Executive Summary
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) is a regional nongovernmental organisation that aims to promote a free,
independent, pluralistic, sustainable and competent media
environment and the right to information in southern Africa.
Officially launched in 1992 when it elected its first Regional
Governing Council, MISA was created to help implement the 1991
Windhoek Declaration on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic
African Press. This mandate has since been widened to take
cognisant of The African Charter on Broadcasting of May 2002
which provides principles of for the broadcast media. As at
March 31, 2003, MISA has its Regional Secretariat in Windhoek and
a National Chapter in ten of the Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC) countries. Each Chapter enjoys a national
membership made up of individual journalists, other media
practitioners, media institutions and enterprises.
In April 2001 a participatory Evaluation / Review (E/R) of MISA
was undertaken by COWI and MediaConsult on behalf of Sida, Hivos
and Danida in consultation with MISA. Critical to the findings
was the fact that MISA was broadly meeting its overall
objectives. However, the evaluators pointed to the fact that the
organisation could improve its performance with respect to its
focus on internal housekeeping, its protracted and slightly ill
advised strategic planning process and its management of the
relations with many donors. These aspects were said to be
draining MISA of financial and human resources, which could be
used more productively towards MISA's involvement in championing
media freedom in SADC. More specifically, the evaluators noted
that although MISA and its funding partners had entered into
funding agreements covering a number of years, the
unpredictability of donor funding had reduced the effectiveness
of MISA programmes. This led to a mutual willingness by MISA and
its partners to explore a more co-ordinated approach to funding.
In March 2002, four of MISA’s long term donors, Danida, Hivos,
Norad and Sida agreed to fund the MISA 3-year Strategic Plan (
The Strateguc Partnership Programme April 1, 2002 to March 31,
2005) using a basket funding model under which the donors would
contribute to the MISA budget and received one report at the end
of the fiscal year. This is the first such report.
This report covers the period April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003 ad
provides information on the implementation of the 5 programme
areas that MISA identified as critical to its effective
intervention to improve media freedom and freedom of expression
in the region. The report is the first attempt for MISA to give a
comprehensive annual report of its activities in the region. A
more formal MISA Annual report will be complied and printed for


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