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Developing Radio Partners & ACPC

This is what Developing Radio Partners is doing about climate change. In partnership with community radio stations in Africa, farmers are learning how to adapt to the changing climate. Though climate change is local, most solutions are local and begin with knowledge. Programming has impact. Learn how we do it in this short video. 













Climate change is the most important issue facing everyone on earth.  The change needs to be made one person at a time.  Africans are most affected and contribute the least to greenhouse gases.  While African farmers are feeling the effects of climate change, they don’t know the causes or how to mitigate and adapt to the change. 


This is where Developing Radio Partners and the African Climate Policy Centre play an important role.


DRP, a US-based non-profit media development organization that works mostly in Africa, is partnering with the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to bring information on climate change to those who need it most -- using the most effective media: local radio and text messages.


The 12-month partnership has DRP working on climate change issues with community radio stations in Cape Verde, Cameroon and Rwanda.


As part of the project, DRP and ACPC are bringing farmers and people running local radio stations together. As we've done in other projects across Africa, DRP is providing the farmers and the stations with the skills and content they need to bring reliable information to listeners. For instance, in Zambia we are helping farmers develop radio programs about new farming technologies for other farmers. These farming techniques, such as organic and conservation farming, reduce the effects of climate change. Studies have shown that when farmers share new skills with their peers, those farmers who are listening are much more likely to adopt the new techniques.


In addition to training, DRP offers on-going support to local radio stations by providing them with weekly Bulletins on climate change topics. These Bulletins have had a huge impact in Zambia and Malawi -- and we're using them in Cape Verde, Rwanda and Cameroon, as well.


As a result of the Bulletins, a motion has been introduced in the Zambian Parliament to stop the indiscriminate cutting of trees -- with legislation to follow; 70% of listeners in Malawi who heard programs on malaria prevention began using mosquito nets; 60% of listeners to climate change programs in Malawi say they share information they learned from the program with others because they felt it was important.


Developing Radio Partners, (DRP), was founded by Bill Siemering, a leader in US public radio. As one of the founding directors of National Public Radio, he wrote the original mission and purposes and was then hired as NPR’s first director of programming to implement this vision. After devoting 30 years to shaping the radio landscape in America, Bill turned his attention to media development in developing countries in 1993, when he received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. This enabled him to transition to international media development.  In 2003, he established DRP as a way to bring together the best practices of his pioneering work in American public radio and adapt them to empower radio stations in developing countries, where radio is the most accessible and affordable medium. Bill is president of DRP.


The African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) is a hub for demand-led knowledge generation on climate change in Africa. We are an African centre addressing the need for greatly improved climate information for Africa and strengthening the use of such information for decision making, by improving analytical capacity, knowledge management and dissemination activities.


The ACPC is an integral part of the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) programme, which is a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC), and the African Development Bank (AfDB). ClimDev-Africa has been mandated at regional meetings of African Heads of State and Government, as well as by Africa’s Ministers of Finance, Ministers of Planning and Ministers of Environment.


DRP Staff


Charles Rice, a former award-winning journalist with The Associated Press, spent more than a decade working in media development for Internews and the International Center for Journalists before joining DRP in 2012. He's lived and worked in Mongolia, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and East Timor -- where he served as country director on media projects. Charles serves as DRP Vice President and Managing Director overseeing projects in Nigeria, Zambia and Malawi.


Martha Zulu, DRP's southern Africa representative, specializes in youth training and radio station assessments.  She has worked in local radio and on UN projects and helped implement projects for the Children's Radio Foundation. Martha has conducted radio station assessments for DRP, trained youth for DRP in Malawi and has mentored staff at radio stations in both Malawi and Zambia.

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