I have long been inspired by the potential of radio to enhance community and transparency in non-tech-savvy communities. It’s so simple, yet so powerful. The readings this week have reaffirmed this notion. From the use of the radio in information sharing in Agriculture to addressing community concerns and needs, the radio brings people together to overcome critical issues.
I read an article ( http://goo.gl/sgTGD) about an awesome initiative in Madagascar. In the summer of 2012, Transparency International had a radio call-in conference so people could ask questions about corruption.
People complained about a wide of issues dealing with transparency. These issues include local leaders, trafficking, problems with the judiciary. Questions ranged from “To protect myself from the insecurity in this region, I bought a gun from a policeman. The problem is, he did not give me the paperwork to prove I own it. Is this corruption? What should I do?” to “Traffic police keep asking for bribes. How can we refuse?” They asked both how to react to public corruption they have observed and how to evaluate their own actions.
The article stated that the positive influences of the call-in are not just quantitative, but rather also qualitative.
Going on the radio does more than reach a wide audience : it gives people a voice and raises the pressure on authorities to act.
In the developed world, we are more sheltered and protected from major corruption, so we sometimes forget the significance of complete transparency. I personally think that above all the radio is most powerful in exposing corruption both within the government and outside of it. What do you think is the most important use of the radio in the development realm?