APPP Working Paper No. 26. Rethinking citizen voice: The case of radio call-ins in Accra, Ghana
The concept of citizen’s voice has gained popularity in recent times both in academic discourse and actual practice. An extensive literature establishes that voice is generally considered a good mechanism for demanding better service from public service delivery providers and also for holding those in authority to account between elections. However, some argue that voice alone is not sufficient in making governments accountable and responsive to those they serve. Voice alone does not have the power to ensure that governments will listen and respond to it. In this paper I make an empirical enquiry into a potentially new form of voice mechanism which occurs on radio in Accra. I explore how two radio programmes ‘Feedback’ and ‘Wo haw ne sen’ hosted on two popular radio stations in Accra are providing a unique form of public voice through creative radio programming where an ‘on-air’ platform is created for citizens to call-in (live) about their experiences with poor private/public service delivery. These radio campaigns take voice from the level of mere individual expression to actualizing results. The findings from the empirical enquiry enhance understanding of how voice when mediated through radio can unearth underrated resources for collective problem solving.
Selormy, E.E. APPP Working Paper No. 26. Rethinking citizen voice: The case of radio call-ins in Accra, Ghana. Overseas Development Institute, London, UK (2012) 32 pp.