Sarah Bomkapre Kamara, a Sierra Leoneon currently earning her PhD in journalism in Germany, completed a comprehensive evaluation of Media Matters for Women's work in Sierra Leone in June 2017.
Sarah’s task was to determine how MMW’s pilot projects had performed in effectively communicating with “last mile” populations and to understand whether our programs had positively impacted people’s lives. Sarah worked with all of our local staff and traveled to every MMW-SL Listening Center to study our innovative media network.
Concerning audience appreciation, a top performance metric for MMW, Sarah wrote in her final report that “the MMW programmes produced are relevant and informative.” One testimonial Sarah cites is from Fatmata Tejan from Waterloo community: “I used to self-inject myself with family planning drugs which led to complications, but since I listened to MMW on the family planning programme I learnt I should only go to a health center to get correct services and that is what I do now.”
Concerning broadcast reach, another key performance metric for MMW, Sarah noted that “in all of MMW’s 15 listening centers at least 40 women were reached directly with weekly programmes, although several had significantly more regular listeners. For example, the Masantigie Listening Center in Waterloo (Western Rural) draws 100 to 200 citizens to hear the weekly broadcasts. Another example of our success in establishing a notable broadcast reach is from Antonette Jeneba Koroma, the Focal Person at the OIC Vocational Training Center in Makeni, who reported that she has receives over 500 women and girls to hear the latest programme from MMW journalist Alinah Kallon in her school each week.”
Sarah concluded her evaluation report with the following: “The impact of the MMW communication network on the lives of rural women in Sierra Leone is really phenomenal. The many testimonies from the listeners we met – both women and men - about issues affecting their lives covered in the MMW programs were incredibly moving.”