USAID Strengthening Media Systems Project


USAID’s Strengthening Media Systems project (SMS) is a four-year, $6.5 million activity that supports increased media independence by enhancing the financial sustainability of Serbian media. SMS is helping Serbian media system actors, by improving the business enabling environment in media.


  • Identifies key regulatory and media market development issues with the goal of facilitating dialog and cooperation between media, advertising, financial, IT, and other related industries
  • Supports innovative business approaches, content monetization, development and implementation of new digital tools, and business networking and cooperation.


  • Developed a Business Media Network to create conditions for a fair digital media market, developed and promoted new and innovative business models, improved media-related regulation, and harmonization with the EU standards, improved the operations of regulatory and self-regulatory bodies, and established market data collection standards
  • Helped establish the development of the National Association for Ethical Standards in Advertising (NAESA) which ensures and promotes the implementation of ethical standards in advertising and marketing communications
  • Organized a hackathon which supported local media and technology companies’ efforts in developing sustainable podcast concepts and digital platforms
  • Organized a “Media Accelerator” program which provided business development grants for media outlets interested in developing a digital business model
  • Helped local media outlets with content management and digital marketing, which increased their overall audience
  • Trained media outlets to ensure compliance with new EU General Data Protection Regulations which were enforced in Serbia on August 21, 2019

Project funded by:

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID/Serbia)

Project implemented by:

International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)

Key counterparts:

Media stakeholders

Where we work:


Project duration:

September 2017 – September 2021

Total Amount:



Uzun Mirkova 3

11000 Belgrade, Serbia


Social media:

Last updated: September 30, 2019

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