Tuesday, May 30, 2006

People's Media and Public Services

The BRIDGE (Building and Reinventing Decentralized Governance) project is finally interested in the voice of the people to improve public services in Sulawesi. After more than a year, now they want to build a multi-stakeholder knowledge management strategy. And community radios will be at part of this. About time! The problem with our precarious public services, though, was never in the voice of the people (or a seeming lack of it). But rather the inability of government - and their private sector partner - to listen to them.

Communication is really at the center of governance. Whether a government agency is transparent or closed, accountable or corrupt, can be seen by how they communicate. Do they gather inputs, or just disseminate? Do they listen, or just talk? A pro-poor communication system is one that makes, or forces, the government to listen to the people.

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