[FoME] Rural radio effectiveness evaluations in Africa and Asia

Christoph Dietz christoph.dietz at CAMECO.ORG
Di Sep 16 09:25:34 CEST 2008

Communicating with Radio: What Do We Know?
Findings from a Review of Selected Rural Radio Effectiveness Evaluations
Ottawa (Canada): Farm Radio International, 2008, 105 p.
Download the complete study at: http://www.farmradio.org/english/partners/afrri/communicating-with-radio.pdf 

The main objective of this study is to discover, review, and analyse what has already been documented on the links between radio-based communication strategies and rural development outcomes, particularly with regards to smallholder farming and food security outcomes in Africa. This is in order to ensure that the African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFFRI), a project of Farm Radio International, builds on and adds to existing knowledge about how radio-based communication strategies can most effectively help farmers to improve their productivity and food security. The report explores best radio practices, including issues related to optimal formats, schedules, production qualities, and station management. The study analyses 17 case studies from India, the Philippines, Tanzania, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, and South Africa and outlines key findings, as well as five knowledge gaps in rural and farm radio effectiveness.

A sample of the key findings from the various case studies includes:

- organised group listening and discussion improves knowledge gain (India); 
- testimonials and jingles facilitate the best recall and comprehension of messages (Philippines); 
- radio forums strengthen rural decision-making structures (Tanzania); 
- radio programmes created by communities attract high listenership (Malawi); 
- farm radio is more effective when linked with new information and communication technologies (Ghana); and 
- multimedia approaches increase the reach of development radio programmes. 

The five knowledge gaps identified by the research are:

Knowledge Gap 1 - There is a lack of systematically designed farm radio campaigns that integrate evaluation in the planning stage. 
Knowledge Gap 2 - There are problems with regular audience surveys. 
Knowledge Gap 3 - Unsustainable and non-participatory evaluations are caused by donor dependency on effectiveness studies. 
Knowledge Gap 4 - Evaluations focus on the impact of just one or two programmes to promote better agricultural practices, nutrition, and rural development. 
Knowledge Gap 5 - Evaluations often disregard other forms of farm broadcasting. 

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