NGO engage the community through Radio Talk shows

According to Farm Radio International, a charitable organization which supports rural radio broadcasters in 39 African countries, radio remains one of the best communication tools for the rural areas. It is ideal for low-income populations and sparsely-populated areas, since radios are affordable and broadcasts can reach a wide audience.

By understanding this reality, the Amani Girls Home (AGH), a Mwanza-based NGO, has managed to transform the Sengerema District community to practice qualities of Good Governance through Radio Talk Shows. Formerly, the community engagement in public service delivery was rare and local leaders had little touch with citizens.

There was no common reporting of public projects and the community was not provided with public expenditure reports. After realizing that gap, the AGM introduced a project titled[K1]  “Enhance Social Accountability for Enriched Suitable Advancement”. It received funding from the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS).

Through the project, they managed to transform the community through public dialogue which mainly took place through Radio Talk Shows.  Themes of these Radio Talk Shows were on community responsiveness on public service delivery and accountability of Local Government leaders. The project was implemented in Ngoma, Katungulu, Kasumire and Nyamatongo wards.

The AGH Program Coordinator, Revocatus Sono, says the AGH aims at transforming the community after realizing that the community is less responsible and local leaders are hardly accountable.

 Through the project, they have managed to increase citizen awareness. Villagers now attend village meetings in big numbers; they are more involved in planning for development projects and getting feedback on the implementation of various projects in their areas.

"They are now more aware and are asking for public fund expenditure reports," Sono says and adds that the leaders are now more responsible to their citizens. Before the implementation of the project, they were neither giving feedbacks nor issuing reports to citizenry. Now the people do read to them when they are pasted on the village office board. They also organize and conduct public meetings."

FCS team also attended a radio session in Sengerema with Mr. Vicent Bushaiga in the company of the District Development Officer, who thanked the FCS for supporting the project.

"Citizens and leaders now understand their responsibilities. The project should be continuous and cover other wards which have not been reached yet," says Mr. Vales Isac, the field officer from AGH.



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