Listening In

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Internews set out to take stock of community radio stations (CRS) in Tanzania through a rapid, structured assessment. We were determined to understand the extent to which CRS across the country were providing a valuable public information service, and what barriers could be overcome and opportunities seized to increase their effectiveness in supporting two-way feedback and accountable governance.

In order to ensure the success of future efforts to improve democratic and economic development in Tanzania, the system of producing, disseminating, sharing, trusting in and engaging with information must improve in equal measure.

A team of Internews staff and consultants visited 22 community radio stations in Arusha (8), Dar es Salaam (2), Lindi (5), Mtwara (2), and Zanzibar (5). During each visit, Internewsers asked a consistent set of questions about basic characteristics of the station, their role in local governance, and the needs of the community for further development. To complement this information, Internews staff also visited local NGOs in each location, including 3 in Arusha, 3 in Mtwara, and 5 in Zanzibar, as well as a number of radio listeners in the general public.

Internews structured this report according to our Strategic Framework, which breaks down media and information problems and solutions into four categories – access, content, inclusion and engagement. Each of the research questions posed by USAID to Internews was mapped to one of these four categories.