This mixed-methods, mid-term performance evaluation focused on the Civil Society and Media (CSM) Activity′s programmatic effectiveness and contributions to democratic processes as well as how it affected inclusivity of vulnerable groups. Overall, the CSM Activity worked effectively to influence laws, policies, processes, practices, and services affecting the people of Burma. While some civil society grantees offered recommendations to the government about laws and policies on a national scale, others contributed to action on the local level. All media grantees produced content to raise awareness about priorities of public interest. Some contributed to action by State/Region and local governments, but government entities do not openly recognize media as influencing their decisions and actions. The Activity increased the quantity of content produced by media grantees, particularly in periphery areas, and it had some success in increasing exchange of information between urban and rural areas; however, most examples are not related to Union-level democratic reform issues. The Activity′s influence on an improved media enabling environment has been limited, given the restrictive operating environment and constriction in Burma′s press freedoms.
Authors: Julia Rizvi, Mathias Kjaer, Angela Thaung, Aung Tun (Social Impact Inc.)