Where We Work
DRP is working with seven villages and a community-based radio station in the rural Boussouma region in the Center East part of the country. There are two goals in mind: reducing COVID-19 by promoting safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene practices while simultaneously building social cohesion across ethnic and economic lines. DRP is training villagers how to produce radio programs that focus on public health and peacebuilding activities in their own communities. The project gives voice to women to help deconstruct stigmas and stereotypes that nourish violent extremism. The programs are broadcast on their local radio station with a potential audience of 200,000.
In Cameroon, using a DRP Weekly Bulletin as source material, Bonakanda Community Radio produced a program on the benefits of rain harvesting to irrigate vegetable crops during the dry season or when rainfall drops. After the program was broadcast, dozens of farmers along the slopes of Mount Cameroon began to harvest rain water including Idah Mwambo. “I have tomatoes when most people don’t have tomatoes,” says Ms Mwambo, “My harvest has increased and I make more money because off-season tomatoes are more expensive.”
One of the reasons that DRP has had success in convincing farmers to try new adaptive farming techniques is because DRP encourages reporters at its partner stations to put farmers on the air who are already using these new techniques. A Gates Foundation funded study has shown that when farmers hear about new farming techniques directly from other farmers – they are much more likely to adopt those methods.
On Cape Verde’s Nicolau Island, Sodade FM station manager Jose Almeida says DRP’s climate change project has helped his station build stronger relationships in the community by being able to take part in conflict resolution. He says his station is a “problem solver” now. He points to just one example where the station did a program on trash strewn in the streets and interviewed citizens concerned about the lack of a cover on the trash truck – which allowed garbage to blow into yards and crops. After the program, the municipality began regular trash pickups and the local government purchased a trash truck with a metal cover.
DRP's CEO conducted an assessment in Paris of Radio Erena – where Eritrean journalists based in France, produce a daily radio program that is broadcast into Eritrea. The assessment was aimed at identifying ways to improve its news content in order to reach financial and management autonomy.
In partnership with Open Society Institute for East Africa (OSIEA), Developing Radio Partners has conducted research on the status of community radio in Kenya. Our research aimed to explore ways of strengthening stations so that they are able to withstand pressure to take sides during political and ethnic conflict. In addition, DRP’s Charles Rice conducted a workshop for Somali journalists based in Nairobi. The training focused on creating greater efficiency within the newsroom and storytelling techniques using natural sound, strong soundbites and descriptive writing.
DRP’s work in Malawi involves using local radio to engage communities on combating climate change through sustainable farming techniques and tackling reproductive health issues – including reducing teen pregnancy and child marriage. DRP has worked in Malawi since 2014 and has provided more than 250 youth with journalism skills that have led to more than 1,200 weekly radio programs at nine community-based radio stations. The programs have empowered young radio listeners to get involved in decisions that affect their communities – leading to fewer teen pregnancies and child marriages and a reduction in school dropouts.
DRP has provided journalism and management training to approximately 120 Nigerians to help them establish and run six new community-based radio stations in the Niger Delta. The aim was to create programs at the stations that would reduce conflict in this troubled area. One young man who was exploring a militant life-style said the DRP project changed his mind. He began working at one of the stations and said he realized that “violence is not the path he wants to go down” that “dialogue is the key to peace.”
In Rwanda, two community-based stations produced a story about restoring local plants and trees to a national park in the southwestern part of the country. As a result of the radio program, dozens of volunteers showed up to help remove non-native plants and to plant native species. The 17-hundred-acre park boasts more than 200 different types of trees and 140 species of orchids.
DRP has done extensive journalism training in Sierra Leone on election coverage. DRP has trained reporters at radio stations that are part of the Independent Radio Network. The trainings focused on voter education, how to organize debates and report on the elections through vote counting. In addition, DRP assisted in the establishment of the IRN and provided election coverage training to reporters prior to the 2007 elections.
In those elections, IRN was praised by the National Electoral Commission (NEC), political parties, observer groups and the public for its quality reporting. Recognition also came from the Media Monitoring and Refereeing Panel which commended “the admirable roles 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.”
Somaliland and Somalia
DRP’s CEO has conducted trainings for community-based radio journalists across Somalia – working with the stations on creating gender-balance in their newsrooms and stories.
In Somaliland, DRP's CEO has conducted extensive news-gathering training at several TV stations – teaching broadcast journalists how to produce news packages. He has also conducted workshops for the journalism department at the University of Hargeisa. In addition, he produced a TV town-hall style program on sexual assault.
DRP's CEO has conducted a series of virtual journalism workshops at Eye Radio in Juba. The aim was to improve the skills of approximately 12 radio reporters. The training covered all aspects of radio reporting – including gathering sound, conducting interviews, storytelling, writing and story selection.
Working closely with eleven community-based radio stations, farmers and the national Meteorological Department, DRP helped bring accurate and reliable weather information to farmers across Zambia. The project trained farmers and reporters how to produce weekly radio programs that helped introduce innovative farming techniques – including choosing the right seed varieties, increasing the use of rain harvesting and the planting of thousands of trees in deforested areas. The radio programs improved livelihoods and reduced food insecurity in the communities where DRP worked.