Indigo has just awarded a grant of €13,500 to TRAC.fm in order that it might expand the network of organisations that use its data collection software to inform their social campaigns.
A Dutch organisation, TRAC.fm currently has users in Uganda and Tanzania. They have created an innovative platform that allows radio stations to interact with their listeners, gather their opinions and collate them in order to inform debate and campaigning. Using SMS, listeners can contribute to real-time debate and a wealth of information can be collected to inform wider campaigning and research. On average TRAC.fm already undertakes in excess of 25 polls per month. These have focused on issues like domestic violence, government corruption, potholes, contraceptives and international aid. One of the Ugandan collaborating stations is Radio Wa.
Radio plays a vital role in many African countries and this is always particularly true in rural areas. Websites of open data may help identify problems and inform campaigns, but near universal access to radio and its established place as a forum of debate and campaigning often makes radio a stronger tool than the internet alone. By augmenting the power of radio with SMS technology we hope it will be strengthened further.
The grant given will be spent on identifying new partners, creating interest and disseminating the technology to new organisations so they can use it effectively and integrate it fully into their existing systems.
Radio remains a powerful tool for advocating human rights and increasing transparency and accountability. We at Indigo are really excited to see how much more powerful it might become when combined with TRAC.fm’s software. We’ll keep you updated!
As ever, a picture, or in this case, a video, speaks a thousands words! Check out TRAC.fm’s youtube video for a better idea of the organisation: