Vikes conducted a listener’s assessment on the impact of community radio using a digital data-gathering tool
Conducting community radio listeners’ surveys in rural environments is logistically challenging for small community radios, mainly due to the accessibility of far-to-reach remote areas within the community radio reach. Other listenership survey methods are unsuitable for community-based radios due to low literacy levels and a lack of tools.
Vikes partnered with Jamii FM, a community radio in Mtwara region of Tanzania, to test the use of Ombea digital data gathering tool and Google Forms to conduct the community radio listenership assessment. Further, a comparison of the suitability of Ombea and Google Forms was done.
Vikes found that digital data collection tools are suitable and appropriate for conducting community-based listenership assessments. Further, the experiment taught that there was no extra value for money in using proprietary tools (such as Ombea clickers) compared to online forms since the latter worked equally well in this case. It is possible to conduct a listenership survey mostly online, but in remote areas covered by community radios, the researchers would have to meet respondents in the community physically.
Vikes shared best practices from the experiment with 34 Tanzania Development Information Organization (TADIO) member stations, delivered as training, to adopt digital data collection tools in their listenership survey.