Rural people are rarely, if ever, consulted in the development of policies and programs meant to support them — particularly women, youth and other marginalized groups. Geography and language present additional barriers to meaningful consultations. And, to ensure participation, communities must feel confident that their input will actually be used. Farmers and rural people have much to say and the right to be heard. When rural people’s voices and perspectives are amplified, we can base decisions, policies and programs on what people really need and want. National and global conversations about issues like food security, nutrition, health and climate change can’t afford to leave rural voices out.
On Air Dialogues are an answer to that challenge. They are an innovative type of interactive radio programming that uses mobile phone-based polling to gather thousands of rural people’s perspectives on issues that affect them. On air, broadcasters invite local experts, farmers and other guests to speak their mind and share their knowledge — in listeners’ own language. Off air, we engage listeners to join in the discussion with their own thoughts.