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Old Meets New - The Roles of Community Radio for Transparency and Accountability: Experiences from Africa

Speaker:  Bill Siemering,   President, Developing Radio Partners

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Motivated by his experience working with the Open Society Foundation (formally known as Open Society Institute: OSI) developing independent media in new democracies since 1993, Bill Siemering founded Developing Radio Partners, (DRP), in 2004.  DRP is dedicated to bringing information to those who need it most and are hardest to reach in rural developing countries.  It focuses primarily on the vital issues of the environment, health and governance. DRP recently completed a yearlong pilot project using radio and FrontlineSMS on climate change in Zambia and Malawi.

Event Description:  Radio not only brings information to people, it is unique in giving voice to people. Discussions and radio dramas often bring about changes in behavior.

By drawing on the project examples from Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, and Sierra Leone, this BBL will present the role of community radio in enhancing transparency and accountability. The issues tackled include: how can community radio be used to provide vital information to the poor and marginalized? How can it improve health and livelihood by reaching out to these vulnerable people? How can the hybrid use of community radio and SMS (i.e. texting) contribute to better governance? Additionally, the speaker will address the challenges practitioners might face when trying to break the barriers and bringing together old and new ICTs - community radio and SMS.

List of Resources for Community Radio


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