Our Target Areas
Developing Radio Partners improves lives by empowering community-based broadcast and social media worldwide. Programming supports local efforts to raise awareness about critical issues, share information, and support changes in behavior. DRP engagements help curb environmental degradation, reduce health risks, empower women and strengthen communities.
Environment & Farming
Every year, millions of people across sub-Saharan Africa have to cope with unpredictable weather, increased risks of drought and flooding and a loss of livelihoods. DRP works with farmers to help them get accurate weather information that they can use to adapt to the changing climate. DRP’s two-year project in Zambia provided training to farmers on climate smart agriculture using nearly a dozen community-based radio stations. The project also involved weather forecasters from the Zambia Meteorological Department who learned how to prepare forecasts that are easy for farmers to understand. The project led to these community-based partner stations becoming "go to" sources for weather and innovative farming information. A station manager at one partner station writes: “our partnership has empowered us, technically. We can now produce quality programming relating to the impact of climate change on our environment. DRP has planted the seeds and the trees will grow!”
DRP helps communities get access to important public health information in order to help people lead healthy lifestyles. Our project in Malawi informs young people about reproductive health in order to reduce teen pregnancy, child marriage and the spread of sexually transmitted infections – such as HIV. DRP has provided more than 200 teenagers journalism skills so they can produce weekly radio programs on reproductive health issues as well as COVID-19. The project has resulted in more than 1,200 radio programs and dozens of public service announcements – and has led to fewer teen pregnancies, child marriages and HIV infections. One health care partner writes: “the radio program has helped raise awareness about the HIV self-test kits. Most youth didn’t know about them, but look now; the number of youth coming to our office for the kits has increased significantly because of the Let’s Talk for Change radio program.”
Empowerment of Women & Girls
DRP works to bring changes to communities by helping improve the health and livelihoods of women and girls. We use radio to help women farmers understand the importance of using better farming techniques that lead to improved livelihoods. We provide adolescent girls with journalism skills so they can produce programs for their peers about reproductive health. DRP uses storytelling to change social behavior. One DRP mentor in Malawi describes how three teenage girls escaped child marriages and returned to school. “All three have joined the radio station after listening to the youth radio program. They want to tell their own stories on the radio to keep other girls from making the same mistake they made.” In 2020, in communities where DRP works, there was a drop in the number of child marriages and teen pregnancies because of radio programs that reach millions of potential listeners.
Governance & Civic Engagement
DRP has done extensive journalism training in Sierra Leone on election coverage – including how to cover election stories in a neutral manner, organize debates, report on election returns and provide accurate information to listeners. DRP has trained dozens of journalists and was involved in the establishment of the Independent Radio Network. A media monitoring panel wrote of IRN’s superb election reporting: an admirable role is being played by media institutions such as the Independent Radio Network in charting the way forward for the media to be actively engaged at all levels of the political process in the country. In contrast, other media outlets were censured for “inciting violence, promoting hate, malice tribalism and political intolerance.”