February 10, 2015
The Soul Beat

Soul Beat Africa

The Soul Beat 249 - The Power of Radio in Africa
February 10, 2015
From SOUL BEAT AFRICA - where communication and media are central to AFRICA's social and economic development

In celebration of World Radio Day on February 13, this edition of The Soul Beat e-newsletter focuses on radio and the role radio plays in supporting social development in Africa. The newsletter offers a selection of programme experiences, reports, and evaluations that highlight how radio is being used to promote health, children's participation, governance, rural development, and gender equality. It also offers a selection of guides for radio programme producers and station managers.


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  • 1. Vivra Verra (Time Will Tell) Radio Drama - DRC
    From September 2014 to February 2016, Radio Okapi will broadcast the Vivra Verra (Time Will Tell) radio drama in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Produced in collaboration with Population Media Centre, the 156-episode radio serial drama is broadcast twice weekly in French to address issues such as maternal and child health, child protection, gender-based violence, and adolescent reproductive health.
  • 2. Kick Ebola from Africa Radio Programmes - Liberia and Sierra Leone
    Launched in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, BBC Media Action's Kick Ebola from Africa weekly radio programmes in Liberia and Sierra Leone "provide reliable, timely, and useful information regarding Ebola prevention, treatment, and care." Kick Ebola from Liberia and Kick Ebola from Sierra Leone both feature the real-life experiences of people who have been affected and infected by Ebola, combined with information from health workers and medical professionals.
  • 3. Young Reporters' Network Tanzania
    Launched in 2011, the Mtandao wa Wanahabari Watoto Tanzania (Young Reporters' Network Tanzania) recruits and trains children in Tanzania to produce radio programmes that explore issues that are important to them and their peers, while also sharing their perspectives, hopes, and aspirations for the future. Led by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the project is designed to increase children's participation and voices in media, and develop their capacity to be advocates of child rights.
  • 4. Vamos Ler! Children's Radio Programmes - Mozambique
    Launched in March 2014, Vamos Ler ("Let's Read" in Portuguese) is a 15-part children's radio programme designed to encourage primary school aged children in Mozambique to read, while also building the capacity of teachers and caregivers to support good reading skills and habits. Produced by CMFD (Community Media for Development) Productions for World Education, each radio episode was thematically linked to children's books produced by World Education as part of the Aprender a Ler programme, which works with educators to improve reading in primary schools.
  • 5. Biiftuu Jireenyaa and Jember Radio Programmes - Ethiopia
    Launched by BBC Media Action in 2013, Biiftuu Jireenyaa, which means "Dawn of Life" in Afan Oromo, and Jember, which means "maternal light" in Amharic, are radio programmes designed to improve reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child Health (RMNCH) in Ethiopia. The radio programmes deliver a series of lessons focused on maternal and neonatal health, and are also designed to reflect the varied preoccupations and experiences of the listeners themselves, and tackle such topics as the demands of making a living in rural areas or the challenges of relationships. Presented by a male and female presenter team, both programmes use interviews, discussion, and fly-on-the-wall encounters between health workers and women.
  • 6 Aiisseee! (I Say!) Radio Relationship Game Show - Tanzania
    Launched in January 2014, Aiisseee! (I Say!) is a radio-based game show in Tanzania designed to improve couple communication and promote couple connectedness by giving contestants and listeners the chance to discuss serious relationship issues in a humorous way. Topics covered include issues relating to sexual networks, HIV counselling and testing, family planning, and maternal and child health. Aiisseee! is an initiative of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs' Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project and partners.


If you are looking for ideas and resources to celebrate World Radio Day, visit the UNESCO World Radio Day website

  • 7. Using Entertainment Education to Promote Self-efficacy and Aspirations among Young Malawians: The Tisankhenji Radio Program [2013]
    By Rupali J. Limaye, Rajiv N Rimal, Jane Brown, and Glory Mkandawire
    This peer reviewed case study, which appeared in the Cases in Public Health Communication and Marketing Journal, discusses the impact of the Tisankhenji radio programme, which was designed to prevent HIV among young people in Malawi, especially girls age 10 to 14, by increasing self-efficacy, encouraging open discussion, promoting career goals, and encouraging aspirations for education and careers. According to the impact study, "program exposure was significantly associated with increased self-efficacy to attain an education, and to engage in discussions with parents, teachers and elders about career plans and HIV prevention."
  • 8. Impact Data - Research Initiative: Test the Impact of a Radio Campaign Addressing Child Mortality [May, 2014]
    This summary offers impact data of a 3-year research initiative conducted by Development Media International (DMI) to test the hypothesis that a radio campaign can reduce the large number of children dying before their fifth birthday in Burkina Faso. The research involves the broadcast of health messages using radio spots (60-second adverts) and radio phone-in programmes. With the goal of engaging the public with health issues in order to change behaviours, this research initiative seek to evaluate a public health intervention delivered to 7 randomised geographic areas (clusters) across Burkina Faso with 7 additional clusters being used as controls.
  • 9. Using Radio to Drive Development in Southern Africa - Report on the Radio Platform for Community Development (RPCD) Project [October, 2013]
    This final report discusses the experience of the Radio Platform for Community Development (RPCD) project and the use of radio listening clubs to engage marginalised communities in development debates. Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) supported 15 radio stations in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to work with radio listening clubs as a platform for gathering community content. According to the report, the approach created an interface between the media, duty bearers, and economically poor and marginalised communities to identify and implement solutions to their development challenges.


