July 2014—After years of political instability in Côte d’Ivoire, citizens want to strengthen linkages between their communities' prioritized needs and the government’s ability to deliver services.
USAID’s Côte d’Ivoire Transition Initiative (CITI) program identified radio stations as an important platform to connect communities with their local officials. From October 2013 to May 2014, CITI supported local radio stations with technical and material assistance to produce programs that address issues of local interest. Programming was designed to increase the accountability of local government officials and encourage dialogue with their constituents.
CITI provided assistance to four local radio stations around the country in Bouaké, Korhogo, Yopougon and Duékoué. With USAID-support, these stations produce biweekly programs focusing on current affairs such as governance, public service delivery, and budget planning processes.
The programming has already produced visible results. In Korhogo, a radio program focused on an illegal trash dump in a residential neighborhood and called on municipal authorities to address the problem. The authorities responded by ensuring that the dump would be cleared and that more frequent and reliable trash pick-up would be provided throughout the city. Many residents called in to the radio station to express their appreciation to local authorities and the radio station.
“With only two episodes produced so far on local issues in Korhogo, Radio Satellite FM managed to bring changes to the social life of citizens,” said resident Coulibaly Kassoum. “By helping resolve issues of importance like the garbage, this radio program will be beneficial to the development of Korhogo, and I congratulate everyone who worked to initiate it.”
Another USAID-supported radio program addressed the illegal use of sidewalks for commercial activity. The station’s reporters gathered information from the affected community and determined that public sidewalks were being used commercially due to insufficient market stalls and space. Local merchants and traders effectively used the program as a platform to lobby the government for new market space, which was designated as a result of the broadcast. The sidewalk traders have moved to new market spaces, which has eliminated the illicit sidewalk markets and increased vendor security while strengthening the connection between local communities and authorities.
Last updated: January 30, 2015