Media & Human Resources

The 'media and human resources' programme focuses on modernising the media industry by enhancing the training provided to both men and women. Such training initiatives seek not only to strengthen local organisations that provide initial training, but also to identify and then support the young professionals of tomorrow who embody the modernisation of their country. These projects are aimed at individuals, whether at the beginning of, or at a crossroads in, their careers.

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Training for African coaches and trainers

Training for African coaches and trainers

Training of management coaches and trainers in French-speaking Africa on priority issues.

Images of Africa - Credit photo : Gael Teicher

Images of Africa

Enhancement of professional skills in cinema and the audiovisual industry by supporting seven basic and professional training structures...

Shabab up! School

Shabab up! School

Support for young people in two Maghreb countries through the modernisation of journalism training.

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1.General context

Human resources – a key factor in heading towards a more inclusive development

Whereas the economic growth of countries remains the key indicator when gauging the effectiveness of development policies, the United Nations believes that "human development lies at the heart of the development process" and that it "even constitutes the ultimate aim of economic development". Observing the implementation of all the development policies over a relatively long period reveals a convergence between the programme silos for a priori competing objectives: economy, social protection, access to essential services, democracy or the fight against poverty.

According to development principles that are global, endogenous and centred on people, progress is connected to the quantity of knowledge already acquired for building human capital. Since the Khartoum Declaration of 1990, men and women have simultaneously constituted the key factors and the purposes underlying and justifying any development programme.

Human resources – a key factor in heading towards a more inclusive development

The place of human resources in development policies

The "human resources" issue is most often associated with corporate and economic thinking. In relation to development, programmes devoted to human resources focus on objectives that are evaluated either in terms of capacity development or in terms of human capital. This distinction coincides with that which exists, in the analysis of employment, between work and the active population.

Human resources development projects that aim to develop capacities are primarily evaluated in terms of the qualitative improvement of the available workforce or in terms of the increase in density of a skilled workforce.

Thus, when applied to the field of media, the development of press companies relies on employees who understand the issues of their sector of activity, implement the good practices of their profession according to the local constraints and put procedures into place that are applied in the long term.

All of this development, whether it be temporary or ongoing, constitutes an asset for orienting and galvanising the careers of the professionals of the sector.

The multilateral organisations that implement the main development programmes identify a second objective that is evaluated in terms of human capital. The impact does not evaluate, in this case, the correlation between an individual and an activity but, on a larger scale, it evaluates its contribution to the development of a sector of activity or the development of a country. The skills acquired influence the potential of a sector and, over long periods, contribute towards the development of society as a whole.

The French approach: the beginnings of providing a response through training in the 1970s

Historically, France has always paid particular attention to its academic cooperation, which was composed of both a political strategy of scholarships and a certain number of bilateral cooperation agreements. A comprehensive investigation carried out in 2007 by the French High Council for International Cooperation and the French Conference of University Presidents set out the objectives and projects, establishment by establishment.

For the welcoming component, 50% of the foreign students present on French campuses come from developing countries. This volume illustrates the weight of this practice, which is deeply rooted in the French university model. This policy of welcoming and training has unquestionably supported the development policies of countries whose citizens, once they have returned to their country of origin, have contributed towards increasing the density of entire areas of their economy, most particularly in the administrative, medical, economic and educational sectors.

This type of relationship has also existed for a long time in the media profession training sector in the form of a systematic policy of long-term scholarships (primarily at the INA), which made it possible, from the end of the 1970s, to train a large number of managers and executives from media groups from Francophone countries of the South. Approximately fifteen years ago, France brought an end to this policy on account of its cost and the intense competition between the academic institutions of the North. The spread of scholarship-holders from a single country would no longer enable a single country to lay claim to such an impact (and to such visibility) among the leaders of a single sector.

Although there are still a number of opportunities for higher education in the audiovisual field in France, the resources allocated to the diplomatic network within the framework of selective bilateral programmes are no longer sufficient to meet demand.

