USIP evaluation illustrates impact of EAI’s OVATV program in Afghanistan

A USIP-commissioned survey lauds EAI’s, "One Village, A Thousand Voices" radio program.

A Project of
Afghanistan, Building Peace & Transforming Extremism, Championing Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment, Governance & Civic Engagement

The most significant change I’ve witnessed thanks to “One Village, A Thousand Voices,” is the creation of a shura, a regional council, which traditionally was only composed of men, that now invites women to participate. This is a change initiated by young people. I know that if I hadn’t heard this radio program, I wouldn’t have changed my views in such a short time. 

Accelerating positive and peaceful social changes in Afghanistan by opening the discussion on taboo subjects, One Village, A Thousand Voices (OVATV) is a radio drama designed, produced and distributed by EAI.

Since it first aired in April 2013, OVATV has been tackling a variety of subjects with the specific aim of empowering communities. These include increasing knowledge of the legal system, due process, and citizens’ rights and influencing the participation of marginalized groups, particularly youth and women so that these demographics are aware of and more capable of asserting their rights. Led by legal and cultural experts, it also targets traditions that restrict the participation of target groups by influencing societal knowledge, attitude, and behavior to create a more accepting environment towards the contributions of youth and women.

In a 2017 survey commissioned by its original funder, the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), the uniquely interactive structure of OVATV has been evaluated with promising results. 

[T]he most important contribution of OVATV is its ability to bring issues that would otherwise remain shrouded in secrecy, into the light. It provides an opportunity for dialogue to begin, contributing to the acceleration of processes that bring youth and females into decision-making.

In 2016, OVATV’s management was transferred to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) PROMOTE: Women in Government program where an increased emphasis has been placed on female empowerment.