CGNet Swara is a voice portal that enables ordinary citizens to report and discuss issues of local interest in Central Gondwana region in India. To use it, they call a phone number using any mobile (or fixed line) phone. Callers are prompted to press “1” to record a new message, and “2” to listen to messages that have already been recorded.
Once a message has been recorded from the field, professional, trained journalists, who access the system using a Web-based interface, review and verify the report. Approved reports are then made available for playback over the phone. The reports also can be accessed on the CGNet Swara website. CGNet Swara was launched as part of the Knight International Journalism Fellowships, a program of the International Center for Journalists.
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
CGNet Swara is the distributor/implementer for the solution. They stated they are willing to offer guidance to other organizations that are seeking to establish similar services around the world.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Distributions to Date Status
As of March 2016, CGNet Swara receives about 1,000 phone calls per day that would amount to over 2million calls so far. Most callers only listen to reports. In 2016, there was an average of 6 reports published per day and 11 impact reports per month. Since its inception in 2010, there have been a total of 8,832 published reports and 400 impact reports.
CGNet Swara is a voice portal that enables ordinary citizens to report and discuss issues of local interest. Users call a number where an automated systems prompts them to record a voice message or listen to messages that have been recorded by others. The recorded messages are moderated by journalists and become available for playback online as well as over the phone. CGNet Swara serves people who lack access to mainstream media outlets and works on a Linux server with an internet connection. Some of the libraries that need to be configured in server are: mysql, mysql-server, wget, gcc, gcc-c++, bison, libtermcap-devel, newt, newt-devel, ncurses, ncurses-devel, svn, zlib, zlib-devel, openssl, openssl-devel, kernel-devel, httpd, php-mysql, php and MySQL-python.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
CGNet Swara has the aim to empower marginalized people, including India's 80 million tribals, by giving them an outlet to communicate with each other and the national and global media. Because the system gives rural, low-literate communities a way to connect using their own words and voices, CGnet Swara also can play an important role in preserving some of India's ancient tribal languages. Their vision is to scale the service within India and eventually beyond, creating an ecosystem of local reports that is universally accessible via low-cost mobile phones.
Vetted Performance Status
Complementary Technical Systems
The system requirements in which the CGNet Swara server can be replicated are: - A desktop computer running Linux and Asterisk. - An Internet connection (for hosting the Web server). - A telephone interface. CGNet Swara recommends the Topex Mobilink IP to enable calls via a cellular SIM card.
Academic Research and References
Meghana M, et al., 2016, ICT-Enabled Grievance Redressal in Central India: A Comparative Analysis. Microsoft. June. Accessed May 21, 2020.
Mudliar P., Donner J., Thies W., 2012, Emergent Practices Around CGNet Swara: A Voice Forum for Citizen Journalism in Rural India. Information Technologies & International Development 65-79.
Compliance with regulations
Compliance with in-country press and broadcasting regulatory framework is required to install a radio web portal.