Responsive media development for democracy in Niger

Striving to achieve greater community resilience, self-sufficiency, accountability, and community health by empowering communities through decentralized authority and deconcentrated resources while increasing public information flow.

A Project of
Niger, Sahel

There is a big difference between the teachers from the cities and the villages…that’s not normal! All children in Niger must receive the same chance of access to education. We must redeploy the surplus of teachers from the cities to the countryside so that our children can have teachers, too.”  

– Adam Aboubacar, LDG from Nguigmi (Diffa)

As one of Counterpart Internationals main partners, EAI is leading the communications initiatives, which includes producing dynamic and relatable magazine content in all four local languages to reach target populations in Niamey, Diffa, Agadez, and Zinder. EAI has been creating relatable content in partnership with communities to shine a light on government administrative health and education department activities and policies. From 2016 through 2019, EAI is working with community radio stations across the country by providing capacity building that is enabling them to unearth and advocate for solutions to social and political problems. Specifically, we are working with communities to host roundtable discussions to bridge the gap between local politicians and citizens. EAI has formed Listening and Discussion Groups (LDGs) that are partnering with Nigerienne artists, religious, traditional, and civic leaders, to foster dialogue and civic action on major social and political issues.

USING WHATSAPP FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT:

The Learning Discussion Group (LDG) Facilitators and members use WhatsApp to exchange information with each other, but also as a means to increase civic engagement. By increasing discussions between facilitators and LDG members, participants are motivated to advocate on behalf of their communities in order to make positive change by addressing public concerns, ideas of community action projects, and promote the importance of what they’re communities are doing to spur change. In May 2018, the EAI team started including vox pops from discussions on WhatsApp due to their interesting content and relevance to the project themes.

Theory of Change (for CPI and all of its partners): The projects theory of change posits that increased understanding of local dynamics hindering or promoting reform (through research) and increased positive and constructive two—way public discourse (dialogue), combined with the improved willingness, confidence, and ability of civil society, private sector, media, government, and political parties to form alliances and partnerships to achieve reform (collective action), will ultimately bolster local solutions that promote the public good and shift incentives away from behaviors that undermine this good.

 

"My name is Laminou and I’m from Zinder; I listen to your episodes and encourage you to do more [...]" - IVR message left on 08/30/2018

Impact & Reach of this Project

114

media professionals trained in advocacy skills with government and civil society

208

leaders were trained during the Strategic Communications Workshops with Civil Society, Religious, Traditional Leaders Foster Collaborative, Collective Action

34

roundtable radio dialogues to promote exchange and collaboration among media, civil society, government, and political parties

In our villages, the situation relating to teachers is truly critical. They don’t get paid regularly, which is compounded by the lack of adequate infrastructure to do so. If the State wants there to be more quality education, they need to think about how to pay teachers regularly, as well as get a clearer picture of what’s going on in the classroom.” Idi Abdou Idi
LDG member from Zinder