Radio Ergo: Humanitarian Information for Somali Speaking Regions

Project completed

The project contributes to amplifying the voices of Somali men and women across the Somali speaking regions of the Horn of Africa, providing them with credible humanitarian and public service information (on forthcoming droughts; animal epidemics; the danger associated with migration etc.), and catalyzing positive discussions on issues of concern between Somali populations and the international community, while at the same time building local radios’ capacities to produce quality and balanced information.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Conflict & fragility
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Information and communication technology (ICT)
Conflict prevention
Material relief assistance
01.09.2015 - 31.08.2017
CHF  600’000

Somalia, a country that has been facing a protracted humanitarian and political crisis for more than two decades, has very poor media standards. This negatively impacts the production and dissemination of relevant humanitarian information. Therefore, communities do not sufficiently benefit from key information on food security, health, and hygiene. Similarly, the existence of programmes promoting peace and mutual understanding across the region is often challenged by a landscape dominated by partisan radios.


Radio Ergo’s (RE) main objective is to empower Somalis through the provision of information on resilience, food security, migration, good governance and peacebuilding, as well as to build the capacities of local journalists and Somali radio stations.

Target groups

RE programmes are currently aired in approximately 40% of Somalia’s 18 regions, as well as in part of the Somali regions of Kenya and Ethiopia.

The beneficiaries of the project include radio listeners, Somali journalists and correspondents, FM radio stations as partners and beneficiaries, NGOs, UN agencies, as well as Somali government bodies.

Medium-term outcomes
  • Increased access of Somali vulnerable groups to reliable and relevant information on resilience, health, migration, agriculture and peace-building.
  • Enhanced opportunities for Somali vulnerable groups to contribute to and shape public discussions on issues affecting their lives.
  • Greater uptake among Somali radios of humanitarian and development programming.
  • Strengthened institutional capacity and sustainability of Radio Ergo.

Expected results:  

  • One hour of daily radio programme broadcast across the region on issues of priority for vulnerable groups.
  • Increased use of webpage, social media and other platforms for dissemination of content.
  • Increased linkages and cooperation between RE and international and national actors, including among the Media.
  • Feedback mechanisms further developed.
  • Somali FM radio stations broadcast RE programming and produce their own humanitarian and development programming.

Results from previous phases:  

RE has been successful in developing and regularly broadcasting humanitarian news and related contents. Despite high levels of awareness and coverage, the radio still secures a limited share of listeners, mainly due to a media landscape dominated by non-humanitarian information providers (VoA; BBC).

More focus is required on improving the efficiency of the radio, introducing innovation in the content and form of the programming and building new partnerships (evaluation 2014).

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Foreign private sector North

Other partners

INGO’s, NGO’s, UN-OCHA, local Somali FM radio stations

Coordination with other projects and actors

RE is partnering with different Somali radios and other media programmes, including Fojo, a programme co-managed by IMS and financed by SIDA.

Coordination/exchange with existing SDC funded programmes will be further developed and include:

  • SomReP (NGO implemented Somalia Resilience Programme)
  • Common Humanitarian Fund (OCHA)
  • Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (DRC)
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    600’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    575’000 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   1’420’878
Project phases

Phase 7 01.09.2015 - 31.08.2017   (Completed)