REMEDIS project: On Evaluating the Effectiveness of Media Literacy and Digital Skills Initiatives

by Leen d’Haenens & Joyce Vissenberg, KU Leuven, Belgium.

In today’s rapidly evolving digital society, media literacy and digital skills have become indispensable for active citizen participation. As our lives increasingly intertwine with technology, the need for initiatives that promote media literacy and digital skills has never been more apparent. However, while efforts have been made to develop such programmes, the challenge lies in determining which interventions are truly effective and evidence-based.

Recognising this crucial gap, the REMEDIS (Rethinking Media Literacy and Digital Skills) project emerged with a pioneering mission. Our aim is to comprehensively understand the impact of media literacy and digital skills interventions across various aspects of life, with a focus on fostering positive outcomes. REMEDIS adopts a lifelong perspective with a focus on the general population and specific target groups (such as vulnerable families, migrants, the unemployed, or those not in education or training). Spanning six countries (Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom), our consortium operates in close consultation with media literacy agencies, crucial stakeholders, and policy bodies.

By conducting a systematic review of the scientific literature on media literacy and digital skills interventions, REMEDIS starts by identifying the most salient driving factors for media literacy and digital skills. Furthermore, the project aims to synthesise existing evidence to gain a common understanding of the adequate indicators and assessment methods for such interventions.

As a next step, REMEDIS seeks to co-design improvements in selected initiatives addressing prevailing inequalities in media literacy and digital skills within key life domains, such as education, work, social relations, money, and identity development. These improvements will lay the foundation for more potent intervention strategies, creating lasting positive changes. In pursuit of the REMEDIS goals, a set of advanced state-of-the-art evaluation methods will be put forward to adequately assess the effectiveness of intervention strategies aimed at fostering the media literacy and digital skills of citizens in crucial domains of life.

The REMEDIS project strives to deliver a threefold impact:

  1. Empowering Stakeholders: policymakers, practitioners, and target groups will benefit from REMEDIS’s systematic review of driving factors for media literacy and digital skills. Additionally, user-friendly guides jointly developed with stakeholders will further support and equip end-users.
  2. Building a Collaborative Platform: REMEDIS serves as a platform for exchanging experiences between media and digital literacy agencies and their partners. This knowledge-sharing initiative fosters collaboration and ensures that best practices are widely disseminated.
  3. Influencing Policy and Evaluation:  evidence-based policy recommendations and an evaluation toolkit.

Launched in October 2022, the REMEDIS project will run until September 2024. We eagerly anticipate sharing the first findings from our systematic evidence review synthesising the existing evidence on the effectiveness of current interventions fostering media literacy and digital skills on our project website shortly. To stay up-to-date with our progress, we welcome you to follow us on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).


Leen d’Haenens is Full Professor at the Institute for Media Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven.

Joyce Vissenberg is a PhD student at the Institute for Media Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven.