Terms of Reference (ToR) To Conduct Media Monitoring during the Parliamentary Elections July 2013

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1 1.0 Introduction Terms of Reference (ToR) To Conduct Media Monitoring during the Parliamentary Elections July 2013 On September 2013, Rwanda will be conducting her legislative elections. Over the years, Rwanda has managed to conduct progressive credible elections with the help of a very capable National Electoral Commission. Recognizing that capacities for the conduct of elections requires further strengthening for increased transparency and participation, articles 1(7) of the amended law determining the responsibilities, organization and functioning of national electoral commission mandated NEC to to monitor whether candidates enjoy equal access to public media organs during election campaigns. The Government is aware that the capacity of the media to scrutinize and inform on policies and actions of government and public institutions enables the population not only to participate but also to make informed decisions and choices during elections. In the last three years, the Government has undertaken far reaching reforms in the media including promulgating laws that have the effect of widening media space, freedom and independence of the media to regulate their conduct. Media monitoring has proved to be an important tool to assess the role of the media in election and has become a standard element of election process world-wide. Monitoring the performance of the media during this electoral period is therefore important as a way of assessing how the media is contributing to electoral democracy as well as gauging the media performance in relation to the reforms. Periodic media monitoring reports released in the period leading up to the election should provide media outlets with feedback from an independent and neutral institution in order to provide possibility to improve their reporting. The UN has been a partner of the Government of Rwanda in many areas including the area of Democracy and Accountable Governance under One UN flagship programme on deepening democracy and widening political space. Further, the UN Focal Point for Electoral Assistance Mission Assessment (NAM) 2013, in its assessment of electoral environment in Rwanda, observed that the NEC is technically competent and continues to enjoy public trust and that none of the results of the past elections conducted under the auspices of the NEC have been disputed. The report however recommended that the One UN continue supporting the institutional strengthening of NEC. In this regard, elections and media capacity building are some of the strategic areas that the UN will continue support. 1

2 The election media monitoring project is therefore an off shoot of the support to NEC to strengthen its capacity to manage and conduct free, fair and credible elections, under the Inclusive Participation in Governance Programme II, a programme supported by the One UN in Rwanda to deepen democracy and foster good governance as well as enhance citizen participation in governance and decision making processes. 2.0 Purpose of the consultancy To collect data and analyze on elections-related content of print, broadcast and online media, and present the results, in order to gauge whether the media has been independent, transparent and professional in its conduct to promote free fair and credible elections. Specific objectives Evaluate the extent to which elections were fair in terms of freedom of expression by the media, voters and candidates; To review whether political parties and candidates received fair access and coverage; To determine whether law and/or regulations on access to the media are being respected in the allocation and timing of free airtime, advertising slots and respect for regulations on content of advertising during the period of elections; To identify any emerging issues relating to electoral management or the conduct of the campaign that the NEC may have to address; 3.0 Scope of responsibilities and focus of the Monitoring 3.1 Key responsibilities Carry out daily monitoring (7 days a week) for quality and quantity aspects in the election coverage during the period of 1 st August -30 September Produce and publish weekly monitoring briefs covering monitoring of the media election coverage during the 8 weeks from 1 August to 30 th September Carry out a half day debriefing meeting at the end of September to present the final report. 3.2 Focus of the Media monitoring The media monitoring company will analyze the conduct of individual, media organizations and journalists, within the context of the media system as a whole. Specific focus will be on voters rights to receive information; candidates rights to impart information; the conduct of journalists and the media s right to freedom of expression. Voters: To determine whether voters have been given due access to information in the course of the election campaign, the media monitoring company will examine the following issues: Did the media provide voters with sufficient information on the administration of the election and on voting procedures? Did state/public media comply with their obligations to inform the public on relevant issues regarding the electoral process? Were state/public media free to play an impartial, fair and objective role in covering all candidates and political parties, or was there a selective approach to providing information on events? 2

3 Were topics chosen for their informational value or to portray a particular party in a positive or negative light? Were the provisions set out in the national legal framework respected by the media and political parties? Was there any prejudice in reporting based on political affiliation, religious, gender, disability or social status? Candidate: The media monitoring company will focus on the following issues to determine whether candidates had the necessary opportunity to communicate their information to voters: Were election contestants and political parties given equal opportunity to present their campaigns and platforms to the electorate through the media? Did election contestants and political parties have equal or equitable access on a nondiscriminatory basis to public/state media? Did election contestants have unimpeded access to the media? Were there legal or administrative obstacles? Were election contestants and political parties treated fairly by state-controlled or public media outlets? Were election contestants and political parties subject to the same conditions (rates, time, etc.) for paid advertising? Were the different kinds of relevant television programmes, such as news programmes and debates, unbiased? Conduct of Journalism: The media monitoring company will focus on the following questions to determine whether the journalist respected provisions of the law regulating the act of journalism: Were journalists responsible for any clearly biased information or coverage, instances of defamation, partisan declarations or untruthful news? Were any contestants or political parties benefitting from an excessive advantage due to extensive coverage of their official functions? What topics and stories are being covered by the main television news programmes? Is the public broadcaster covering stories favouring a specific party? Are private broadcasters setting an agenda favourable to a specific party? Was any relevant piece of news omitted by the media outlet observed? What contents is circulating through the social media, websites, list servers, text messages to mobile telephones, etc. Have any of the provisions regulating media during the electoral period violated? Are the activities of the election commission being covered? Are sensitive issues related to the administration of the election being covered? Is the coverage promoting confidence in the institutions and the electoral process, or is it undermining their legitimacy? Is there any specific voter-education campaign? If so, does it provide voters with correct and clear information on their right to vote and voting procedures? Media freedom: The media monitoring company will focus on the following questions to determine whether media s freedom of expression has been respected: 3

