We leverage opportunities created by new digital communications to amplify and elevate the voices of Africans – in all of their diversity – to the levels of development and governance actors.
Through innovative citizen engagement, we gather digital data such as SMS, social media and instant messages. Conversational and messy in nature, we make sense of this big data through our multidisciplinary analysis techniques. From the rich social insights we provide, our partners can better understand the citizens they serve. This leads to more informed and impactful programmes and policy – ultimately enhancing the well-being and agency of African citizens.
Africa’s Voices emerged from four years of research at the University of Cambridge. During a pilot project, we harnessed the reach of radio and spread of mobile phones to gather citizens’ opinions. We learned from our research what works, and under what conditions, for citizen participation, and refined our techniques for data collection, analysis, and reporting.
With strong interest from collaborators, our pilot research became Africa’s Voices Foundation Ltd, a registered UK charity (no.1159589). The aim in our start-up phase is to swiftly become a self-sustaining independent enterprise that can pursue the growth and application of this novel platform for citizen engagement.
We continue to collaborate closely with different departments from the University of Cambridge. Through this ongoing partnership, we are able to inform our projects with the latest developments in cutting-edge research, helping us to prototype and test new tools and methods tailored to the practical demands of each project.