For their part, some academic establishments advertise for partnerships that tackle development issues. In the majority of cases, these actions prolong individual actions, often even informal actions, undertaken by some of their teaching or management staff. These efforts, which are initially voluntary, make it possible to identify needs and the local teams that wish to modernise their institutions. Once they have established a relationship, the institutions eventually formalise projects. For their part, the cooperation and cultural action services also identify needs before implementingcustom-made cooperation projects.

The partnerships take various forms:

  • Running centres of excellence from the North that are relocated in establishments of the South and contribute towards making the institutions of the South more attractive while keeping the students in their national environment
  • Training trainers, strengthening local capacities and creating pools of young researchers seeking to make their resources available to local institutions so that they develop on the basis of a reinforced foundation of skills
  • Transferring pedagogical and administrative expertise so that the establishments can improve their governance and head towards the bachelors/masters/doctorate model in order to increase their students' chances of mobility.

In the media profession training sector, this cooperation is implemented by CFI on behalf of the MAEDI. The objectives pursued are to empower and network local institutions.

The emergence of an initial or permanent training offering in a number of growing countries of the South has led French cooperation to support, as a priority, these local actors that contribute towards structuring the development of their countries.

The North/South rationale behind scholarship policies is gradually giving way to an approach based on public development aid.

The modernisation of the media enterprises in the countries of the South relies on the strengthening of their human resources and is as much about management executives and intermediate management executives as the employees as a whole. Due to the simple issue of volume and cost, French cooperation tends to concentrate its direct actions on decision-makers and meet the expectations of a greater number of people via indirect programmes such as the trainer training courses or the strengthening of local training capacities.

In actual fact, the diplomatic network also deals with a large number of individual requests seeking responses that are adapted to their expectations. Concentrating resources around the requirements of the companies of the sector considerably reduces the opportunities for meeting these expectations unless they can be introduced, on occasion, to local or regional institutions with which they may not be familiar. This role of orientation is modest but essential for compensating for the absence of local intermediaries. In a large number of cases, the new online offerings can constitute solutions that are more economical and occasionally more suited to their environment. In Africa especially, several distance-learning training sessions were created around solutions that were in touch with the local issues and realities. Even if these qualifications do not necessarily have the same image as those of the better universities in the Shanghai ranking 4, they nonetheless increase the level of employability.

2.Priority issues in relation to human resources

The implementation of a Media and Human Resources program responds to the needs of the development of the sector overall by means of better initial and ongoing training of professionals called upon to implement, on a daily basis, the good practices adopted by their media, both from an editorial perspective and a managerial perspective. It is as much about promoting and supervising the careers of future managers as it is about strengthening the local centres providing initial or ongoing training. It also makes it possible to promote the creation of networks that bring together the actors involved in the transformation of the media.

Priority issues in relation to human resources

Support the modernisation of local training centres

Local solutions (national or remote training centres), albeit still of varying quality, do make it possible, however, to train a substantial amount of professionals in most sectors, including that of the media.

It is only these local structures that can respond to a growing number of requests from collective landscapes consisting of private media organisations and even individualistic landscapes consisting of multidiscipline neoentrepreneurs whose requirements are just as diverse as their profiles.

At the other end of the spectrum, traditional institutions (training centres, schools, universities) wish to offer training providing qualifications in line with international standards and need to come into contact with their counterparts in the South and in the North.

Identify the decision-makers of tomorrow and support them

With the opening of the media domain to a multitude of new actors with very heterogeneous economic models, the main priority is to enable the public to distinguish between several forms of content; online journalism, militant information and propaganda freely coexist at the risk of creating confusion.

This confusion is exacerbated by the fact that, in many countries, the press card does not exist and there is no way of distinguishing a trained and qualified journalist from an amateur who is more or less aware of the impact of his publications. So as not to leave the digital domain in the hands of unscrupulous manipulators, it is becoming ever more urgent to train and support those who have fought to win this new area of freedom and continue to fight to increase its credibility by means of ethical and qualitative practices.

At a time when violence and extremism are prospering due to digital networks, identifying intermediaries and influential players of civil society has become a priority.

By supporting their project, cooperation gives them the tools to enable the impact of their work to affect their fellow citizens and contribute towards reinforcing the social foundations around them.

