Democratic public life only thrives where institutions enable citizens to debate matters of public importance.
TRAC FM informs and engages citizens in a wide range of important topics and promotes public debate through a combination of radio, mobile, print, graphic design and online media. The easy-to-use TRAC FM software collects opinions via SMS during interactive radio talk-shows, and presents results in real-time online visualizations. Through random sampling and demographic analysis, TRAC FM's data is used in advocacy reports and lobby campaigns to represent citizens' voices.
How it works
TRAC FM combines multiple media platforms (Radio, Mobile, Print, graphic design, and online media) to create a new approach to public engagement and monitoring of public services.
The TRAC FM software is used to hold surveys during radio talk-shows, allowing listeners to respond via SMS.
The survey questions focus on pressing social challenges within communities.
Incoming SMS responses are collected and processed into real-time online data visualizations, depicting poll results and additional (anonymized) data, like the districts and gender of respondents.
The visualizations are interpreted by TRAC FM and social development partners and used by the radio talk-show host to present to expert guests in the studio. Guests discuss the results and link them to public service delivery and government policies.
- The data is processed into comprehensible infographics (graphs, maps, etc.) and used for advocacy, lobbying, and representation of the citizens' voice.
TRAC FM uses random sampling, telephone interviews and demographic data to better understand the representativeness of its data, ensuring that for instance the opinions and experiences of women are equally considered compared to men.
TRAC FM is using AI for natural language processing, personalising feedback, sentiment analysis and enhancing data visualisation to better understand and respond to the needs and desires of communities.
Here are a few ways in which TRAC FM has made a difference in the lives of radio listeners in Africa:
Empowering local communities: TRAC FM has empowered local communities by giving them a voice in local governance and decision-making. Through their participation in TRAC FM, listeners can voice their concerns, share their experiences, and provide feedback on local service delivery, which helps local leaders and policymakers to make informed decisions that reflect the needs of the community.
Improving service delivery: TRAC FM has helped to improve service delivery in various sectors, including health, education, and agriculture. By collecting feedback from listeners, TRAC FM has helped local leaders and policymakers to identify and address gaps in service delivery, and to ensure that resources are allocated where they are needed the most.
Holding leaders accountable: TRAC FM has empowered citizens by providing them with a platform to hold their leaders accountable for their actions. TRAC FM's radio shows have provided a space for citizens to ask tough questions.
Encouraging inclusive participation: TRAC FM has encouraged inclusive participation in the democratic process by promoting participation by minorities. TRAC FM tracks participation by women, people with disabilities and others who are at times excluded from giving input. Guests invited to the studio to discuss poll results often come from underrepresented groups.