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Leveraging Talking Books for Women's Land Rights in Liberia

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Landesa's USAID-funded LEVERAGE project has launched in Bong County, Liberia. ©USAID

As part of USAID’s Land Evidence for Economic Rights, Gender, and Empowerment (LEVERAGE) activity under the Communications, Evidence, and Learning (CEL) project, Amplio is partnering with Landesa to deliver community education on women’s land rights in Liberia. Talking Books are distributed to women-headed households, ethnic minorities, women’s groups, and youth groups to build awareness of Liberia's 2018 Land Rights Law and increase women’s participation in land governance.

The project was recently featured on USAID's LandLinks blog.

Watch a Landesa/Amplio partner webinar about the Liberia Land Rights project.

Piloting Talking Books in Liberia

Landesa field tested Talking Books in 2020, as a way to keep land rights information flowing to rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team distributed the devices through a household listening model, with support from community agents. In addition to land rights information and resources, the Talking Book content included messages about COVID-19 awareness, prevention, and treatment.

Since then, the project has scaled to reach communities in Bong, Lofa, Rivercess, Margibi, and Grand Cape Mount.

Organizing Audio Content Into "Chapters" or Playlists

With our Audio Content Manager, program teams can tag and organize their content by community, language, and topic, and create playlists to load onto Talking Books. We want to highlight how the LEVERAGE program has organized its content.

  • For the LEVERAGE program, Talking Book content is organized into eight “chapters” or playlists that explain the Land Rights Act. The content is produced in a variety of local languages and dialects using culturally relevant concepts.

  • Topics include practical lessons such as the steps that communities can take to map their lands and apply for a formal land certificate, how to create by-laws and committees to manage the land as a community, alternative dispute resolution, and the differences between tribal certificates and deeds.

  • The content focuses on women's legal land and property rights, including the legal requirement for equal representation of women on all land management committees — and why it matters.

  • Other messages explain women’s and men’s inheritance rights and land rights, both inside and outside of formal and customary marriages, with an emphasis on the rights of women as citizens and community members.

Town Hall Meetings and User Feedback

For the LEVERAGE project, community members can listen to Talking Books individually, with their families, and in groups. In addition, town hall meetings provide an opportunity for community members to discuss their questions and ideas with local land tenure experts. Women can participate in separate sessions that offer a safe setting for discussing their questions and challenges.

Participants can also record questions and comments directly onto Talking Books. Landesa will use the questions shared through town hall meetings and Talking Book user feedback to inform segments of its national Land Is Life radio show.

Because Talking Books collects usage data and user feedback, Amplio and partners like Landesa can monitor message engagement, identify issues and trends, and make program and content updates for greater impact.

Curious about user feedback? Amplio is designing an easy-to-use, web-based system that allows multiple analysts to log in, listen, tag, and analyze user feedback that is recorded in local and indigenous languages. Learn more >


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