One of the activities proposed by the IWMI Wastewater KSinR Pilot project was the development of an interactive radio program to extend the delivery of research results and messages to target groups. The radio program was targeted at farmers, traders (market women) and caterers-all users of wastewater in various stages of food production.

A script for the radio program was first developed by deriving key messages from results of various research projects working on wastewater issues in Ghana. Once the key messages to be broadcast were developed, these were translated into Dagbani, a local language in Ghana.

The radio program was designed to be interactive, using the following format:

  • jingle
  • introduction by program host
  • traditional music
  • drama
  • talk by host or agricultural extension agent
  • question and answer session
  • panel discussions based on call-ins
  • conclusions

This interactive radio broadcasting on wastewater use messages was recently held on 14th and 20th June 2008.

According to the leader of this activity, Gordana Kranjac-Berisavljevic “it went well.”

She reported back that “we discussed basically 5 key messages for safer use of wastewater where relevant to farmers, vendors and caterers in Dagbani, as well as the recommendations that came out of the World Cafe discussions about key messages held with target groups earlier, with Mr Ghanyu adding some useful advice as facilitator.”

As this is a new approach of dissemination for many research organisations, it is interesting to look at the challenges that may occur as well. Gordana explained that “The problem we found is that everyone talks too much, it was difficult confining them to a 1 hour frame“.

Dr. Pay Dreschel, IWMI researcher and Theme Leader in the Ghana office who oversees the wastewater work and champions the KS efforts within it, responded to this time issue saying “this type of chaos is often inevitable and can be reduced by developing before-hand a clear discussion line for the program“.

This radio program has been recorded and will be shared with others who may be able to use the program itself or learn from this experience for undertaking their own radio programs.

To follow-up on this activity in order to learn from the use of this type of strategy and see whether the messages were received, remembered and used, interviews with listeners will be carried out.

According to Pay “it will be interesting to get the listener feedback. Doing this some weeks later will have merit in terms of seeing if there is any longer-term memory or behaviour change impact from the radio program“.

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