Advancing participatory communication

Enabling community dialogue

Promoting gender equality

Raising farmer’s voice


  • Little is known about the economics of rural radio programs and projects in Africa. This is largely because start-up and operating costs have been difficult to measure for radio stations of different sizes operating under different models (that is, public stations, commercial/private stations and community-based stations).

    This study has three specific objectives. The first is to identify the costs incurred at radio stations (start-up costs, operating costs— including production costs—and the cost of programming with community involvement). The second is to identify and analyze the revenue streams available to radio stations, including loans, airtime sales, donors, classified ads and fundraising events. The third is to understand the basic technological, human and financial investment needed to sustain radio stations according to their size and type of station.

  • “Radio continues to have a broad reach in Africa. An estimated 40 million farmers in five different countries were served by the AFRRI partnership with 25 radio stations. Farmers engaged in the design and development of farm radio programming were almost 50 per cent more likely to take up agricultural practices deemed to improve their food security than passive listeners. Those in what AFRRI deemed “active listening communities” (ALCs) were 10 times more likely to adopt the practice than those farmers who had no access to the farm radio programs. Farmers demonstrated increased knowledge of agriculture innovations as a result of listening to AFRRI radio programs, with up to 96% of some radio listeners scoring at least 60% on a follow-up knowledge quiz about the promoted farm practices.”

    Farm Radio International,  Participatory Radio Campaigns and Food Security. How radio can help farmers make informed decision, African Farm Radio Research Initiative, 2011, 88p. (In English only)

  • This case study analyses the intersection between radio, gender and information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Specifically, it examines whether recent improvements in radio broadcast coverage and the spread of SMS technology are increasing women’s access to information and providing them with a platform that adequately meets their needs.

  • On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2015, we look at the media environment in East Africa.

    Kennedy Javuru, 2011, Community Radio in East Africa; For or by the community? (In English only)

    Photo: © Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • The New Age of Radio. How ICTs are Changing Rural Radio in Africa

    As part of a 42-month action research program called The African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI), Farm Radio International (FRI) partnered with 25 radio stations in five African countries to implement a series of ICT packages designed to enhance farm radio programming. In partnership with World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AFRRI’s aim is to discover, document, and disseminate best practices for using radio-based communications to enhance food security in Africa. AFRRI has also tested how new information and communications technologies (ICTs) can be integrated with radio to provide better two-way communication between radio stations and their farmer listeners.