Case study

Working with mass media to improve policy advocacy in Nigeria


for market systems approaches

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Published by
The Springfield Centre and Adam Smith International
Project implementer
Adam Smith International (ASI)
Results level
Systemic change
Observational / Qualitative
Data source
Intervention type
Improved product / service quality

The case study focuses on ENABLE (Enhancing Nigerian Advocacy for a Better Business Environment), and the work it has carried out to reform the media in Nigeria; specifically, to increase the quality and quantity of coverage dedicated to small business and agricultural issues. It outlines the strategies that were employed and considers how these reforms have positively impacted the business environment for poor communities.

Main findings

ENABLE has succeeded at increasing small business media coverage across TV, print and radio, and results include:

  • Improved voice for poor men and women
  • Sustained increase in quantity and quality of business coverage 
  • Better business environment for micro-enterprises 
  • Changing rules and norms around media practices.

Intervention description

The intervention aims to improve the media’s focus on issues facing micro-enterprises and provide balanced business news content that steers away from its dominant coverage of stock market reports and big business. The intervention targets media producers by working in partnership with local media organisations to change incentives, capacities and attitudes towards the industry’s approach to the promotion of a pro-poor business environment. ENABLE seeks to promote the coverage of business environment issues through issue-driven, bottom-up and interactive approaches that are both accessible and commercially profitable.

Evidence methodology

This case study obtained its findings through a combination of desk research and field site visits. Qualitative research methods were used to assess ENABLE’s monitoring and results management system. This included interviews with those involved in the target initiatives, to establish whether a better environment had been created for micro-entrepreneurs, whether greater voice had been given to workers and whether accountability had improved as a result.

Useful for:

This case study is useful for gaining insight on how the media can promote accountability and shared knowledge in small business environments. This is applicable for development practitioners, and those interested in media practises and their impact on development.