Using Radio to Address Policy Constraints in Uganda and Ghana, 2004

    The radio industry in Uganda was first liberalised in 1993, but a tradition remained of producing programmes in the studio. Many new stations started up, focusing mainly on music content, and increasingly struggled to differentiate themselves from each other. Meanwhile, listeners were facing a number of important issues in their daily lives, but had little opportunity to express their concerns. The project persuaded the management, initially of one radio station, to invest in equipment and a small travel budget, so that its reporters could go out and interview people in their place of work.

    This approach proved to be highly successful, in that people in markets and elsewhere were very happy to talk about the policies and regulations affecting them. Sometimes, the discussions became so animated, between the groups involved, that the journalist had to cool things down! The important thing for the radio station was that people wanted to listen to programmes that contained interviews with people like them; they could phone in to contribute their own opinion. Government spokespeople and other key resource people could be invited to respond on-air. A similar situation is outlined in the attached document also for Ghana.

    Summary of results
    Seeing the impacts on listener figures, other radio stations copied the format; by mid-2004, 19 commercial stations were broadcasting a total of 22 radio programmes focused on issues of importance to people in small businesses. A listener survey found that 7 million people in socio-economic groups C, D and E were listening to these programmes on a regular basis; as a result, commercial sponsors were happy to sponsor the programmes and make them fully self-sustaining. The results achieved are described in more detail in the entry under Impact Assessment.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Impact Assessment
    »MSE Radio Programmes in Uganda and Ghana, 2004