Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Radio remains the most accessible and cost effective traditional ICT tool in Uganda to mobilize the citizenry, engage leaders for improved service delivery through virtual platforms in form of talk shows.

Radio programs/discussions have provided better ways to involve leaders for accountability and to engage local citizens to demand for better service delivery from their local leaders.

In Kabarole District, broadcasting issues related to accountability has increased on every radio station. Most of the accountability programs are moderated by a trained radio mentor trained by ToroDev. “On Voice of Toro, Kabarole district, there are two Programs that handle issues related to accountability (Bukire program and Manya Abebembezi bawe). Leaders have been on Air and recorded voices of grass root people have also been aired live on air. Open discussions are always emphasized during these programs which has created a great platform for leaders and grass root people to discuss issues’’. Said Tusiime Francis, a mentor at Voice of Toro, Kabarole district.
Rwenzori radio journalists during a training with ToroDev
Radio mentors have also improved skills of rural FM radio journalists and radio proprietors through trainings and sharing the experience in broadcasting public accountability programs. “The experience we have has made it easier for us to approach the managers and lobby for accountability programs so that different political and local leaders are invited for talk shows and accountability programs are broadcasted”, said Balinda Chris from Kyenjojo Development Radio ,Kyenjojo District.

Radio mentors have continued sharing issues related to accountability on different online platforms like ushahidi and facebook and this has helped in knowledge and information sharing and networking amongst themselves and leaders. “Issues posted on online plat forms like Ushahidi, face book and blogs have helped us to share this information on radio during news bulletins and this has made our work easier”. Said Tumwine Howard  UBC radio Bundibugyo.

However, radio mentors still face challenges of transport facilitation to reach out the community and pick people’s issues, and lack of equipment like recorders, cameras, computers and internet for information sharing and evidence based information which has affected the bigger work of professional journalists.

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