Policy Forum Assesses Its Community Radio Programmes on Awareness, Understanding and Accountability in Lindi and Mtwara

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Policy Forum (PF) is conducting a study to probe its radio programmes on Social Accountability in Lindi and Mtwara regions from 18th to 22nd September, 2016. The programmes were aired since 2015 in three radio stations namely Info Radio FM (Mtwara), Mashujaa FM (Lindi) and Safari FM (Mtwara).

The study is based on qualitative analysis through the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) that will enable PF to establish if the programs enhanced awareness, understanding and shared obligation in governance and accountability within the targeted communities of Lindi and Mtwara Regions as well as make recommendations for future programming.

A total of 64 male and female respondents based in urban and rural areas in both regions are involved as a study sample. The respondents include the ones who participated in the radio programmes by sending SMS or calling and those who had an opportunity of listening to the programs but did not participate by calling in.

Opening the FGD, a moderator Walter Raphael asked the respondents to discuss openly without fear and promised confidentiality of their responses. Contributing in the discussion, one respondent urged the government officials and local leaders to involve the citizens when making decisions regarding development sectors especially investment projects to avoid social and political confrontations in the future.

Responding on how Mtwara Region has benefited from the extractive industry, one of the respondents expounded that “we now have good roads, electricity and our small businesses have grown, we can easily travel to Dar and back in one day’’. The respondents cited negative effects such as loss of cultural values due to an interaction with people from different cultural aspects.

The respondents commended on PF Social Accountability programs aired on the local radio stations for providing civic engagement programs which enhances accountability and transparency.

PF introduced Social Accountability in Lindi and Mtwara to help improve the capacity of Tanzanian communities in Southern Tanzania, their local councillors and civil society organisations to oversee the executive’s collection and use of revenues from extractive industries.