Our work now extends to the Democratic Republic of Congo!
© africanews Jerome Delay/ Copyright 2021 The Associated Press
June 2021 We are delighted to be extending our impact assessment of radio to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from June 2021. Consulting on a large multi-national project funded by the EU/ICSP (Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace), we will be questioning 120 radio listeners in 16 provinces in the DRC to provide radio stations with important and timely feedback to adjust their programming where appropriate.
Constant clashes between government forces and armed rebel groups characterise much of the DRC and these tensions have been worsened by Covid-19. As in many neighbouring countries, the government declared a state of emergency, closed borders, schools and places of worship, and brought in restrictions on movement. This has had a serious socio-economic impact on a country which already suffers not only extreme poverty and inequality but also other ongoing epidemics (measles, cholera, Ebola). Conspiracy theories and distrust of authorities are also extensive. Misinformation and rumours about Covid-19 are rife.
Radio remains one of the main sources of information and, in times of conflict and pandemic, providing accurate, timely and trusted information to remote and marginalised communities is crucial.
As part of this consultancy work, we will be assessing the impact of Studio Hirondelle-RDC (SHRDC), which was launched in 2017 to produce information and dialogue programmes aimed primarily at youth and women. Its network of media partners is one of the largest in the DRC, working with over 120 local radio stations (mainly community radio stations) and some twenty TV stations.
We will gain feedback in four main national languages (Kikongo, Lingala, Swahili, and Tshiluba) and in French from listeners in 24 towns and we will collaborate with 36 community radios. The work starts in June 2021 and we look forward to reporting back with some findings as soon as possible.