UNESCO's project "Empowering Local Radios with ICTs" aims to bridge the gap between poor people - especially women and girls - and the public debate on issues of local public concern. This is achieved through a series of capacity-building activities in local radio stations, improving the programming quality, providing training on the use of ICTs and helping them to increase their geographical range of news coverage with a network of correspondents. The project, furthermore, focus on gender equality actions and  financial sustainability of the radio stations.

The activities were designed in a way to be sustainable and participatory; creating knowledge that will remain longer than the period of the project itself. Assuming this approach, it was necessary to understand and be deeply involved with the radio stations' modus operandi and community. Among the 26 local radio stations from 6 different countries that are currently participating in the second phase of the project, there is great diversity with some located in busy urban centers and others in remote parts of the countryside. Certain stations operate on modern levels and maintain active social media profiles, while others still have problems due to inconsistencies in electrical supply. Because of such variety, the first stage of the project was to carry out a research about the community and the local radio stations, getting information on the community listening habits, issues of local public concern in areas of health, agriculture and one another relevant area for the community. Regarding radio stations, UNESCO surveyed the programming quality, gender equality, ICT literacy, financial management capacity and existance of correspondent networks. All the gathered information is being applied along the project implementation as, for example, when choosing the topics of training, suggesting best ICTs or assessing best options to monitor the radio performance.

A series of Open Educational Resources are being produced from the trainings that  are being carried out, aiming to broadly share knowledge about local radio. These resources will be open to copy, share, translate and improve, aiming a collaborative way to turn local radios into social service providers.

Access to national and regional expertise is important for the implementation of all activities in the project: research, workshops, survey, monitoring, etc. Despite sometimes being a challenge to find resources, the result is a multiplication of beneficiaries. Professionals and organizations involved are closely accompanied by our staff, assessing the activities to enhance the outcomes. In accordance to UNESCO work, another assumed guideline is to give priority to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) when choosing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for local radios. Besides being no-cost, such software is developed to best satisfy the needs of the users, since it is developed by the users themselves.

The project, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), has defined main lines of action, as you can check in our results chain.

People in the project

Thabang Pusoyabone

Radio Riverside
South Africa

Reuben Mukindia

Mugambo Jwetu Radio
Kenya

Joseph Poto Poto

UNESCO Kinshasa
Democratic Republic of the Congo

Michael Otto

Sida
Sweden

Kaonga Samson

Iso FM
Zambia

Maisha Ambangile

Kyela FM
Tanzania

Ramadhani Bilali

Mtegani FM
Tanzania

Hamad S Mwinyi

Micheweni FM
Tanzania

Jaco Du Toit

UNESCO Nairobi
Kenya

Rachel Watson

Radio Atlantis
South Africa

George Mwamodo

Mwanedu Radio
Kenya

 

Hezekiel Dlamini

UNESCO Harare
Zambia

Marco Mipawa

Kahama FM
Tanzania

Elvis Michel Kenmoe

UNESCO Libreville
Gabon

Adelina Lweramula

Fadeco FM
Tanzania

John Okande

UNESCO Nairobi 
Kenya

Khadija Abdallah

Orkonerei FM
Tanzania

Mpho Mhlongo

Jozi FM
South Africa

Jean Ndombasi

Radio Moanda
Democratic Republic of Condo

Brenda Leonard

Bush FM
South Africa

Ndinoshiho Mwatile

UNESCO Windhoek
Namibia

Arantxa Mandiola Lopez

UNESCO Windhoek
Namibia

Courtney Ivins

UNESCO Dar es Salaam
Tanzania

Rigobert Malalako

Radio Bangu,
Democratic Republic of Congo

Peter Malasha

Mkushi Community Radio 
Zambia

Abdullah Mfuruki

Pangani FM
Tanzania

Theresia Mieze

!aH Radio
Namibia

Swithin Haangala

Zambezi FM
Zambia

Bilali Jihad Ramadhan

Mtegani FM
Tanzania

Valeria Nadal

UNESCO Headquarters
France

Rose-Haji Mwalimu

Community Media Training
Tanzania

Tieho Rankhone

Mafeteng Radio
Lesotho

Meshack Nyamai

Radio Mang'elete
Kenya

Leandro França

UNESCO Headquarters
France

Pieter Olivier

Live FM
Namibia

Mike Daka

Breeze FM
Zambia

Fredrick Mariwa

Sauti FM
Kenya

Francois Marais

Valley FM
South Africa

Solange Tshiloz Kappongo

Radio Deo Gratias
Democratic Republic of Congo

Marco Ndlovu

Base FM
Namibia

Lukas Kulwa

Kyela FM
Tanzania

Peingondjabi Sheya

Ohangwena Radio
Namibia

Felician Ncheye

Sengerema FM
Tanzania

Peter Erichs

Sida
Sweden

Masakazu Shibata

UNESCO Nairobi
Kenya

Joseph Kamata

Pambazuko FM
Tanzania

Chimbidzikai Mapfumo

UNESCO Harare
Windhoek
 

Marie-Jeanne Ndiaye

UNESCO Headquarters
France

Mirta Lourenço

UNESCO Headquarters
France

Al Amin Yusuph

UNESCO Dar Es Salaam
Tanzania

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The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is a government organization under the Swedish Foreign Ministry. Swedish development aid follows three thematic priorities; democracy and human rights, environment and climate change and gender equality and womens' role.