Digital Media Strategies and Tactics for the International Development Community

Accelerated digital transformation has amplified the role of digital media in all aspects of society. From the creation of a metaverse to the viral AI model ChatGPT, digital media technologies are fast evolving – as are young people’s digital media consumption behaviors and habits.  

Amid these shifts, the international development community is working to find sustainable and effective digital media solutions that can impact societies, thereby leading to social change. 

In 2022, RNW Media worked with 22 partners from 15 countries to improve their digital media strategies to achieve social change. Through these collaborations, we co-created digital media strategies and solutions. In the process, we compiled data insights to inform the international development community’s approaches to impact young people. 

  • Digital inclusion is crucial for young people’s active participation in society, particularly in countries where internet penetration remains low. 
  • Building digital media and data literacy is essential for young people to surf the internet safely and access pluralistic, fact-based information on issues that matter to them. 
  • Technology Facilitated Gender-based Violence (TFGBV) against women, female journalists, and the LGBTQIA+ community requires tailored mechanisms to ensure that these groups can meaningfully participate in digital civic spaces. 
  • Dis-, mis- and mal-information pose challenges to freedom of speech and access to reliable information. 

The insights and co-creation process enabled our partners to better understand the realities of young people, bolstering safe, inclusive online communities where opinions are respected, and young people can express themselves freely. Through digital media, incremental changes in young peoples’ attitudes and behaviours – influencing social norms and policies broadly – is made possible.