#IMAQAL (Listen to me!) – A media-based intervention to connect and amplify positive narratives around gender equality and social inclusion in Somalia
Somalia is at a crucial juncture as it prepares for constitutional reform and elections in 2021. Recent milestones, such as the federal state formation process in 2016 and elections in 2017 are at risk of being undermined by Al-Shabaab, inter-clan conflict and weak institutions. To counter this, the Somalia Stability Fund* II Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) strategy recognises that inclusion of marginalised groups is a key component of (a) catalysing participatory governance, (b) reducing community vulnerability to conflict, and (c) increasing stability more broadly. Achieving inclusive participatory governance requires devising interventions that effectively disrupt exclusionary social norms that marginalise groups such as women, ethnic minorities, IDPs and youth.
Against this backdrop, Africa’s Voices, in partnership with Somali NGO Media-INK, is implementing a media-based intervention that will connect and amplify positive narratives to spark social norm change to create greater inclusivity of marginalised groups. In doing so, the programme will contribute to increased participatory governance and community resilience to conflict in Somalia.
What we are doing
Using audience engagement and local content for norm-changing media dialogue: The programme will deliver a media intervention that builds dialogue through interactive discussions and localised content. The approach is grounded in a theory of change that prioritizes how the media can shift perceptions of social norms by amplifying positive narratives in social and discursive settings, rather than targeting individuals. To build social spaces in which audiences can perceive and actualise norm change, we prioritise interactivity and audience engagement as key tools of content-generation.
#IMAQAL (Listen to me!) – A Multi-channel dialogue: Content and prompts for discussion are harmonised across media channels, to create a holistic experience in which multiple channels, with similar content and cross-cutting feedback, bring together diverse groups in one large-scale social discussion space. The selection of channels, which is based on maximising the reach of the campaign, whilst maintaining cost-efficacy, includes:
- Interactive radio dialogues (including radio dramas and radio magazines broadcasted through a network of 30 radio stations in Somali and Af-Maay);
- Social media discussions;
- Television debates;
- On-the-ground forums.
Evidence-based learning and campaigning: The programme is leveraging AVF’s unique methodologies to analyse audience engagement data to derive insights on audience beliefs and attitudes to inform rapid programme adaption. Analysis will deliver rich qualitative understanding of what audiences think in regard to the exclusion of marginalised groups, as well as how attitudes vary between groups and change over time.
*The Somalia Stability Fund is a multi-donor fund working towards a peaceful, secure and stable Somalia.