Principal Investigators: Dr Emma Heywood (University of Sheffield) & Dr Lassané Yaméogo (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique)
This study looked at the use of radio as a public health messaging tool for vulnerable crisis-affected communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, producing findings that were used by partner radio stations to adapt public health-related programming for IDPs in Burkina Faso. This is also available in French.
The study aimed to determine how radio broadcasters in Burkina Faso can adapt to address and respond to the information needs of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and combat (mis)information regarding COVID-19.
To do this, the study team worked with IDPs in refugee camps and host communities to find out what COVID-19 (mis)information they are exposed to, and the sources of that information. Over a period of time, this information was fed to Studio Yafa – a Burkinabe radio studio and partner in the project which broadcasts nationally through local partner radios and via social media – to address the reported misinformation expressed by IDP’s and their information needs, where appropriate, in their broadcasts.
The team hoped that this would help:
In IDP communities in Kaya, Pissila and Kongoussi, radio has given rise to the emergence of a spontaneous public sphere by becoming both a social and sociable medium. It is the focus of collective listening and informal information sharing between direct listeners (those who listen to radio programmes) and indirect listeners (those who do not). This informal extension of the audience strengthens both social ties and community resilience to COVID-19.
Providing accurate, regular and timely information on life-changing issues such as COVID-19 is essential to all and particularly vulnerable groups such as IDPs. Radio is often their main source of information. Working with a trusted Burkinabe radio source, and through a participatory collaboration, we hope to not only raise awareness amongst this population regarding COVID-related best practices but also raise the voice of these communities.
Watch the video below to find out more – and to hear from IDPs in Burkina Faso. You can watch the video in French here.
This study was selected by the R2HC for our Impact Case Study series. The case study is now available to view online.View
The study team were invited to the Africa Media Convention: Journalism under Digital Siege event in Arusha, Tanzania to mark World Press Freedom Day. A prestigious event opened by the President of Tanzania, the study was presented as part of the Fondation Hirondelle panel.
The research team explore the role that media played in influencing the events that played out in the February 2022 coup in Burkina Faso.View
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