June 14, 2016
The Soul Beat

Soul Beat Africa

The Soul Beat 262 - Media and Communication for Good Governance in Africa
June 14 2016
From SOUL BEAT AFRICA - where communication and media are central to AFRICA's social and economic development
In this issue:

This issue of The Soul Beat looks at how media and communication is being used to promote good governance in Africa. It contains programme experiences, research reports, and resource materials that look at how the media (such as radio), interpersonal communication, and information and communication technologies (ICTS) can promote citizen engagement, government accountability, peacebuilding, and freedom of information.


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  • 1. How Can Radio Encourage Youth Engagement with Democracy in Tanzania? Niambie's Potential [April 2015]
    This brief discusses perspectives gained from formative and baseline research conducted by BBC Media Action in Tanzania to understand the barriers and drivers that affect young people's social and political engagement. The research is being used to inform the Niambie radio project, which is designed to support young Tanzanians to play an active and constructive role in the democratic processes that affect their lives.
  • 2. Global Agreements, Grassroots Advocacy - Youth and Governance in Post 2015 World: A Toolkit for Young People Who Want to Make Sure Their Voice is Heard [February 2015]
    This toolkit is designed for young people and members of youth organisations who are passionate about having honest and responsive governments, who believe that young people must be involved in decision-making that affects them, and who are working to raise awareness of important issues in their local or national government. The toolkit was produced to equip young people with the terminology and knowledge they need to know. It also discusses why and how young people can be involved in governance processes and how to build an advocacy plan so that they can influence key decision-making processes in their countries.
  • 3. How Do Debate Programmes Influence Knowledge of Key Governance Issues and Political Participation? A Case Study from Sierra Leone [June 2015]
    By Trish Doherty
    This brief shares findings of BBC Media Action's assessment of how two national radio programmes, the magazine show Fo Rod (Crossroads) and the debate programme Tok Bot Salone (Talk About Sierra Leone), are helping influence governance knowledge and political participation in Sierra Leone. The research found that listeners of both programmes are four times more likely to have higher levels of knowledge on key governance issues compared to non-listeners, and are three times more likely to participate in political processes.
  • 4. Citizen-Generated Data and Governments: Towards a Collaborative Model [October 2015]
    By Christopher Wilson and Zara Rahman
    Citizen-generated data (CGD) is data that people or their organisations produce to directly monitor, demand, or drive change on issues that affect them, including issues outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Datashift is supporting civil society organisations (CSOs) that produce and use CGD in initial pilot locations: Argentina, Nepal, Kenya, and Tanzania. This publication by Datashift explores the idea that governments could host and publish CGD themselves, and discusses whether this could mean that data is applied more widely and in a more sustainable way.
  • 5. Towards New Social Contracts: Using Dialogue Processes to Promote Social Change [May 2015]
    Edited by Clara Bosco, Dorothee Gueneheux, Amy Miller-Taylor, and Lerato Pagiwa
    This toolkit provides practical tools and resources to facilitate the use of multi-stakeholder, citizen-led dialogue processes to promote socio-political change. The proposed methodology is based on observations at several local dialogue processes initiated by civil society around crucial challenges experienced in their communities. The input from these dialogues have been synthesised to take stock of the useful and sometimes unusual perspectives of local stakeholders around challenges, trends, and innovations on how citizens collectively engage in the decisions that affect their lives.
  • 6. Impact of Media Strategies by Six Civil Society Organisations in Tanzania [November 2014]
    By Dr. Ayub Rioba
    This study led by the Accountability Tanzania (AcT) programme sought to assess the effectiveness of media strategies used by partner CSOs during strategic interventions to increase the responsiveness and accountability of government. The study involved 6 of the 23 CSOs funded by AcT and comprised mainly in-depth interviews with informed respondents and a literature review of documents.

