Since the first broadcast over 100 years ago, radio has proved to be a powerful information source for mobilizing social change and a focal point for community life. In recognition, UNESCO has announced February 13 as World Radio Day.
To celebrate, a variety of practitioners, academics and tools providers are coming together at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to explore ways in which this traditional platform reaches even the most remote and vulnerable communities.
(This article in the January/February 2013 edition of USAID Frontlines discusses Internews' program providing humanitarian information to Haitians after the 2010 earthquake.)
When the powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, resulting in more than 230,000 deaths and at least 300,000 injuries in the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince, communications infrastructure went critical.
In 2003, when Sudan was still embroiled in civil war, Sudan Radio Service, the country’s first independent broadcaster of news and information, was launched with USAID assistance. In the early days, broadcasts took place on shortwave from Nairobi for just one hour per day.
The Research & Learning (R&L) Group, part of the BBC World Service Trust, conducted a survey with radio listeners in Unity State in November 2010. The objectives of the survey were to establish an understanding of Naath FM’s reach with audiences in Unity State; provide Naath FM with information on audience needs and preferences, in order to help the station serve its audience better; and collect data on audience radio listening behaviours including listening times and competitor stations.
The Research & Learning (R&L) Group, part of the BBC World Service Trust, conducted a survey with radio listeners in Warrap State, South Sudan in December 2010. The objectives of the survey were to establish an understanding of Mayardit FM’s reach with audiences in Warrap State, to provide Mayardit FM with information on audience needs and preferences, to help the station serve its audience better, and to collect data on audience radio listening behaviours including listening times and competitor stations.
Services begun in the UK to help allay middle-class indignation about the the lack of transparency from MPs is playing an increasingly important role in bringing democracy to countries that have known little.
MySociety founder Tom Steinberg created TheyWorkForYou to offer greater dialogue between citizens and MPs, following the huge success of his FixMyStreet platform.
Now a version of TheyWorkForYou is due to launch in Kenya. It offers something that Facebook cannot, thinks Mr Steinberg.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- The caller from Boston was desperate.
She had just received a text message Tuesday from a friend trapped in the rubble of a Port-au-Prince school and needed to get the news to rescuers, the Haitian government, the world.
She called the right place: Signal FM, the only radio station in the city that has broadcast nonstop during the earthquake. Its building, transmitting equipment and antennas escaped damage, and the station has been a key source of information since the magnitude-7 temblor wrecked Haiti a week ago.
The program includes news, interviews and roundtables conducted by children with a focus on peace-building and other social issues.
Radio Kodak is part of Internews’ national production unit, Salam Watandar (Hello Countrymen), that was launched in 2003 in Afghanistan.
In the Pashtu version of the program, children fly around the world on a magic carpet and learn about the history and geography of the world. One important result is that the children who have participated in this program are now capable of running the program themselves.