At the Madagascan Citizens' Dialogues workshop, which took place in Antananarivo between 20 and 23 February 2017, the focus was on understanding the challenges posed by citizen-led control of public initiatives.
Over the space of four days, 20 radio journalists came together to strengthen their knowledge on the concepts of good governance and citizen-led control of public initiatives. Two full days were dedicated to talks on theory led by professionals from CSOs or citizens' watchdog groups, such as Sefafi (Public Life Monitoring Service of Madagascar) or the CCOC (Collective of Citizens and Civic Organisations).
Cultural issues and values specific to Madagascar were also discussed.
To help make these often complex notions more accessible, the journalists then spent two days working to produce short radio sketch programmes connected with the topics covered.
Madagascan scriptwriting specialists and actors collaborated with the group to develop mini radio sketches using humour to convey citizens' messages.
"The subject is really interesting and it has been a real challenge for me to produce these short sketches – I think that putting a comedy spin on an everyday situation is perhaps the best way to communicate with our audience on these issues of good governance." Juanita Tiana, "Quartz Radio", Moramanga
A further six of these workshops are planned as part of the Madagascan Citizens' Dialogues project, all on different themes which have been chosen by the beneficiaries: land-related issues associated with mining investment, the functioning of institutions, corruption and transparency, the rule of law and mob justice, participatory budgeting and budget monitoring.