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Evaluation of IPS Communication Foundation’s work within freedom of expression in Türkiye


Monitoring and Evaluation

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This is an evaluation of Sida’s support to IPS Communication Foundation (IPS) work on freedom of expression in Turkey. The evaluation was carried out between May and September 2022 by a team from FCG Sweden comprised of two evaluators supported by project management and quality assurance services. The evaluation covers the current phase 2019-2022 of IPS’s work to which Sida provides core support amounting to a total of SEK 20.8 million. Sida is the main donor to IPS.
Sida’s support takes place against a backdrop of negative trends in the status of democracy, respect for human rights and rule of law in Turkey. The intervention has four main objectives:
Objective 1 – News reporting: IPS, through Bianet (the web-based news portal of IPS), is a well-recognized and widely used information source for independent, pluralistic and unbiased news provision and information sharing (rights-based news production).
Objective 2 – News monitoring: The rights movement is enabled to act on issues around freedom of expression and violence against women through media monitoring and transparently available evidence.
Objective 3 – Training and capacity building: Journalists from mainstream media and actors of new media that have been involved in IPS activities increasingly use rights-based journalistic principles along with new media tools. This training is delivered through the Atölye Bia school.
Objective 4 – Organisational development: The effectiveness and sustainability of IPS is strengthened through clearer strategy and resources mobilization, improved structure and better monitoring and reporting.
The purpose of the evaluation was to review the current support provided to IPS. It was commissioned at a time when the current agreement between Sida and IPS was coming to an end during 2022 and with IPS due to develop its new strategy and send in a new proposal to the Embassy in late 2022. This was considered a timely moment to take stock of past efforts, what went well, what didn’t go well and to plan for the future. The evaluation terms of reference (ToR) required the evaluation to assess IPS using the OECD/DAC criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability. It set out the evaluation questions to be answered which were further refined during the inception phase.
The evaluation took a utilisation-focused, participatory approach. It used mixed methods comprised of documentary review, interviews and focus group discussions which mainly involved qualitative data collection as well as use of pre-existing quantitative data gathered by IPS. The research was carried out part online and part during a field visit to Ankara and Istanbul by the Evaluation Team in August 2022.