What Makes Radio Listening Clubs as a Participatory Communication for Development Platform Work? A Case Study of Monkey Bay, Malawi

Levi Zeleza Manda 1 *

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This case study used qualitative ethnographic research methods, notably focus group discussions, Most Significant Change (MSC) narratives, and key informant interviews, to investigate drivers and the impact of Radio Listening Clubs (RLCs) as a participatory communication platform for development in Malawi. It concludes that personal commitment and innovativeness of members are the key drivers of RLC success. Radio Listening Clubs whose members are active, innovative and committed are more impactful than those clubs whose members are passive and uncommitted to the objectives of the RLC. Since emerging evidence indicates that the RLC platform is an effective development and critical empowerment tool, the study recommends that radio-based communication for development interventions should be accompanied by some form of RLC or community conversation platform to ensure fruitful exchanges among duty bearers, community members, and the media. Radio Listening Club establishment should be preceded by a community readiness assessment to embrace the tool to avoid resource wastage.


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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article


Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp. 204-219

Published Online: 15 Oct 2015

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