This enlargement of the media landscapes, which range from national media to online initiatives, illustrates the expectations of the people and makes it possible to expedite the governance processes while considerably enlarging the area of intervention of the media cooperation players. Identifying the decision-makers of tomorrow represents a second chance for some self-taught entrepreneurs who will thus have access to training adapted to taking on responsibilities and making a success of their own initiatives.

Develop collective spaces for sharing information and incubating projects

While the audiovisual landscapes are becoming denser, new players are structuring themselves but they are often lacking in hindsight, time and resources for the purposes of sharing their experience and benefiting from that of their counterparts (of the South, primarily, but occasionally those of the North as well).

So far, very few intermediaries have emerged in the form of professional clubs and groups such as those that exist in the countries of the North. There is a vast gulf between the emergence of this energetic sector, which is a little chaotic but is shaping the future of the sector, and the traditional bodies founded around the public media, which, in the majority of cases, were created and financed by the countries of the North.

The issue consists in supporting the initiatives that come from, and are carried out by, players of the South, and in supporting the transitional phase of their development and their structuring.

SafirLab aims to reinforce the skills of those that embody the new political and social dynamics of the Arab world. With the emergence of a new community, founded on the values of a shared experience, this project thus expects to participate in the building of a south Mediterranean exchange space.

3.CFI’s responses in relation to human resources

The development of human resources features among the priorities of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which have been aligned with those of multilateral organisations ever since the principles of the Busan Partnership for effective cooperation in support of development were adopted.

This structuring issue cuts across all traditional "silos" of development priorities and it covers a wide variety of needs. CFI has chosen to intervene in a number of key areas that do not constitute entirely new projects in relation to the three other programmes. This desire to concentrate the focus nonetheless provides the opportunity to support certain identified and trained beneficiaries in other projects.

The three areas of intervention adopted by CFI:

  • Supporting and developing training centres providing initial and ongoing training
  • Training in excellence, intended for targeted beneficiaries in the South
  • Support for networks and groups of professionals from media organisations of the South

The development of human resources features among the priorities of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Supporting the development of training centres providing initial and ongoing training

CFI does not intend to meet all the demands of the training centres in the intervention countries that wish to modernise and develop their offerings. In fact, the agency mandate of cooperation in support of media operators in the countries of the South tends to favour interventions that benefit professionals that are active in their working structures.

However, in certain very specific cases of countries that are overcoming a crisis or are undergoing a democratic revolution, when the media landscape is ravaged or inexistent, such projects can make it possible to contribute towards providing the sector with a more sustainable organisation and preparing future generations for this sector.

Long-term issues from the perspective of the recipient countries

  • Provide a pathway of training to meet international standards

Key objectives of projects that help to modernise the training centres

  • Strengthen the national or regional educational pathways
  • Propose local adaptations to international standards

Requirements of the recipient training centres

  • Advice in the area of organising and managing the centres and of developing the curricula
  • Training of teams: mastery of new pedagogical and administrative tools and methods
  • Developing programmes adapted to the expectations of the profession
  • Development of permanent training courses in order to meet the requirements of fostering professionalism among the teams in place

CFI's responses via workshops

  • Defining management procedures that are intended to strengthen the economic model of the schools (independence of the schools)
  • Training the management teams and the trainers (improving curricula)
  • Setting out organisation charts (job descriptions and team organisation)
  • Breaking the training courses providing a qualification down into permanent training modules

Measures of impact

  • Recognition of the centres by the players of the sector (employability of the graduates, participation of the media in the form of financing or providing professionals for the training sessions
  • Development of the media group managers to train their existing teams in the form of short or intensive courses
  • Success of recruitment campaigns
  • Economic independence on the part of the centres (reasonable tuition fees, economic involvement with the companies of the sector, obtainment of financing through bidding)

Origins of the creation of the Myanmar Journalism School:

Since 2012, the Burmese authorities have shown tangible signs of openness in the media sector. Given the desire of the authorities to open a higher-education school of journalism that meets international standards, the French Embassy worked on obtaining European cooperation (Denmark, Sweden, Germany), while CFI proceeded with the audits and feasibility studies.

