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Past projects

Laying the ground work: CGHR’s early work on voice, power and interactive media

CGHR’s current research agenda on Digital Media, Voice and Powerbuilds upon a body of research that dates back to the founding of the centre, and early exploratory research on voice, power and interactive broadcasting. This work highlighted the importance of looking at the intersection of different forms of power, from rule to collective action within specific empirical contexts. It began with an exploratory research project New Communication Technologies and Citizen-led Governance in Africa (March 2011 – September 2013), in which Centre associates focused on questions of social and political change through interactive radio in Africa. This quickly led to further interrogation of possibilities for voice through developments in digital technology and communication on the African continent. From 2012-2014, the centre narrowed in on questions of public opinion and broadcast media in Kenya and Zambia, through CGHR's Politics and Interactive Media in Africa (PiMA) project (2012-2014). This was an 18-month international collaborative research project with a focus on the expressions of 'public opinion' in broadcast media via new information and communication technologies (ICT), such as mobile phones. It not only published novel findings on who participates but also on the importance of understanding interactive shows as social spaces. PiMA’s findings have been translated into a toolkit for practitioners. More about PiMA, its findings and their application for practitioners and policymakers can be found here.

Reflected in the PiMA project, CGHR research associates in the area of Digital Media, Voice and Poweractively maintain a view to the practical and policy relevance of its research. Early on, the Centre supported the development of and research on a new open-source software tool for use by African media houses in interactive radio programming. Our collaboration with FrontlineSMS aided them in the design of a popular Radio version and their acclaimed core software.This theme also gave birth to the research that underlies/founds the Africa’s Voices Foundationwork through an applied pilot project led by Dr Claudia Abreu Lopes – Africa’s Voices – to gather public opinion in hard-to-reach communities using interactive radio in [year]. Read more about Africa's Voices here.