Background of the Campaign
Recent research on accountability interventions in Somalia have shown that the centralized state structures in all three regions are characterized by low levels of formal accountability. The lack of formal political accountability is further exasperated by clan domination. Clan structures are particularly strong in Somaliland, thus whilst Somaliland has more democratic political institutions, in comparison the other regions of Somalia, MPs are seen as accountable to their clan rather than their constituents.
A research by the BBC Media Action shows that the media is seen as a link between people and institutions, and as a conduit for information. However, the information flow is often viewed as a one-way channel, informing citizens about decisions that have already been taken instead of involving them in the decision-making process. As a result, media is not perceived as an accountability mechanism.
BBC Media Action will work with Trac FM to build the capacity of radio and TV presenters and hosts on audience engagement through live interactive talk-shows. Trac FM specializes in developing interactive radio and TV programs that facilitate meaningful audience engagement. The purpose of these interactive programs is to engage citizens in an informed public debate and collect valuable citizen data to support advocacy campaigns on service delivery, policy, public awareness etc.
Trac FM will facilitate the inception media training for two partner institutions, namely, Horn Cable TV and Radio Hargeisa. The training will equip participants with the skills they need to effectively use Trac FM’s method and approach to make their talk-shows to increase citizen engagement and promote social accountability.
Trac FM will guide BBC Media Action in the development of a program format that takes the input given by audiences through the Trac FM software platform and use the data to increase social accountability, and ultimately involve citizens in decision making processes. Our overall goal is to transform the role of the media from being a source of information to the audience to being a platform where their needs and opinions overlap with the aspirations of the power-holders in order to make the decision-making process more responsive and inclusive.