Deconstructing the Echo-Chamber: Using Local Media to Report on Resiliency
The Resilience Learning Activity (RLA) is a program designed to encourage collaboration to harmonize USAID resiliency investments with county initiatives in North and Southeastern Kenya. These activities are done through a joint work planning (JWP) process where USAID implementing partner (IP) activities are aligned with individual Kenyan county work-plans along with other donors and/or private sector investments. This process uses a co-creation and co-implementation strategy built off the principles of collaboration, learning and adapting (CLA) to design a county and USAID Kenya joint work plan that RLA is tasked with investing into technical approaches while monitoring the progress of activities agreed upon through JWP calendar year.
From June 2021 through May 2022 it was the second year of the RLA lead JWP initiative. In trying to further develop this process and create awareness on the activities implemented the RLA Knowledge Management team noted that the JWP localization approach includes Kenyan counties, national entities (e.g., National Disaster Management Agency), USAID implementation, and other donors and private sectors actors report on their success and challenges within the echo chambers of county, USAID and national media outlets. There was no community voice. Therefore, the RLA team designed an approach to train local media (journalists) in understanding USAID's localization strategy and resiliency strategy designed by USAID and the Kenyan national and sub-national government entities. The trainings had community journalists report on resilience stories for development based on the RLA JWP process including the prevention of and preparedness for climate/human-made-related extreme events, highlighting (JWP) activates that were county-owned, country-led while allowing both county officials and the individuals living in these communities to share their stories on both the successes and challenges of these programs.