Using interactive radio and SMS to tackle corruption in Kenya

In recent years, a section of citizens in Kenya have held the view that corruption is getting through the roof and the government is not putting in the efforts required to halt the upsurge of the loss of public resources through dubious means. In a research conducted by Transparency International, the 10th Edition of the Global Corruption Barometer in 2019, majority of Kenyans participants stated that corruption is heightening and there are not enough counter measures from the government to curb the scourge. The situation risks normalising corruption in the country, decreasing public criticism, leading to citizens’ apathy and causing distrust in government processes and services.  

Using the Common Social Accountability Platform (CSAP), Africa’s Voices Foundation is collaborating with the National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee (NACCSC) with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through GIZ to listen to citizens’ views on corruption. AVF and NACCSC will raise awareness of the fight against corruption at both the national and subnational levels, enhance citizen participation, foster dialogue, and boost citizen involvement. Using a regional vernacular radio – Ingo FM – this media campaign focuses on Bungoma County within the Western region of Kenya. 

The GIZ’s Strengthening Good Governance programme aims at engaging the public through multi-media channels to deliver anti-corruption messages and generate debates on corruption. This is in line with NACCSC’s mandate to undertake a nationwide public education, sensitization and awareness creation campaign to effect fundamental change in the attitudes, behaviour, practices and culture of Kenyans towards corruption. The radio programming will be integral in advancing citizens’ participation in good governance by showcasing opportunities for public participation in the fight against corruption in Kenya.

Ultimately, the project will seek to achieve the following objectives: 

  • To highlight opportunities for public involvement/participation in County administration (Discuss appointments of County Officials, ensuring regional balance in public appointments)
  • To discuss avenues for enhancing people-centered governance at the County level (Discuss ways of eradicating public misuse of resources, eradicating ghosting working, opportunities for holding leaders accountable, continuity of government projects etc.)
  • To showcase the importance of gender inclusivity at regional governance. (Discuss inclusion of women, PWDs, youth and minority groups)
  • To urge the public to actively participate in identifying priority development areas in their regions. (Discuss available economic activities in those regions).

The AVF’s approach, which leverages radio and SMS, will enable citizens to share their views and questions on corruption. Radio guests will respond to the questions and views raised by the participants. The views will be analysed into nuanced insights to enable key decision making in the fight against corruption. 

Through the programming, citizens will generate ideas on practical ways the country can fight corruption, propose measures to seal the existing gaps in the fight against corruption, and citizens’ action required to enhance the fight against misuse of public funds. 

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