Radio is everywhere and for everyone. It is in even the most remote villages and people of all ages and abilities tune in. It has immense reach. Counting only the broadcasting partners that participated in our projects last year, we estimate a combined audience of 48 million in rural areas. More broadly, we know that our 670 broadcasting partners are reaching over 100 million people. And there are thousands more stations ready and willing to do all they can to benefit their listeners, which is why we are still reaching out to more radio partners.
Radio may be the world’s most popular and accessible communication tool, but that does not automatically mean that women have equal access to it. We know that special efforts need to be made to help them get the same benefits from radio as men. We’ve found that women-led community listening groups are particularly helpful in increasing the participation of women in radio programs. We developed a unique way of bringing the voices of rural women onto the airwaves through our Her Voice on Air project.
Traditionally, radio was a one-way medium. Using our interactivity platform called Uliza, we have helped make it a two-way tool for dialogue, turning passive listeners into active participants in information and feedback loops. Across our programs, we facilitated critical conversations — between Farm Radio staff and the radio broadcasters we serve, between stations and their listeners, and between rural communities, development organizations, and decision-makers. An exciting example of this is our contribution to Canada’s international assistance review. We used Uliza to gather and share direct, unfiltered input from nearly 3,000 Tanzanians with Global Affairs Canada.