Wi Di Pipul is a radio show that focuses on Sierra Leone’s health, education, and social care sector - reporting problems, as well as discussing and sharing solutions. Produced by BBC Media Action in Sierra Leone, the magazine format programme is being broadcast in response to the impact of the Ebola crisis, as well as a sharp decline in commodity prices in the country. These crises have put strain on the country’s health, social care, and education systems, as well as its energy and water supplies. The show therefore seeks to increase awareness of rights and entitlements to services and the post-Ebola Presidential Recovery Priorities plan. In addition, the show examines ways in which the public and duty bearers can work together to make service providers more accountable to citizens, as well as sharing data about what works and finding solutions to challenges.
Launched in late October 2016, the weekly one-hour Krio-language radio show will be on air until January 2018. The show forms part of a Department for International Development (DFID)-funded SABI (Strengthening Accountability, Building Inclusion) project, a citizen-led accountability programme implemented by a consortium led by Christian Aid.
The show is broadcast to a national adult audience, designed specifically to reach women, as well as marginalised young people, Ebola survivors, people with disabilities, and other excluded groups. It airs every Sunday at 7pm on STAR Radio, and is syndicated to 20 local radio stations around Sierra Leone.
The magazine programme - which features a drama and interactive audience discussion - focuses on real stories about people trying to access quality services and the relationships between people, service providers, and other leaders at community level. In one episode, for example, the show investigated allegations that health professionals were charging for services that were meant to be free. The show also travelled to a remote village to see how a solar-powered fridge was improving the storage of vital vaccines.
In parallel, social media platforms are being used to enhance reach and audience engagement with the programme. Films, infographics, and recorded episodes of the shows are, for example, uploaded on BBC Media Action Sierra Leone’s Facebook, SoundCloud, and Instagram pages .
BBC Media Action will also provide regional training to broadcast journalists around accessing and using data to inform their existing local radio programmes.
Health, Eduction, Governance
Some listener views shared in focus group discussions from around the country:
“I am a blind woman with two kids. I have learned through the programme that it is my right to take my under-five kids to hospital for free medical [care]. But most of the time I struggle a lot to access this service because of my blindness.” Female listener, focus group discussion, Bo
“I was with the opinion that [schools] are only receiving supplies [books and learning materials] because they might have given some money in the form of bribe. But when this programme [Wi Di Pipul] came, it made clear to me that all those schools that are receiving those supplies have been government-assisted schools.” Young listener, mixed youth focus group discussion, Freetown
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Background on SABI:
SABI is a four-year citizen-led accountability programme funded by UK Aid and being delivered by a consortium of leading international and Sierra Leonean partners. SABI seeks to build relationships between citizens and the state, and encourages citizens to fulfil their own responsibilities for social amenities by identifying challenges and seeking resolutions. The project will achieve this by:
- increasing demand for these services;
- strengthening relationships between citizens and state; and
- providing better data on service provision.
BBC Media Action, Mango, Social Development Direct, Restless Development, Campaign for Good Governance, SEND Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Social Aid Volunteer, and Rehabilitation and Development Agency-Sierra Leone.