Active Research

Information is Aid:
Voice Post’s Blue Messenger Bicycles

University of Toronto

In South Sudan, over 80 per cent of the population is grappling with high levels of poverty, resides in rural areas, and lacks information that is vital to their lives – including information on public services, health care and basic rights. Through a grassroots initiative, a group of young innovators founded Voice Post in 2019 to promote information sharing and community engagement through its Blue Messenger Bicycles (BMB).

Launched in 2020, BMB includes a team of 50 volunteers who travel around Juba with a blue bicycle and megaphone in order to broadcast lifesaving information to war-affected populations, the geographically isolated and those who cannot travel far from their homesteads. Using the principles of Communication for Development, BMB disseminates lifesaving messaging to citizens around public health emergencies, disaster relief and peacebuilding initiatives in five different languages: Arabic, Bari, Dinka, English and Nuer. In partnership with UNDP South Sudan’s Accelerator Lab, BMB has been able to reach more than two million people.

Developing a better understanding of the factors contributing to Voice Post’s success in reaching the hardest to reach will create actionable insights to bolster grassroots innovation, inform potential scaling initiatives and help deliver lifesaving information where it is needed most.