Radio for Peace Building (R4PB) specialises in behaviour change communication, and focuses on areas of the world where conflict may turn violent. Contracted by governments, agencies and non-profits, R4PB runs trainings and workshops, helps plan and implement strategic communications, mentors media projects, and undertakes research. Some recent projects include those below.
RADIO IN THE LAKE CHAD BASIN
Upwards of 5.5m. people displaced by Boko Haram.
The violent extremist group Boko Haram has displaced millions and killed tens of thousands in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon. Radio Ndarason International (RNI), broadcasting in Kanuri, Kanembu and Boudouma – the main languages of Boko Haram’s victims and members – across the Lake Chad basin region on shortwave and in some places also on FM. RNI is the only Kanuri/Kanembu language station and has offices and studios in Ndjamena, Chad and Maiduguri, Nigeria, reaching the majority of the region’s 10m. Kanuri speakers. R4PB trained, mentored & managed the station’s radio soap operas (written by young Kanuri speakers) and Francis is RNI’s Deputy Project Director with special responsibility for the Nigeria operation.
STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS IN BOUGAINVILLE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
An upcoming Referendum on independence.
Communications on independence for the island of Bougainville are key to a peaceful Referendum – to take place sometime between 2015-20. UNDP is helping to plan some of those communications processes, and this consultancy focused on ways of helping the Autonomous Government of Bougainville ensure that the people understand what they are being asked and have an opportunity to participate in the discussion about their future – inside or outside PNG
GROUNDBREAKING HAUSA LANGUAGE SATELLITE TV CHANNEL
Providing quality programming to N.Nigeria
With a potential audience of 55+ million Hausa speakers Hausa language TV has vast potential to encourage the peaceful resolution of complex conflicts in Northern Nigeria, Southern Niger and elsewhere. Ensuring that programme content accords with the channel’s aims and objectives is an essential task. As Technical (Content) Director Francis trains and works with the writers and producers of the two-episode-a-week soap opera, developing characters and storylines which deliver the behaviour change elements of the drama – click here.
STABILITY AND RECONCILIATION IN NIGERIA
A country and its media facing dangerous times.
Nigeria’s northern plateau is facing major challenges, with Boko Haram, and regular attacks and counter attacks on mosques and churches. Thousands have died. Despite this there are many journalists, producers and media managers who are determined to play a positive role. Apart from running a number of workshops over the past three yesrs for these professionals, I have also written four modules and edited the others for an online post-graduate diploma course in Conflict Sensitive Communications, run from Ahmado Bello University..
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
Workshop curriculum for media and reconciliation training in Somalia
detailed workshop curriculum, for the Arias Group and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), designed to help guide Somali media practitioners in Television, Radio and Online on how they can best play a constructive role in conflict and in postconflict scenarios in their country. (Photo: By Charles Roffey (http://www.flickr.com/photos/charlesfred/61781643) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons)
PREPARING FOR A PEACEFUL POST-CONFLICT COUNTRY
Training of trainers for new and nascent media in Syria
What happens after the war in Syria is over? However long that takes, and in whatever way it ends. The Transnational Crisis Project has been working with journalists and social media networkers to help them understand how to use media methodologies to construct a peaceful, inclusive country, post-conflict. (Photo: Henry Ridgwell, on the Turkish border, via Wikimedia Commons)
BEST PRACTISE IN RADIO COMMUNICATIONS FOR PEACEBUILDING
Recommendations and training for a radio drama in FATA, Pakistan.
Commissioned by the Popular Engagement Policy Lab (PEPL), with funding from the British High Commission in Pakistan, the paper is a detailed introduction to best practise in radio communications for attitudinal and behavioural change, with numerous practical examples from around the world. On the basis of the recommendations PEPL, and its partner organisation Raabta Consultants in Pakistan, established a thrice weekly, peacebuilding magazine radio programme called Da Sokally Taroon (‘Commitment to Prosperity’).
COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM
Building a counter-narrative.
The second phase of USAID’s Peace Through Development programme (PDEV II) across much of the Sahel includes a significant media element – and in the Sahel that means radio. Working with dozens of different community, commercial and state radio stations the project helps them design, develop and produce programmes which will build community resilience to all kinds of shocks – environmental, economic, social, informational, etc. and enable those communities, as communities, to resist the financial and religious blandishments, and threats of violent extremists.
MEDIA AS A TOOL FOR BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
An online course for Iranian journalists.
The project was commissioned by The Training Station in the UK and was designed as an introduction to the use of media as a tool for behaviour change though visual, audio and social media for a group of female Iranian journalists.
LIFE IN A PLASTIC BAG
Helping older prisoners prepare for their release.
Commissioned by Media for Development (UK) this series of six audio dramas is designed to stimulate discussion among older prisoners about some of the difficult and sometimes traumatising situations and problems they may face on the outside. Written by Fiona Mackie the title of the series, Life In A Plastic Bag, refers to the plastic bag containing a few clothes and possessions which prisoners receive on their release.
COUNTRY CASE STUDY: BANGLADESH
Support to media where media freedoms and rights are constrained.
Researching and writing this case study involved dozens of interviews with media, human rights and civil society leaders in Bangladesh. This is one of a series of case studies which examine the link between media and the discussion of public policy – with a particular focus on relationships between people, politics and media. It was published in September 2012, and is available here.
RADIO FOR PEACEBUILDING TALKSHOWS: NEPAL
Working with dozens of community radio talkshow hosts.
Over a number of years I trained and mentored talkshow hosts, producers and Nepalese mentors for Search for Common Ground. The talkshows have had a measurable impact, and in some places have been so successful that the police even ask the programme makers to help resolve local conflicts which they are unable to resolve any other way.
MASTER RADIO DRAMA WORKSHOP: NEPAL
Peacebuilding Drama Script Writing.
Working with writers, actors and producers of the successful Sangor radio drama and others to help them develop their skills, incorporating Search for Common Ground’s ‘common ground’ approach. The contract also included delivery of a discussion with the participants on the broader topics of radio, media and the use of new media technologies, especially social media, in projects for young people.
RADIO FOR PEACEBUILDING WORKSHOPS: SRI LANKA
Promoting Active Civic Participation in the Hill Country.
This Search for Common Ground (SFCG) project works with the Tamil plantation community and aims; to improve their awareness of their rights and responsibilities, to build the leadership capacity of the community’s youth, and to create spaces for dialogue amongst the main stakeholders. I ran two, 6-day workshops on radio drama and radio talkshows for peace building, in parallel, which was a first for me, and an exhausting if interesting exercise.
DIVERSITY AND AUDIO DIARIES WORKSHOP: EGYPT
Diversity and Audio Diaries.
Participants came from all over Egypt to this training which helped them understand how to collect audio interviews, edit and produce high quality radio diaries for broadcast. This involved starting from scratch as only a couple of the participants had ever worked with audio before. The workshop, commissioned by the Media Diversity Institute, was therefore a crash course in all of these things.
KANNAGIPURA/M RADIO SOAP OPERA: SRI LANKA
Mentoring a team of Tamils and Singhalese.
Kannagipura/m is the imaginary village in Sri Lanka in which the soap opera of the same name takes place. Uniquely the 156-episode soap was written by a mixed team of Tamils and Singhalese, produced in both languages, and broadcast simultaneously. As the brutal war came to a brutal end the drama encouraged the idea of co-existence and understanding, of forgiveness for the sake of peace. It was produced by a wonderful Sri Lankan production studio called Young Asia Television (YA-TV) which does many similar programmes on television, but which had never produced a radio soap opera before.