4 Did the media face any kind of censorship or obstruction by the authorities, political parties or media association? Did journalists engage in self-censorship? Did media outlets face any kind of interference in their editorial policies from the authorities, political parties, or media owners? Did journalists adopt a certain point of view in return for financial or other benefit? 4.0 Implementation Principles The selected monitoring company and its staff shall act in strict conformity with the Rwandan Laws and in particular those related to elections and the media. The selected monitoring company and its staff shall refrain from any interference in the electoral process. The monitoring has to be carried out in strict neutrality and all staff has to refrain from any activities which could be interpreted as bias for or against any party or candidate. The selected monitoring company is expected to coordinate with other national or international monitoring organizations. The selected monitoring company shall work in close cooperation with the NEC secretariat and the UNDP IPG programme team. 5.0 Methodology for the Media Monitoring The media monitoring in election will be conducted through both quantitative and qualitative content analysis methodology. Quantitative content analysis will collects data about media content such as topics or issues, volume of mentions, messages determined by key words in context, circulation of the media (audience reach) and frequency. It will also consider media form and impact. Qualitative content analysis will examine the relationship between the text and its likely audience meaning. The monitors will pay attention to audience, media and contextual factors. 6.0 Time frame and deliverables Time frame Deliverable Activity Monitoring design, methodology and detailed work plan Inception report/tools Inception Meeting, Initial briefing and methodology Media monitoring content analysis Time allocated 2 days 55 days Weekly briefs half day workshop to present findings Finalization of report Final report 3 days Total number of working days 60 4

5 Deliverable The monitoring company will be required to provide; Inception report Weekly briefs on the status of monitoring Final report 7. Duty Station The duty station of the work is Kigali, Rwanda. However, the company may be required to travel to project sites outside Kigali. 8. Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments The company shall be paid the consultancy fee upon completion of the following milestones. 30% after adoption of the inception report 30% after presentation of the draft report 40% after the approval of the final report The company fee will be paid as Lump Sum Amount (all inclusive of expenses related to the consultancy and tax obligations). The contract price will be fixed regardless of changes in the cost components. 10. Required expertise and qualification An international/local company with the following expertise and qualifications: The lead consultants to have master s degree in communication, media, law, literature, public relations, development studies, international development, or any other relevant university degree; the other consultants to be of high caliber and with relevant experience. Proven experience in monitoring of media election coverage Engagement with the media sector in Rwanda or the Eastern Africa region and cooperation with media sector Experience in democracy and electoral processes in the region Experience in analyzing and interpreting media monitoring data Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Fluency in spoken French will be and added advantage. NB. For an international company, presence of a local consultant in the team is a requirement. 11 Management Arrangements UNDP will contract the company on behalf of the Government of Rwanda and the UN Agencies. The consultant company will however report to the Executive Secretary- National Electoral Commission of Rwanda. Media monitoring facilities and equipment shall be provided by the selected company. This RFP is for an activity specific based activity. UNDP will not fund the establishment of a full country office for the successful bidder. 5

6 12. Time-Frame for the Monitoring The study will be conducted in 1 st August 2013 for an estimated 60 working days. The consultants will be provided with information to prepare (with the support of the UNDP Country Office) a table with tasks, timelines and deliverables, for which the consultants will be responsible and accountable, as well as those involving the commissioning office (UNDP-CO), indicating for each, who is responsible for its completion. Interested companies should apply by presenting the following documents: Letter of expression of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP; Similar references indicating all past experience from similar projects for the lead consultants and other consultants, as well as the contact details ( and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references; Brief description of why the company considers itself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, on how they will approach and complete the assignment. Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided. 13. Selection Criteria Submissions will be evaluated in consideration of the Evaluation Criteria as stated below: The offer will be evaluated by using the Best value for money approach (combined scoring method). Technical proposal will be evaluated on 70%. Whereas the financial one will be evaluated on 30%. Below is the breakdown of technical proposal on 100% which will be brought to 70%: Criteria Weight Max. Point Technical At least the lead consultants to 5 % 5 have master s degree in communication, media, law, literature, public relations, development studies, international development, or any other relevant university degree; and the other consultants to be of high caliber and with relevant experience. Proven experience in monitoring of media election coverage 30 % 30 Overall Methodology 40% 40 Experience in democracy and 5% 5 electoral process in the region Experience in analyzing and 15% 15 6

7 interpreting media monitoring data Fluency in English and a working 5% 5 knowledge of one of the other UN language TOTAL 100% 100 7

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