Peace Rising

With the help of our local staff’s training and mentorship, the young people featured in these testimonies became influential peacebuilders.

Catalyzing the media as a peacebuilding platform in Burundi

Working with local radio stations, we leveraged the power of media as a powerful platform for conflict prevention in Buru

Secure, Empowered, Connected Communities

Communities in regions of the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are often victims of the attacks of the Lord’s Resistence Army, the notorious rebel group led by Joseph Kony. Though international efforts have reduced the group’s influence, pockets of LRA fighters continue to attack villages, looting property and abducting citizens.

Project Mazava II: Building Trust around Madagascar’s Mining Sites

As the 2018 elections approach, new tensions arise around Madagascar’s mining sites. Our work is helping prevent violent clashes.

Final Evaluation–Media for Change:Promoting Responsible Journalism to Enhance Accountability and Citizen Engagement in Governance in Madagascar

In Madagascar, radio is highly influential and was often pinned as the “Fourth Power”. While it remains a major force, it suffers from tremendous limitations in the wake of the 2009 economic and political crisis, especially in regards to the competencies and professionalism of its staff. For numerous unemployed youth, entering the media and the radio sector is the alternative to unemployment. Consequently, it is estimated that more than 80% of journalists in the country have no previous media background or education. This gap contributed to a lack of confidence in media, tarnishing the legitimacy of the profession and its role as a positive force for change.

It is in this context that SFCG implemented a 15-month (October 2015-December 2016) media capacity building project,“Media for change.” Financed by the US Fund for Innovation in Public Diplomacy, the project was implemented in 9 regions to promote responsible journalism and improve accountability and citizen engagement in Madagascar. Training and rapprochement activities were successful not only in building the skills and the confidence of journalists but also in reinstating their credibility with listeners and the authorities. In October 2016, journalists and elected officials signed a Charter on Responsible Communication which guarantees true, objective and unbiased news broadcasting and the respect of media rights and expression. At the end of the project, 90% of listeners believed that the media had addressed issues of concern to them. The number of people who believed information from the media was “balanced” and “unbiased” increased more than three-fold, from 20% to 71% of the population. In addition, 56% of interviewed listeners indicated that they had changed their behavior as a result of programs and programs broadcast by targeted radio stations. The project “Media for Change” was quite successful, but the Malagasy media still has challenges to overcome, such as journalist’s working conditions in terms of equipment and social benefits.

Media As A Force For Change

Media is a crucial player in conflict situations capable of both inciting violence and catalyzing positive change. Search is a recognized pioneer in using media to promote peace and stability in conflict-ridden communities.

Title: Monthly Listenership Survey – DRC Media Programming – December 2016

This listenership survey analyzes the effect of Search for Common Ground’s media programs in the DRC in December 2016. Over the course of the month, the listeners either called or sent in SMS feedback 2,344 times on the different programs; the Search team followed up and surveyed 431 people. These surveys are part of Search’s 4R approach in media monitoring: analyzing Reach, Resonance, Response, and Relevance of media programs. This report allows teams to reflect on who programming has ‘reached’, identify the most popular programs and establish measures for successful audience targeting. It also allows the team to reflect on the ‘resonance’ of messaging to see if listeners connect with the programs and understand the concepts being communicated. Through listenership feedback, the report also documents examples of ‘response’ to media programs in terms of engagement, attitude and behavior changes. Lastly, feedback allows staff to assess the most ‘relevant’ topics in communities.

A large majority of listeners reported that they were “very satisfied” (19%) or “satisfied” (50%) with programming. They found the topics interesting, related to their own lives, and that they like that the programs are allowing both men and women to express themselves. In particular, listeners appreciated that the current conflicts between Lubas and Twas in Tanganyika province were broadcast with professionalism and respect in the program Tuishi kwa amani. Overall, 77% of listeners interviewed said they were learning something at each broadcast, even if the topics and stories were related to their daily life. 69% of them also said the various broadcasts gave them the will to act, many of them explaining that they will try to get registration certificates to legalize their land property.