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.
The study aims 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, we will work 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, we will feed this information to Studio Yafa – a Burkinabe radio studio and partner in the project which broadcasts nationally through local partner radios and via social media – who will address the reported misinformation expressed by IDPS and their information needs, where appropriate, in their broadcasts.
Photo: Outside broadcast of «Let’s talk Coronavirus» recorded by Studio Yafa at an IDP camp in Kaya, Burkina Faso, 18/12/20. © Olympia de Maismont / Fondation Hirondelle
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.
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