Prior to the conference, a two day workshop was held in which radio presenters and NGO workers were taught about Trac FM technology and how to use it to track responses of their listeners. Radio stations present, among others, included Hits FM, Life FM, and Kasese Guide Radio.
Trac FM is an online tool that allows radio listeners to air their opinion on service delivery in their communities, with only an SMS. Radio presenters ask listeners a question, and they SMS their answer, which is captured on Trac FM’s online platform. Radio presenters then use this platform to monitor and inform the public of the results as they come in.
The Executive Director of ToroDev, Mr. Johnstone Baguma, said their goal is to improve service delivery through advocacy and promoting timely accountability in the seven districts of the Rwenzori region. Also to note is that ToroDev, in partnership with RJF has also been training radio journalists selected from the 13 FM radio stations based and broadcasting in seven districts of the region on promoting accountability for improved service delivery and broadcasting,
Similar press conferences will be held on a monthly basis, and leaders at all levels shall be invited to attend them at dates to be announced. These will include local and central government leaders (Ministers, MPs, LCV’s Councillors, LCIII’s, Technocrats, etc) and loyal citizens for giving updates and demanding accountability for improved service delivery. It will also be an opportunity to find out who is responsible for the delivery of public services and improve accountability.
This initiative will allow local citizens to interact with their leaders on issues that really matter to them as far as service delivery is concerned. The cost of sending an SMS to a poll question is entirely cost free. What the local person needs to do is listen to a local FM station every day and send an opinion or comment to the issue being discussed.ToroDev will then publish this information to specific leaders for their attention.