After successfully using FrontlineSMS in the Tomorrow is a New Day (TND) project to monitor and improve radio dramas in the Niger Delta, SFCG Nigeria chose to use the platform in a completely different capacity in Jos, a city in Northern Nigeria. SFCG Nigeria is part of Search for Common Ground, one of the first and largest conflict resolution focused NGOs.
SFCG Nigeria is part of Search for Common Ground, one of the first and largest conflict resolution focused NGOs. To support the reconciliation and reintegration of ex-militants in the Niger Delta, the Tomorrow is a New Day (TND) project was implemented with the support of the European Union from December 2011- June 2013. The project was carried out with five local partners, who were instrumental in SFCG Nigeria’s ability to work directly with seven local communities in the Delta.
For the past month, I’ve been in Sudan working to set up the information flows and tech that will support SUDIA’s Community Communications System. From the tech and information management perspective, SUDIA’s System is interesting because it adapts to a low tech environment by integrating SMS and radio, and processing information largely offline. The System collects and disseminates information useful to communities that live along the migratory routes in Blue Nile State. It focuses on information that communities themselves can use to make their livelihoods more sustainable and more peaceful. In other words, the System is not aimed at organizations (Government or non-Government) that can use information to provide services or design interventions. Rather, it is aimed at communities helping themselves, and provides information that is useful to community leaders in organizing local community responses to livelihood challenges.
In an interview with Francis Rolt from Radio for Peace Building, Hussain Abdullah reflects on how radio can be used for promoting peace. To read the full article on the FrontlineSMS:Radio website click here
"Radio for Peace Building is an organisation which provides advice and training on using radio for behaviour change communication, in particular for the peaceful transformation of conflicts in pre-, current or post conflict contexts. In this post, Francis describes Radio for Peace Building’s most recent support on an SFCG project working with the Tea Garden Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Francis told us about his recent work with Search for Common Ground. “SFCG is working with the Tea Garden Tamils, who are quite distinct from the Tamils in the North – a different sort of demographic – who came to Sri Lanka at a different time. As part of an inclusive citizenship project, we are helping to organise a series of radio talk shows and audio dramas.” The drama narratives and topics of the talk shows would be guided by the use of mobile to make it a truly inclusive project."
To read the full article on the FrontlineSMS:Radio website click here
In this, the second of a series of guest posts on how FrontlineSMS is being used around the world, Dr. Mohammad Akbar and Kenneth Adam - Director and Business Advisor respectively at Media Support Partnership Afghanistan (MSPA) - talk about their current and planned uses of the platform, and the impact it is having on their work "A recent special edition of a radio programme for young people in Afghanistan was devoted to one topic – the shocking recent acid attack on girls attending school by violent extremists allied to the Taliban. The impact on the audience was recorded in some 300 phone calls from listeners – a record for the long running programme "Straight Talk", produced by a team of young broadcasters from Media Support Partnership Afghanistan (MSPA).
This audience response provides an example of what is possible given the enormous growth in mobile phones in Afghanistan, well over 6 million and rising at over 100,000 a month. Young people in the troubled south often feel isolated and bored, trapped in a conflict which shows no sign of going away. Development activities have largely been suspended because of insecurity. They want to hear and view programmes on issues important to them, and to contribute to the debate, and with 84% of households possessing working radios and 38% TVs, there is great potential in this approach.
MSPA will be using FrontlineSMS as one of the tools in a new project as part of a British Government-funded media initiative to engage with young people specifically in conflict affected regions though interactive radio programming, tied in with a national competition for young people to produce short video films on their mobile phones. FrontlineSMS will play a key role in the competitive process of selecting the individuals to be given the new mobile phones and trained in their use. This project is planned to start in April 2009. Initial trials using the software are underway, with a view to collecting information on listeners’ views on a variety of topics and feeding these back to them with the help of FrontlineSMS. This will allow active dialogue on issues as varied as the activities of NATO forces in the country and whether Afghans should bear arms, to commenting on education and health services.
Another important application this year will be in the run up to the Presidential Election in September. The media is key to informing the population about the rights of voters, and about the policy of different candidates. FrontlineSMS could be used to elicit the views of listeners in different categories and feed back the results to listeners, prolonging the debate and in so doing capturing the interest of people who are actively engaged in the debate".
Dr. Akbar, MSPA Director Kenneth Adam, MSPA Business Adviser Media Support Partnership Afghanistan (MSPA) www.mspa.org.af