A case study in enabling residents from informal settlements to participate in decision-making | DW Global Media Forum | DW | 10.03.2014
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A case study in enabling residents from informal settlements to participate in decision-making

Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 4.00 p.m., Room C

Hosted by: Voices of Africa Media Foundation

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Many capitals of developing countries have slums with millions of residents. Who hears their voices? How can they possibly participate in the decision-making processes about issues that matter to them?

In 2010, the Voices of Africa Media Foundation launched an innovative media initiative that directly involves slum residents in Nairobi, Kenya. Known as the Nairobi Community Media House (NCMH), this successful initiative trains talented young people (20-25 years old) from the city’s many slums to become professional media filmmakers. The trainees also learn how to make money, allowing them to become financially independent reporters. One of their programs is the African Slum Journal (http://www.africanslumjournal.com). Another program is called Bunge Mtaani. The title is Kiswahili for “Parliament of the streets” and is meant to strengthen the citizens’ participation.

Every month, the NCMH organizes an event in a different slum in Nairobi about a specific topic that matters to that particular settlement. The NCMH produces a documentary about the topic and plays it during the event. The residents discuss the video with the help of a moderator. The residents’ opinions are filmed, posted on the Internet and covered by a local radio and TV station. This concept enables the residents to raise their voices and participate in issues relevant to their lives.

The structure of the Community Media House and Bunge Mtaani concepts will be presented in this workshop and the many challenges will be discussed.


Odongo, Mildred
Deputy Managing Director, Nairobi Community Media House, Kenya


De Wit, Pim
Managing Director, Voices of Africa Media Foundation, The Netherlands