Farm Radio International is the winner of the 2022 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prize for Media.
The prize was awarded on May 31 at the WSIS Forum in Geneva. The forum, which brings together ICT for development practitioners from around the world, is an annual event that shares best practices in the field of information communication technologies (like radios and mobile phones) and international development.
Farm Radio International received the award for our COVID-19 Radio Response project.
In 2019, faced with the mounting urgency of a global pandemic, Farm Radio International re-directed our work to better serve broadcasters as they served their rural audiences, who faced their own unique challenges under the threat of COVID-19.
When lockdowns threatened livelihoods, and people were scared for the health of themselves and their families, radio was a lifeline to the information needed to stay safe and healthy.
Unlike other mediums, radio is not restricted by lockdowns; it is one of few tools that can keep entire communities safe, entirely at-a-distance.
Farm Radio reacted to the pandemic in five main ways:
- Supporting radio broadcasters with gender-sensitive how-to guides and resources.
- Developing a call-in services for broadcasters to use to access answers to their questions about the disease.
- Connecting broadcasters to share their experiences, access experts and talk through strategies to support their communities.
- Created a rapid COVID-19 support fund, to keep broadcasters on the air and allow them to buy the tools needed to keep themselves safe.
- Adapting our own programming and projects to meet the needs of communities affected by COVID-19.
Almost 90 per cent of the broadcasters we surveyed told us that Farm Radio International’s COVID-19 response had helped them increase their capacity to respond to the pandemic.
Thank you to our many supporters who voted for Farm Radio International to make it into the final round of judging — we couldn’t have done it without you.
Congratulations to all of the winners in the different categories, to all of the Champions, and to all of the entries this year. They all showed remarkable innovation and commitment to using ICTs for development.
The WSIS Prizes are an integral part of the WSIS Stocktaking process, coordinated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as mandated by the United Nations General Assembly since 2004.