WSIS Prizes Contest 2022 Nominee

COVID-19 Radio Response


At a time of physical distancing, radio is often the only source of information for marginalized communities. We are working with our network of more than 1000 radio stations across Africa on supporting communities with COVID-19. We are providing critical information to journalists across 41 countries to allow them to combat misinformation, answer frequently asked questions, and stay safe while reporting. We have also rolled out an emergency IVR hotline and a companion chatbot on Telegram and Facebook Messenger to arm journalists with the correct, up-to-date information on the pandemic. We have facilitated more than 50 social media discussions on WhatsApp and Facebook so far across ten countries where we work. We have moderated 19 five-day discussions with health, gender and nutrition specialists, allowing broadcasters to ask questions freely to inform their COVID-19 programming. Lastly, we launched a COVID-19 Support Fund for radio stations. The fund can cover fuel for generators, protective equipment, internet and phone costs for remote work, or other relevant needs. Broadcasters in twelve countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda) have been able to apply for the funding. All of this work with broadcasters is amplified by radio programs that reach out to tens of millions of listeners in both rural and urban geographies across the continent. At a time of physical distancing, radio is often the only source of information for marginalized communities. You can learn more here:

Project website


Action lines related to this project
  • AL C1. The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
  • AL C3. Access to information and knowledge
  • AL C4. Capacity building
  • AL C5. Building confidence and security in use of ICTs
  • AL C7. E-agriculture
  • AL C9. Media 2022
Sustainable development goals related to this project
  • Goal 2: Zero hunger
  • Goal 3: Good health and well-being
  • Goal 5: Gender equality
  • Goal 13: Climate action
  • Goal 15: Life on land
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

  • Burkina Faso
  • Central African Republic
  • Cameroon
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Mali
  • Malawi
  • Senegal
  • Uganda
  • United Republic of Tanzania



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WSIS values promotion

We are leveraging the power of radio with our network of more than 1000 radio stations, many of which are actively broadcasting critical information during the pandemic. FRI helps radio station partners to develop interactive programs that not only leverage radio, but also modern digital technology to facilitate interactivity with listeners. Farm Radio International’s Digital Innovation team has developed both a call-in service (on our Uliza interactive voice response system) and a social media chat bot to provide a comprehensive overview of frequently asked questions, myths and misinformation, and tips for broadcasters to stay safe. The logic is that broadcasters act as force multipliers, broadcasting accurate information learned on these systems to tens of thousands or more listeners. In ten African countries, broadcasters can call the line and leave questions which are then responded to by health and subject experts. Across the continent, the chatbot is available for use on Facebook Messenger and Telegram, enabling our partners everywhere to have access to the same information. When broadcasters record a question, it is captured on an online app developed by our team, who then categorizes the question (so that we can track the type of information needed) and then sends it to a local expert. The experts then sends a text back to our team, who relay the responses in the language spoken by the broadcaster. Learn more here:

Entity name

Farm Radio International

Entity country—type

Canada Civil Society

Entity website