In partnership with REACH, (a joint initiative between the NGOs ACTED and IMPACT), Africa’s Voices delivered an innovative Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) intervention in Somalia, in support of the Joint Multi-Cluster Needs Assessment (JMCNA) run by REACH nationwide.
Our intervention was intended to feedback findings from the JMCNA to communities, spark a wider dialogue on the humanitarian situation in Somalia, and gather feedback from affected populations to ensure their voices influence humanitarian planning processes. The project leveraged on AVF’s interactive radio methodology using radio debate shows shaped by audience feedback sent in by SMS.
What we did
In a one-week rapid consultation, AVF heard from 8,955 people who engaged directly with the programme through SMS. Radio shows were broadcast through a network of 27 FM stations and contained an overview of the JMCNA process and findings, the perspectives of audiences sent in by SMS before the show, and interviews with OCHA and government representatives on the value and implications of findings. Transcripts from the radio shows reveal how this method effectively placed the voice of affected communities in direct dialogue with the key actors of the response.
The consultation process heard from people in every region in Somalia, including a few from areas inaccessible to the JMCNA. The approach was particularly inclusive of women (42%), youth (59% of participants were under 25) and IDPs (35%). There was, however, an urban bias in participation – only 19% were from rural areas.
Overall, communities were resoundingly in favour of the process – 87% of participants felt like this project made them feel more included in decision making, stressing that it resonated with their values and enabled their perspectives on humanitarian responses to reach decision-makers.
In recognition of our successful AAP intervention in Somalia, Africa’s Voices was commended in the 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO):
“The use of radio has proven particularly efficient and effective in Somalia, especially in hard to reach areas. As was the case at the height of the drought in 2017, the collecting of feedback from radio listeners across the country enabled people, even from the most vulnerable communities, to share their concerns and views, consequently allowing the humanitarian community to make associated adjustments. Interactive radio programmes and SMS messaging by African Voices Foundation additionally garnered feedback from 8,955 individuals across every region in Somalia. An extremely high proportion of respondents (87 per cent) indicated that they felt the consultations had made them feel more included in decision-making, and the same proportion further reported that they would like to see this process repeated in the future. This should be fully taken into account in community engagement planning in the HRP.”
Image: Cate Turton/Department for International Development