  • 7. When Does ICT-Enabled Citizen Voice Lead to Government Responsiveness? [January 2016]
    By Tiago Peixoto and Jonathan Fox
    This publication offers a review of how 23 ICT platforms were used to project citizen voice, with the goal of improving public service delivery. With the increasing accessibility of ICTS around the world, CSOs and governments are experimenting with how these platforms can encourage and project citizen voice in order to hold leaders accountable and improve public service delivery. Where evidence is available, the findings from the 23 case studies indicate mixed results, suggesting that "where senior managers are already committed to learning from feedback and using it to bolster their capacity to get agencies to respond, ICT platforms can make a big difference." However, ICTS alone are rarely able to influence the willingness of leaders to respond to citizens voices where this commitment does not already exist.
  • 8. Opening Governance: IDS Bulletin [March 2016]
    This issue of the IDS Bulletin brings together contributions from researchers and practitioners to discuss their approaches to the contemporary challenges of achieving transparency, accountability and openness in government. Together these articles provide insights into the field of open governance, discussing what has worked and what hasn't.
  • 9. Evaluating Digital Citizen Engagement: A Practical Guide [February 2016]
    Published by the Open Knowledge Repository of The World Bank, this guide discusses tools and guidelines that can be used to evaluate the expanding field of digital citizen engagement, using examples and lessons from case studies from Brazil, Uganda, Cameroon, and Kenya. As stated in the guide, "with growing demand for transparency, accountability and citizen participation in policy making and service provision, engagement between citizens and their governments, as well as with donors and the private sector that deliver government services, is increasingly important. Increased use of technology brings both opportunities and challenges to citizen engagement processes, including opportunities for collecting, analysing and evaluating data about these processes."
  • 10. Sauti Mtaani Online Platform - Kenya
    Sauti Mtaani, a Swahili phrase that loosely translates as "Voice in the Hood," is a web and SMS platform that seeks to promote engagement between youth in Kenya and their Members of County Assembly (MCAs). Launched in November 2013, the platform was developed by Community Education and Empowerment Centre (CEEC) with support from the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, as part of the Youth and Devolved Governance Project.
  • 11. ICT in Civic Participation and Democracy in Uganda: Citizens' Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices [August 2015]
    This research was conducted to assess the ICT use, skills and needs of Ugandans related to citizen participation and engaging with governance processes, including monitoring for accountability. The study sought to investigate citizens knowledge around ICTS, and explore attitudes and practices towards using ICT tools for civic and political participation. The research and report were produced by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) in order to better understand the use of ICTs in democratic processes and what needs to be done for more citizens, the media, civil society, and government departments to embrace the use of ICT for democracy.
  • 12. Global Social Networking: A Guide to Strengthening Civil Society Through Social Media [2014]
    By Tina Yesayan
    This guide offers an overview of best practices in using social media for advocacy and is intended as a reference for CSOs to integrate and use technology to promote democracy, human rights, and governance, as well as utilise social media to support greater citizen participation and transparent political processes. Realising the ever-changing landscape of social media, the guide was designed to avoid specifics and rather offers organisations ideas on how to approach social media as a whole and how to reach their intended programmatic goals using the medium.
  • 13. ICT for Anti-Corruption, Democracy and Education in East Africa [January 2013]
    Spider ICT4D Series No. 6
    This collection of six essays discusses how ICTS have been used in projects in East Africa to address issues around corruption, democracy, and education. This publication was produced as part of the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (Spider) Center's Research Related to Projects initiative, which seeks to establish a closer connection between ICT4D (ICT for Development) research and ICT4D practice. ICT4D researchers in Sweden, in collaboration with researchers and practitioners in partner countries, carried out research on ongoing Spider-supported projects. The results of these studies are shared in this publication.

  • 14. Communication for Development in Peacebuilding: Directions on Research and Evaluation for an Emerging Field [March 2016]
    By Valentina Baú
    This article highlights the key areas in which communication for development (C4D) can play a role in the aftermath of conflict, with a focus both at the community and at the national levels. Valentina Baú begins by explaining that the present post-war peacebuilding context places a strong emphasis on providing humanitarian support, rebuilding infrastructure, and re-establishing the functioning of institutions that operate at the national level. Yet, she argues, there is also a need to strengthen interventions that begin from the grassroots. This involves creating an understanding, opening dialogue, and re-establishing relationships between groups who fought during a conflict.
  • 15. Final Evaluation: Radio for Peacebuilding Africa [September 2013]
    This report discusses evaluation findings related to Search for Common Ground (SFCG)'s web-based platform created as part of the Radio for Peacebuilding Africa (RFPA) project, which ran from 2003 until 2013. The evaluation focuses on the third phase of the intervention which sought to deepen the impact of previous programme activities, and focus on the development and strengthening of the web-based resource for journalists. This resource provided guidebooks, sample programming, bi-weekly updates, and annual award competitions.

  • 16. Accessing Information in Africa: It's Your Right - Documentary [2015]
    Produced by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA Regional Secretariat) and fesmedia Africa of the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES), this documentary looks at the importance of access to information in Africa. The documentary is intended to be a campaign resource for access to information advocates.
  • 17. IFEX Campaign Toolkit: 6 Steps to Creating Effective Free Expression Campaigns [August 2013]
    This IFEX Campaign Toolkit is designed to help support campaigns for free expression, either for people and organisations who are launching a new campaign or need guidance on a specific campaign element. The toolkit contains six guides, each designed to help support different steps in campaigns that seek to advocate for freedom of expression and citizen action.


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