There is No Program Without Farmers: Interactive Radio for Forest Landscape Restoration in Mount Elgon Region, Uganda

Increase in ownership and use of radios and mobile phones in Uganda may present opportunities for interactive and efficient agricultural extension services. Yet the impact of interactive radio on rural development has rarely been evaluated. In a participatory project, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) together with Farm Radio International and stakeholders from local government, radio, and community-based organizations promoted the increased use of forest landscape restoration activities though interactive rural radio programs, including innovative methods to reach populations not covered by radio. An evaluation found that 98% of people who listened to most or all of the broadcasts carried out one of the practices, whereas 84% of those who had listened to only one episode had used one of the practices. Inclusion of a wide range of community stakeholders from project inception was vital for presenting the project and embedding it within local institutional contexts.