Why is it important for people to have a radio, even when their communities have access to other forms of media? What do affected communities choose to listen to, and how does this information affect their daily lives? How do you design a radio distribution to maximize information access for a displaced community living in a camp, or in an area with many people on the move?
Since the outbreak of conflict in South Sudan in late 2013, Internews has been working to distribute over 40,000 radios to communities across the country. Along with radio distribution, other activities have expanded information access, such as establishing designated areas where people can listen to programs in the morning and evening hours (the most preferred listening times), creating more listening groups (particularly among females who generally have less access to information), and working with community and religious leaders (who are also identified as important sources of information) in order to prevent conflicting or contradictory messaging, ensure consistency, and improve quality control.
This Radio Distribution Module contains the collective knowledge of the Internews South Sudan team gained over three years’ experience conducting radio distributions within the United Nations Protection of Civilians sites (PoCs) and surrounding communities. Each section can be read on its own but together the three parts of the Module give you a holistic understanding of radio distribution projects in South Sudan.
Part I. Context
This section describes the information and media landscape in South Sudan and the continued prominence of radio in people’s lives. It summarizes research on the importance of information access for health, education, and peacebuilding outcomes, and highlights Internews’ radio distribution activities in service of these aims.
Part II. Case Study
This section details radio distributions conducted in the Bentiu PoC and Malakal to expand information access and listenership for Boda Boda Talk Talk and Nile FM programs. The case studies also include lessons learned, particularly the adaptive programming over time, in order to offer recommendations for future radio distributions.
Part III. How To Guide
This section provides a step-by-step methodology for procurement, planning, conducting, and monitoring a radio distribution in any location. It includes guidance on choosing a radio, selecting a distribution sample, various distribution methods, and monitoring and reporting on distribution.
The Radio Distribution Module was designed by the Internews South Sudan team and the Internews Humanitarian Programs Unit. It is part of the Internews Humanitarian Information Services Learning Collection, which communicates key lessons, best practices, and programmatic methodologies used by Internews’ humanitarian teams around the world.
See also, What is Boda Boda Talk Talk? - a three-part learning module on Internews' hyperlocal humanitarian information service.