If you would like your organisation's communication work or research and resource documents to be featured on the Soul Beat Africa website and in The Soul Beat newsletters, please contact

  • 10. Farmer Radio in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Snapshot Final Report of the African Rural Radio Program Analysis (ARRPA) Project [April, 2014]
    This report discusses the findings of the African Rural Radio Program Analysis (ARRPA) project, a study launched in 2011 by Farm Radio International (FRI) to deepen understanding of farmer radio programming in sub-Saharan Africa and help inform the work of FRI and other organisations working with farmers. The report discusses "the circumstances in which farmer radio programming operates, the strengths of radio stations and the challenges they face in producing farmer programmes, and the desires and preferences of farmer-listeners."
  • 11. The Power of Talk: Media and Accountability in Three African Countries [October, 2014]
    By Rebecca Stringer
    This policy brief draws on BBC Media Action's experience of delivering the five-year media support project "A National Conversation" in Angola, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. The project worked with media organisations to encourage improved transparency, accountability, and participation through a variety of radio programmes using discussion, magazine, and drama formats. The brief discusses successes, challenges, and learnings from the project and argues "that the media's role as a force for accountability - especially in fragile states or emerging democracies - is complex and the most effective strategies tend to be those which are grounded in the cultural and political contexts of the countries concerned."
  • 12. Tuning Into Development: International Comparative Survey of Community Broadcasting Regulation [2013]
    By Toby Mendel
    This report, published by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), maps the complex legislative frameworks of community broadcasters in more than 30 countries. The purpose of this report is to promote greater understanding about the challenges and potential of community media, and to highlight better practices.
  • 13. Status of Content and Programming by Community Radio Stations in Kenya - Assessment of Baliti FM (Isiolo), Koch FM (Nairobi), and Ekialo Kiano (Homa Bay) [March, 2014]
    By Nyang'ori Ohenjo and Njuki Githethwa
    This report discusses the findings of an assessment of the quality of community radio content in Kenya, particularly related to communication for development programming. It explores factors affecting quality, focusing on capacity, with the objective of informing interventions. The assessment was part of a project being led by the Kenya Community Media Network to strengthen the capacities of community radio stations in Kenya to improve content.
  • 14. South Sudan National Audience Survey: Nationally Representative Assessment on Radio Listening Habits with Key Findings in Five Booster Areas for Internews Stations [September, 2013]
    This report shares the findings of a nationally representative media survey conducted by Forcier Consulting for Internews in South Sudan. The study sought to gather information about South Sudan's media environment, including: "a socio-demographic profile of radio listeners and non-listeners alike, their information needs, general media consumption patterns, access to specific media sources, and radio listening behaviours." The study was intended to serve as an index that can be used to measure the potential impacts of radio and other media/information sources.

An Invitation: Showcasing Innovation: Media and Communication for Disaster Risk Reduction

Have you used media or communication to help communities at risk become more aware of disaster risks and build their resilience? If so, the BBC Media Action wants to hear from you as they aim to showcase creative and effective approaches of media and communication at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan on 16 March, 2015. Deadline for submission is February 15, 2015.  Click here for more information.

  • 15. Guidelines for the Production of Gender Responsive Radio Broadcasts - A How-to Guide [November, 2014]
    By Adamou Mahamane, Fatouma Déla Sidi, and Alice Van der Elstraeten
    Published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), this guide seeks to offer journalists a methodological tool to help them become more gender responsive when producing radio broadcasts and managing radio stations. It is designed to help with the planning and production of radio broadcasts that address the theme of gender, that are sensitive to gender, and that target both women and men.
  • 16. How to Make Your Own Radio Shows: Youth Radio Toolkit [2011]
    By Yumna Martin and Lee Middleton
    This Youth Radio Toolkit was produced to help support young people to produce their own radio shows from start to finish, and covers issues such as choosing and researching a topic, recording, and learning how to get a show out into the community. Published by the Children's Radio Foundation and UNICEF, the toolkit is built around the importance of giving young people an opportunity to participate and voice their perspectives on issues that concern them.
  • 17. How to Start a Youth Radio Project in Your Community: Facilitators' Handbook [2011]
    By Yumna Martin and Lee Middleton
    This Facilitators Handbook outlines a training curriculum and a series of workshops to help facilitators build a community-based youth radio project. Published by UNICEF and Children's Radio Foundation (CRF), the handbook was produced to help facilitators who are engaging with CRF to undertake youth radio projects in their own communities. These youth media projects are designed to allow "young people to participate, learn, share, and engage in dialogue with their peers", and seek to meet the needs of individual communities, taking into consideration infrastructural constraints, pertinent social issues, and cultural sensitivities.
  • Click here for the full list of over 180 tools, guides, and manuals related to radio on the Soul Beat Africa website.


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