2020-2025 Strategic Plan

Our roadmap to supporting rural Africans over the airwaves.

A community effort to look to the future

In April 2020, Farm Radio International embarked on a new five-year strategic plan. The plan is the product of a highly participatory and consultative process, involving staff at all levels and in all countries and the Board of Directors. After consulting internally and externally, surveying the broadcasters that count on our services, looking at case studies and research findings, and reflecting on learnings from our own work and experiences, we decided on three main intentions. 

First, with the focus on our own capacity we will advance FRI's effectiveness, dynamism and commitment to equality and inclusion. We aim to become a leader in ensuring rural African women and men can aspire to a better future.

Second, we have seen the immense, transformative power of interactive radio. And we are frustrated by the large gap that remains between its vast potential, and present levels of investment. Our second intention, therefore, is to mobilize greater investments in Interactive Radio for Sustainable Development by organizations and people committed to positive change in rural Africa.

Third, it is our intention that interactive radio become as effective as possible. Our aim is to make it the “channel of choice” that rural Africans can count on to support the development and transformation of their households and communities.

As we embark on this ambitious plan, one thing is certain: we cannot do it alone. We call upon governments, fellow NGOs, farmer, youth and women’s organizations, research institutions, public and private organizations, and individuals to join us in making interactive radio the powerful force for development that rural Africans deserve.

interactive radio


Radio has traditionally been considered a one-way tool for disseminating information, good for telling people what is happening or providing advice. Yet we know that communication works best when it is two-way. That’s what interactive radio is all about. We use mobile phone tech, polling apps, and interactive voice response systems, as well as techniques African radio stations themselves have innovated, to turn a one-way radio program into a conversation. This sparks dialogues between communities, individuals and the broadcasters themselves, and helps move closer to sustainable development in rural communities.

Our 2020 - 2025 Strategic Intentions


Be an effective and dynamic organization committed to equality and inclusion

Making radio a more powerful force for good in rural Africa requires investment in our people, structures, processes and systems. Whether through improved organizational capacity, upholding the communication rights of rural Africans, committing to gender equality, or promoting internal and external learning, we strive to create dynamic and effective Communication for Development initiatives.


Mobilize greater investment in interactive radio for sustainable development in rural Africa

Being responsive to the needs of rural Africans will require strong ongoing investment by organizations and people committed to rural development. Individual donations, strategic partnerships, international funders, a diverse source of revenue—and a steady show of support—will allow rural communities to benefit from sustained, effective radio services.


Make interactive radio an effective communication “channel of choice” for sustainable rural development

We aim to see more Africans of all genders and ages enjoy their communication rights by ensuring they are served with more and improved interactive radio programs and services. By working directly with radio stations, we can ensure they craft and broadcast regular, high-quality programming that improves quality of life for rural Africans and that sparks locally-driven change.

Our 2025 targets

  • 2025-1

    2.5 million rural people served by a sustainable, year-round, quality-certified, station-led interactive radio program.

  • 2025-2

    40 million rural people served by a radio project that supports them in making a change in their life.

  • 2025-3

    1,500 radio stations supported and trained to provide better rural radio programs to
    100 million rural people.

Strategic Intention 1

With the aim of becoming an acknowledged leader in effective, dynamic and inclusive administration and management we will:

  • 1. Advance our expertise in gender transformative, inclusive, and rights-based approaches to Communication for Development.

  • 2. Make Farm Radio a great place to work that earns recognition for ethical, effective, and efficient management.

  • 3. Develop stronger learning and innovation systems so that we contribute to continuous improvement in Communication for Development practice.

  • 4. Strengthen governance through more strategic leadership and oversight by the Board of Directors.

Strategic Intention 2

With the aim of mobilizing more investment in interactive radio we will:

  • 5. At least double direct funding from public, private, and civil society stakeholders in interactive radio projects and services.

  • 6. Double the number of individual Canadians who support us as regular Farm Radio donors.

  • 7. Continuously increase the number of globally-concerned Canadians who engage with Farm Radio as advocates, champions, volunteers, and/or donors.

Strategic Intention 3

With the aim of making interactive radio the communication “channel of choice” for Africans seeking sustainable rural development we will:

  • 8. Add to the quality and frequency of the current development-oriented radio services of over 1,500 radio stations in 42 countries of sub-Saharan Africa such that the majority of rural women, men and youth in these countries name one of them as their “channel of choice”.

  • 9. Collaborate with at least 200 select radio stations on the production and broadcast of interactive radio projects that contribute to the quality of life and the empowerment of women in 7.5 million households.

  • 10. Enable at least 50 radio stations to offer new quality-certified Interactive Radio for Sustainable Development programs to at least 2.5 million rural Africans can depend on week after week for as long as they need them.

Our Approach

How will we achieve our strategic intentions and goals? We’ve identified five “pillars,” or implementation areas, where we will invest and take action in order to get results in our work.


Strengthen Farm Radio’s policies, systems and structures.


Invest in Farm Radio’s human resources so that, as an organization, we thrive.


Deliver excellent initiatives that bring results.


Collaborate with a wide range of diverse stakeholders


Innovate, learn and communicate our results so that we help advance the field of effective communication for development


Interested in learning more? Download our full 2020-2025 Strategic Plan here