About the Project | Harnessing Design for Media Development

About the Project

Internews, through its Center for Innovation & Learning and Pakistan teams, is interested in leveraging design approaches to support its program work. To do this, Internews has partnered with Reboot to conduct original design research into the information and media ecosystem in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) regions of Pakistan.

Design research presents a robust set of tools for understanding complex and nuanced factors of human behaviour. It blends a sociological understanding of people’s motivations, with a systems-based analysis of the political, cultural, and technological factors that can constrain or enable them.

Using design research methods, this project aims to produce a nuanced understanding of how FATA communities –– both in the FATA and those in KP –– currently seek, access, share, create, and evaluate information. It also seeks to identify concrete opportunities to improve information access in the region, particularly through applications of technology.

Lessons from this project will contribute to the learning objectives of Internews globally by developing a broad understanding of the tools, process, and impact of human-centered design on media development projects.

Project Team

The project team is a talented group of researchers from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, the Internews Center for Innovation and Learning, and Reboot, working in collaboration with Internews Pakistan. These individuals embody a rich combination of expertise in media and information, research design and implementation, and applied ethnographic methods.

Core Research Team

Amanda Noonan
Director of Research and Learning
Internews Center for Innovation and Learning

Amanda Noonan is the Director of Research and Learning for Internews’ Center for Innovation & Learning. Over the past 20 years, Noonan has worked in media and communications research with InterMedia and the BBC World Service. As the Asia Research Director at InterMedia, Noonan championed and highlighted the importance of designing innovative and appropriate research techniques and strategies to capture maximum insight and understanding of individuals and communities activities, motivations and behaviors.

As a communication specialist, Noonan is particularly interested in studying the impacts of new technologies on the information flows throughout different communities and groups. This includes groundbreaking research and analysis word of mouth (WOM) networks as a crucial source of information and the role new technologies can play in amplifying this phenomenon. Noonan is based in Washington, DC.

Panthea Lee
Principal, Reboot

Panthea Lee, Principal and co-founder of Reboot, focuses on the practical applications of design and technology in global governance and development. Having designed and deployed programs in over 20 countries, including Afghanistan, China, Egypt, and Sudan, she oversees Reboot’s client engagements and creative work, leading a team of ethnographers, designers, technologists, and technical specialists to translate field data into effective solutions. Before co-founding Reboot, Panthea was with UNICEF’s innovation practice working on a variety of technology for development initiatives. Panthea speaks frequently on service design and new approaches in international development.

She has lectured at Columbia University, Harvard University, McGill University, NYU, PopTech’s Social Innovation Fellowship Program, and the School of Visual Arts. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Core77, MIT Innovations Journal, and Touchpoint, the Journal of Service Design.  


Internews Center for Innovation and Learning:

Mark Frohardt

Sam De Silva


Internews Asia:

Oren Murphy


Internews Pakistan:

Charmaine Anderson

Arif Khan

Muhammad Ghawas

Field Research Team

Amjad Ali                               Arif Khan

Qaiser Ali                              Farooq Ali Khan

Sumaira Asghar                     Jasim Khan

Shakir Ullah Dawar                 Kamran Khan

Rizwanullah Khan

Research Hub Production Team

Zack Brisson, Strategy

Mollie Ruskin, Visual Design

Jeremy Canfield, UX & Development

Ethan Wilkes, Editor

What is Design Research? >



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