Where technology meets anthropology, conservation and development
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Mobile phones join the rural radio mix

pcworld

“A little over a year ago I found myself sitting in the San Francisco offices of an international humanitarian NGO. Their main focus at the time was a major human-rights treaty, and they wanted advice about mobilizing rural communities to lobby their governments to ratify it. There was clearly great potential for a mobile phone-based solution, and they wanted me to help them understand how text messaging – and FrontlineSMS in particular – could be of use.

So, it came as something of a surprise when I recommended they look more closely at rural radio instead. Although I’m a great fan of mobile phone technology, it isn’t by default the best tool for reaching out to rural communities. Radio – far from being outdated and irrelevant – remains a powerful, relevant and far-reaching medium. Unrivalled, in fact.

Radio stations existed in Africa long before many of its countries reached independence. Over the last twenty to thirty years, however, liberation of the airwaves in many of these countries has opened the door to a new wave of broadcasters including commercial, private, community and public radio stations. This expansion has created some new and exciting opportunities.”

kiwanja’s latest PC World article looks at the potential of mobile phones and rural radio stations to jointly deliver relevant, timely and useful information to rural populations in developing countries, and allow listeners to engage with radio programmes in a new way. Projects highlighted include initiatives in Africa by Farm Radio International and Developing Radio Partners.

Head on over to the PC World website for the full article.

2 comments

1 changefeed { 01.30.09 at 7:24 pm }

->@kiwanja: Mobile phones join the rural radio mix http://tinyurl.com/c9pz8s

2 Andrew Deal { 01.31.09 at 10:59 pm }

Excellent. We are working to distribute radio programs from overseas as narrowcasts to US audiences to start, and help with overseas distribution as well in a later phase.

Leave a Comment