Newly Formed Consultants’ Network Offers Platform for Media Development Experts

(Photo by Jon S. and licensed via Creative Commons - CC BY 2.0)

By Susan Abbott

The Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) was founded with a focus on media development implementers.

Several groups exist to bring together academics doing research on international media topics.

Donors have their own groups.

And now there is a group centered on the individuals who do international media development work.

That is why during this week of celebration of World Press Freedom, we are proud to announce the launch of the International Media Development Advisors (IMDA), an experienced group of media development consultants.

IMDA will include an online platform available to organizations looking for consultants in a range of media development expertise and also have a platform for consultants to share their experiences.

“We are establishing IMDA as a trusted source of top-level professionals for donors and implementers. Each of our members has made significant contributions to the field of media development,” said Marguerite Sullivan, who had the idea for IMDA and is founder and former senior director of the Center for International Media Assistance.  “We also know each other’s work in our many different areas of specialty in the media development field; through IMDA can share ideas and collaborate on projects.”


The International Media Development Advisers (IMDA) website.

The group has three purposes:

  • To exchange knowledge, create benchmarks of best practices, expand partnerships, market the experience of its members, share opportunities, and develop an esprit de corps among the field’s leading experts.
  • To highlight professionals with diverse skills who can collaborate on projects.
  • To provide a secure site for members to share information, news, ideas, and experiences.

In addition to Sullivan and me, founding members of IMDA include: Michelle Foster, Ellen Hume, Shanthi Kalathil, Bill Orme, Mogens Schmidt, and Mark Whitehouse. These names are familiar to anyone who has followed CIMA’s work as many are on CIMA’s Advisory Council or have written reports for CIMA.

IMDA members’ expertise range from journalism training to media sustainability, from print and broadcast to digital media, and from media law to helping governments be more transparent. Information about IMDA and its members will be featured online on its website (, as well as on LinkedIn.

We know that there are a number of other media development professionals who may be interested in the group, and envision extending membership through a member nomination and review process. For more information about IMDA please contact

Susan Abbott is an independent consultant, providing services in the areas of program monitoring & evaluation, research & learning, and program development/grant writing in support of independent media, digital rights, and access to information. She is based in Denver, Colorado. 

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