Within the Digital Activism Program conducted by TechSoup and its partners in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) since 2018, a pivotal activity focusing on supporting Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in being more resilient to disinformation has been underway. We believe at TechSoup that to bring about change, we must first diagnose the needs of the organizations we support and analyze the current socio-political situation in the countries where we operate. This belief is central to shaping the foundation for all future project activities.
Change is an inherent feature of the disinformation landscape, significantly impacting the dynamic context within which CSOs operate. This requires us to be nimble in designing interventions that cater to the unique requirements of our audiences. The key to achieving this lies in the research and creation of Disinformation and Civil Society Mapping Reports, which have played an instrumental role in enhancing our understanding of the local civil society context and the nuanced characteristics of the disinformation landscape within the countries we and our Partners work in.
The Disinformation and Civil Society Mapping Reports have been instrumental in shedding light on disinformation trends, narratives, sources, and targets, along with the challenges faced by civil society. They also pinpoint the needs and gaps of civil society organizations (CSOs) in tackling disinformation and beyond.
In the first quarter of 2023, extensive research and analysis culminated in the creation of 13 Country Mapping Reports. These provided valuable insights into specific countries, serving as the foundation for analyzing trends, commonalities, and regional differences.
Building upon this groundwork, the 4 Disinformation and Civil Society Regional Mapping Reports — focusing on the Western Balkans, Visegrad, Black Sea, and the Baltics — were developed. These regional reports present a comprehensive overview of the disinformation landscape in their respective regions. They also address the war in Ukraine and disinformation related to it, as well as the involvement of civil society organizations in supporting the country and the refugees.
The Disinformation and Civil Society Regional Mapping Reports were created as a common effort within the program by TechSoup’s partner organizations with support from Google.org, namely the NIOK Foundation (covering Hungary), Funky Citizens (covering Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova), Metamorphosis Foundation (covering North Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo), Civic Resilience Initiative - CRI (covering Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia), PDCS (covering Slovakia) and VIA Association/ Sdruzení VIA (covering Czech Republic).
The information collected in the Disinformation and Civil Society Mapping Reports involved a combination of desk research, where existing data and reports were scrutinized, and in-depth interviews with experts and representatives from civil society in each of the 13 countries involved in the program.
Our goal is to provide a comprehensive, data-driven understanding of the disinformation landscape and the way it affects civil society organizations. These Disinformation and Civil Society Regional Mapping Reports serve as valuable tools, enabling organizations to adapt their strategies and collaborate effectively in the fight against disinformation.
➡️ Head below, to explore the insights of the four Disinformation and Civil Society Regional Mapping Reports,
each delving into a specific region's characteristics and challenges. Examine the disinformation trends, narratives, and strategies shaping each region's landscape and learn more about the needs of civil society organizations:
1. Baltic Region
2. Black Sea Region
3. Visegrad Group
4. Western Balkans
✅ Interested to dive deeper into the subject and develop your knowledge more? ➡️ Increase your media literacy and critical thinking skills and learn how to spot disinformation with our free, self-paced courses:
Countering Disinformation course