages from other communications channels. HakiElimu will support journalists to conduct surveys and investigative researches, and the findings will be independently reported in the media to raise awareness on education, democracy, governance, gender equity, human rights and accountability issues. Media campaigns will be conducted focusing on increasing the level and depth of public debates and discussions.
The intended outcomes for the MA unit include the following: Journalists are actively and critically investigating, analyzing, reporting, ask hard questions and stimulating debate on education issues; Citizens are using information from research and the media to hold their leaders to account; MPs and executives are engaging citizens in influencing change; HakiElimu and partners are actively engaged in advocating for an improved quality of education, governance and transparency; and the public is debating, discussing and paying attention to issues raised through HakiElimu’s publications, creative messages and media programmes.
The MA unit has proposed the following major outputs: Media houses will have undertaken investigative research, analysis and reports on education issues; Friends of Education and other citizens are supported to use media spaces and opportunities in advocating and demanding for change; Citizens, Friends of Education and other stakeholders are informed through analytical and popular publications; TV/Radio spots and media programs are produced and broadcast for awareness creation and advocacy for improved education quality and democracy; HakiElimu’s units and partners are supported to engage media outlets and share information as intended.
The major activities of the unit are described below:
1.1. Media reporting and investigative journalism
The MA unit will use an investigative reporting approach to raise issues, challenges and best practices which will be used by stakeholders to improve the quality of education. The MA unit will bring up issues, findings and lessons learnt with key stakeholders for action. Mini-media surveys will be conducted with a similar approach so as to highlight specific districts with poor national examination results for the purpose of contributing to the awareness of the inhibiting factors as well as to highlight best practices and lessons learned from other parts of the country. HakiElimu will share newsworthy tips with media houses and support them to undertake investigative reporting as an effective way of promoting coverage of education issues and a strategic approach of strengthening collaboration with the media.
1.2. Public advocacy
HakiElimu will strategically expand the use of regional radio stations and a few national TV and radio stations. This approach will increase the visibility of HakiElimu’s messages. The unit will produce and broadcast its own TV and radio programs, designed on key campaign themes of the organization each year. The unit will also produce and broadcast creative and thoughtful radio commentaries on topical and policy issues as a way of sharing opinions on emerging issues in relation to HakiElimu’s vision and mission.
1.3. Media engagement and information dissemination
HakiElimu will also continue utilizing the expertise of its staff in writing weekly thoughtful articles (op-eds) that will be published in newspapers (in both English and Swahili). The unit will popularize the exemplary work and experiences of some of the Friends in the media, preferably through profiles and documentaries for other citizens in other communities to emulate them. Furthermore, the unit is determined to expand the use of social media, i.e. blog, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and new technologies in complementing organizational-wide campaigns and in increasing coverage of education issues.
1.4. Media monitoring
The MA unit will monitor the coverage of education issues specifically in print media. This will provide significant information to HakiElimu which is determined to promote quality basic education. The organization’s desire to know what is happening in different parts of the country in regards to education, and this information is necessary in planning for appropriate interventions. The information, once identified, will be analyzed and reported, complete with attached newspaper clippings, to all HakiElimu program units and other stakeholders upon request. Some of the education clippings will be uploaded to the organizational blog highlighting daily issues/events in education. There has been a significant amount of media coverage about HakiElimu. In most cases it comes from HakiElimu’s activities and publicity. The MA unit will continue to monitor media coverage about HakiElimu in order to gauge the public perception and the image it portrays. Program units and the Executive Director will be notified at the earliest possible time, especially when a controversial article or comment about HakiElimu is identified in the media. The MA unit will conduct analyses of HakiElimu’s coverage in the media and provide recommendations to the Executive Director on interventions to improve HakiElimu public perception and cultivate good will and a positive image.
1.5. Popular Publications
Media Unit will coordinate and facilitate the design of high quality and truly popular publications to facilitate access of information to the public, create awareness, stimulate debate and facilitate citizens to actively engage. The information and advocacy will focus on quality of education, governance and transparency in the education sector, democracy, gender equity, children’s rights, and mostly emphasizing on how citizens can actively and boldly engage and make a difference in education in their communities. The truly popular publications and story books continue to be in high demand because of their accuracy, simplicity and facts that enable even semi illiterate citizens to have a clear understanding of education and governance issues in the country. Other publications will also be published with critical analysis of budget and policy issues to ensure transparency and quality service delivery.
A comprehensive catalogue of all HakiElimu’s publications, including those by other units, will be produced in both physical and electronic formats to facilitate easy selection and access of all our work. An effective and improved database will be used to ensure efficiency and professionalism in recording and distribution of all publication and allow feedback from readers.