The object of cooperation is not solely to run training courses, but also to put a Burmese team in place that is capable of taking control of the design and creation of the school and of ensuring that long-term management is in place once the foundations have been laid with the assistance of European expertise.

Launched on the basis of cooperation financing from 4 European countries, this project represents a prototype in a country where secondary education has long been reduced to its simplest form. CFI financed the French component of the first interventions after which the financing is to be taken over by the French Fonds de Solidarité Prioritaire for two years (2015/2017) and the school is to obtain European funding amounting to approximately 7 million euros.

See more about this project :

Setting up the Myanmar Journalism Institute

Training in excellence, intended for targeted beneficiaries in the South

CFI approaches accredited academic centres that may be able to offer training that offers a qualification (or a certificate) and is of a format that will meet the expectations of groups of professionals from media organisations of the South. Fostering professionalism among these organisations is essential to enable them to meet the expectations in terms of quantity of the initial and ongoing training on the part of the media companies from the countries of the South.

Long-term issues for the recipient countries

  • Provision of centres of excellence that are adapted to the needs of the future leaders of the sector

Key objectives of the projects that provide niche training

  • Enable career promotions via high-quality training that provides a certificate
  • Keep talent in the local economic and sectoral environment

Requirements of the recipients

  • Obtainment of a qualification in order to be able to relaunch their career, facilitate their promotion or enable them to start their own company
  • Seek out structured training to validate professional experience and complement it with the latest techniques in use

CFI's responses

  • Create a number of training modules that are adapted to the issues of professionals from the countries of the South
  • Identify beneficiaries by means of its network of contacts and by using platforms for multilingual calls for candidates
  • Organise scholarship systems to support the project of fostering professionalism among certain candidates (proactive promotion of candidates from the provinces and candidates and young professionals with innovative projects).

Measures of impact

  • Supervising the professional careers of the graduates
  • Building a network of decision-makers who have benefited from French cooperation in terms of being able to develop their career

The Masters in Management for the media of the South:

Since 2011, CFI, the ESJ (Higher School of Journalism) of Lille and the Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (Institute of Business Administration) of Lille created a distance-learning masters in management for media companies of the South. This French-language qualification is open to media professionals who wish to relaunch their careers towards more responsibility.

CFI granted approximately 60 scholarships over the first three years in order to support the launch of this distance-learning training programme. Several media partners of CFI seized this opportunity to enrol some of their executives with a view to enlarging their potential for promotion.

Creation of networks and groups of professionals from media organisations of the South

Each year, CFI works with several thousand beneficiaries who often have stable careers. Several projects make it possible to identify particularly motivated and ambitious participants. Beyond the objectives belonging to each project in which they participate, these men and women make up a network that should be managed and nurtured so that it can be called upon when the time comes.

Long-term issues for French cooperation

  • Building and managing a network of decision-makers that can be called upon by French cooperation in order to develop new projects

Key objectives of this project

  • Identify, among the beneficiaries of the projects, the individuals who are the most interested in participating in such a network
  • Manage this network so that the beneficiaries take an interest in it and keep it going over time

CFI's approach

  • Implement a monitoring tool
  • Identify the most relevant contacts within each project when it is implemented or when it is evaluated
  • Develop a monitoring policy in order to support the network, manage it, update the contacts and create a permanent relationship with these professionals

Measures of impact

  • Ability to call upon the network in emergencies (opportunity, crisis)
  • Updating the network regularly
  • Greater knowledge of the markets of the countries of the South and of developments in the making

SafirLab 2013

Launched in 2012, the SafirLab project was conceived by the French Institute and CFI in order to respond to the demands of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which states that the traditional intermediaries – the embassies – underestimated the scale of the Arab Spring.

A group of young players from the civil society of 6 countries of the Deauville Partnership (Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen) is invited to Paris where tutors guide them and advise them in the implementation of their personal projects. CFI follows, more specifically, young professionals from the media sector.

The selection process makes it possible to identify young professionals that do not have a natural link to France. By supporting them in their working language, French cooperation shares certain experiences and creates relationships with future decision-makers with an ambition to modernise their societies.

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