Annual Report 2023
A Radio Ndeke Luka correspondent reporting from Obo in the Central African Republic. © Gwenn Dubourthoumieu / Fondation Hirondelle.

Fondation Hirondelle’s strategic programme


This third year of our 2021-24 strategic programme has been marked by a 20% increase in our financial volume, as well as notable operational and editorial results. We have been able to maintain our activities in our areas of operation, despite continuing volatile and dangerous conditions, such as the coup d’Etat in Niger in July. The latest audience surveys conducted in CAR, Mali and Niger attest to the high levels of trust that people place in the media we support. Our audiences’ loyalty can be explained by both the editorial content in service of the populations concerned, and the combination of local languages, radio – which is the “mass media par excellence” – and our fast-growing digital platforms.

Our results in 2023 include: offering new programmes to support an electoral process by Studio Hirondelle in DR Congo; offering a variety of broadcast modes by sending audio files on WhatsApp in CAR; and strengthening local media in the face of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Myanmar. Over the past year, we have also conducted a research project on the coverage of genderbased violence in Burkina Faso and firmed up a concept note for the European Union’s Community of Practice (CoP) on media involvement in mediation processes.

At institutional level, we have developed a training programme for all Fondation employees to raise awareness of abuse of power and moral and sexual harassment.

The Fondation Hirondelle Board welcomed two new members: Anna Trechsel, a producer with Swiss public radio, and Marc Hofstetter, former Deputy Executive Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD).

Key figures 2023

11 media operations in 11 countries,

10 million regular listeners in Africa

48 % of whom are women*

12,067 hours of audio programming

276 hours of video programming

9,419 web articles

1,475,491 website users

1,006,045 subscribers on social networks

401 media supported

2,314 people trained

* Estimated audiences for Fondation Hirondelle’s six programmes and media in Africa (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, DRC, CAR and Madagascar) based on audience surveys carried out by IMMAR in 2022 and 2023, and Kantar at the end of 2020. réalisées par les instituts IMMAR en 2022 et 2023, et Kantar fin 2020.


Today, every country in the world faces the problematic spread of “information black holes”, where lack of access to reliable sources of information encourages disinformation. At a time when democratic principles are being called into question in all parts of the world, censorship, threats and lack of funding are endangering independent journalism. This is all the more dramatic in crisis countries, where access to factual, verified, non-partisan information is sometimes vital for their populations.

In 2023, the 296 employees of Fondation Hirondelle devoted a great deal of energy and effort to maintaining our action in central Africa and the Sahel, as well as in Madagascar, Myanmar, Tunisia and Ukraine, despite political contexts that are increasingly detrimental to the media. For the current year, our priority will be to continue our work in these countries, which are particularly affected by the scarcity of reliable sources of information; and to extend our action to new regions where this problem is also apparent, such as the coastal countries of West Africa, North Africa, the Middle East and certain countries in Southeast Asia


The previously vacant post of MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning required for quality monitoring) manager was filled in August 2023. The MEAL manager has been systemising the way we collect data on our programmes and projects, and supporting country office teams to develop efficient monitoring and evaluation plans, as well as advising on and overseeing external evaluations.

A key focus for her during 2023 was the development of a logframe and indicators for the organisation’s new strategy. She also oversaw a capitalisation exercise carried out by external consultants, to learn from Fondation Hirondelle’s experience of setting up an editorial hub to support media partners during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A key part of her role going forward is to unite and strengthen the capacity of MEAL colleagues working in country offices.