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Title: Rethinking information intervention in violently divided societies
Author: Jacob, Jacob Udo-Udo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 0190
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2010
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Abstract This thesis examines the nature and impacts of two intervention radio programmes broadcast on Radio Okapi - the radio service of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) managed by Swiss-based Hirondelle Foundation. The programmes, Dialogue Entre Congolais and Gutahuka adopt different ideologies. Dialogue Entre Congolais uses multiple and competing participation frames, involving audiences and opposing discussants to debate a range of topics related to conflicts, governance, justice, human rights etc. Gutahuka on the other hand targets Rwandan Hutu armed combatants and refugees and seeks to convince them to disarm and voluntarily repatriate to Rwanda. A matched randomization technique was used to assign Rwandan Hutus and Congolese autochthons in South Kivu to listen to either of the two programmes within their naturalistic contexts for 13 months. Autochthon control groups listened to Gutahuka while Hutu control groups listened to Dialogue. At the end of the treatment, participants' perceptions of barriers to peace; descriptive and prescriptive interventions; victimhood and villianity; opportunities for personal development and civic engagement; and knowledge of repatriation processes were assessed in 16 focus groups across four contexts. ) Although Gutahuka was effective in reassuring Hutus already keen on repatriating to Rwanda that help was available, it was less effective in persuading former Hutu armed combatants and refugees to disarm and repatriate. Dialogue listeners on the other hand, across both ethnic networks showed greater knowledge of nascent democratic reforms in the DRC, more positive attitude toward civic engagement and the ethnic Other. The study concludes that media intervention programmes that provide information and a platform for objective analyses within a multiple narrative and participatory framework enhance greater engagement with nascent democratic reforms, positive perception of long term opportunities for personal development and empathy with the ethnic Other than programmes that adopt approaches of strategic or behaviour change communications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available