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Africa’s digital revolution continues apace, yet broadcast media are vital for reaching poor and remote populations, and the more marginalised, now and in the foreseeable future. Flourishing interactive broadcast shows are not ideal spaces of democratic politics, yet research through the collaborative PiMA project has discovered how and why they matter.

PiMA, or Politics and Interactive Media in Africa, was an 18-month collaborative research project funded by the ESRC and DFID, with a focus on the expressions of ‘public opinion’ in broadcast media via new information and communication technologies (ICT) such as mobile phones in Kenya and Zambia. It also examined the political implications of such interactions in the two African countries, with a view to draw conclusions of wider significance to practitioners and policymakers.

By examining interactive radio and TV programmes comparatively in the context of electoral and everyday politics in Kenya and Zambia, we sought to advance understanding of the significance of such hybrid and convergent technological developments in Africa for the contribution of democratic governance to poverty alleviation. The project took into account the hybrid character of the use of ICTs and the interactions between different modes, venues and actors of information gathering and dissemination, which are particularly prominent among Africa’s poorest people.

Read more about PiMA research findings and impacts:

PiMA working papers

PiMA practitioner resources

Related Projects

Africa's Voices

Africa's Voices is an applied research project that draws on findings from PiMA to develop a more robust approach to gathering public opinion from interactive radio across the continent.Africas voices image

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