Thursday, May 20, 2010

Reaching the people and talking to them directly

In the pursuit of bolstering Governance, 40 Commando Group (CF SGN) has embraced a request from the Sangin District Governor to provide and distribute ‘wind-up’ or rechargeable radios.

Coordinating with the stability advisor and support team, they have started distributing 500 radios with a further 1500 en route to Sangin.

A Royal Marine Commando demonstrates how the radios work to the local children

Whilst still in its embryonic phase, this trial will potentially have a direct impact on extending the foundations of good governance and economic development. Once distribution is complete, the DG will be able to communicate directly to the community leaders. Local leaders are effective message conduits and will cascade the DG’s words down to their people in and around Sangin. A robust communications network will enable the BG to announce exact taxes and who to pay them to. Presently, people are being overtaxed due to corruption and insurgents posing as officials. This is a major grievance of the population and a barrier against them overtly supporting the government.

While it is accepted that there are some initial limitations to the trial, these will be addressed if the trial is a success. Limitations include low numbers of radios and the range of the radio infrastructure.

Successful distribution will be directly attributable to the identification and engagement of key local leaders. Over the next few weeks, this is where the extensive knowledge of the local area, built up by ground troops, will pay dividends.

1 comment:

  1. Wind Up Radio's - whatever next...

    Somebody is keeping you busy 'Winning hearts and minds' - whilst somebody else is planting the IED that killed your colleague.