Recognizing that community ownership is at the core of sustainability, development potential and success of a community radio, the first step when beginning to plan a community radio – or other community media – is to find ways to effectively mobilise and organise the community. The community can then carry the process forward. There are many ways to bring about this deep-rooted community involvement. Which are the best, the most effective, depends on the local reality.
- In some cases a community radio is opened as a communication tool and channel for an already well-connected, busy community cultural centre to facilitate the continuation of ongoing action.
- In some instances a community radio is added to an existing knowledge-centre, be it a tele-centre, a library, a secondary school or a university; or
- A community radio station may simply be started from scratch.
Mapping the community – who are we?The mobilisation process needs to identify the many sub-communities within each community: who are we? Which groups can we identify? Generic groupings include women and men, youth and elderly; but also different ethnic or religious groups are often important, as can be different livelihood or professional groups. Each of these groups will have its own… [read more here]
You are already on air – missing community involvement?If you already have a community radio in operation, but find that you wish to encourage more community involvement and ownership, this can be done using some of the techniques described after a first assessment of where the station is now, which are the strengths and the weaknesses. All community radio stations really aiming to be a platform for community development and change can. EMPOWERHOUSE can help you make this happen. Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org. EMPOWERHOUSE is Birgitte Jallov’s initiative, and she will get back to you.
Managing the stationThe way a community radio is organised and managed impacts its ability to actually facilitate empowerment, community mobilisation, engagement and ultimately positive change. The organisation of a radio station sets the framework for its effective and productive management. It also reflects what it is that the community wants to achieve – and how it wants to achieve it. The starting point is therefore a clear and common formulation of the overall dream and vision. The organisation and management will then spell out how to get there. [read more here]
An organisation chart – from the community to the communityThe following generic organisation chart provides an example of how a community radio station can be organised – stations choose different ‘Names’ for different functions, but in principle most stations include these functions and aspects: This organisation chart demonstrates a generic framework with the core functions needed to make a community managed radio station operate in a transparent and participatory manner possible, it minimizes bureaucracy.
Help is near! You can call on EMPOWERHOUSE!EMPOWERHOUSE can help you build a strong organisation and management structure of your community radio or community medium, matching the reality it is – or they are – in. We can help you analyse the challenges and possible shortcomings and doing something about these while building upon your strengths. This can be through workshops, through advisory missions on on-site, or on-line through courses organised by EMPOWERHOUSE, by online coaching; by joining our EMPOWER FORUM – or in other different ways! Write to EMPOWERHOUSE with your situation, and we will get back to you to find a a way forward!
People have said:“When it comes to the entire spectrum of community radio and assisting communities to find their own voice, Birgitte Jallov is the finest consultant that I know. Birgitte blends creativity, passion and intelligence with results – a rare combination . I’ve known Birgitte since 1999 when we worked together in Mozambique and have absolute confidence in her abilities.”
Kristine Pearson, Director Lifeline Energy, UK and South Africa“I would like to stress that it was a pleasure for all of us to work with you. Rather than scared and awed by the unresolved issues, your mission has left everyone here energetic and keen to tackle what is left to do – quite a remarkable outcome of an evaluation mission! … Most importantly the major stakeholder in the project accepts and shares the major findings and has agreed to implement the recommendations.”
Matthias Meier, Programme Analyst UNDP, Lao PDR“I recruited Birgitte Jallov as I knew of her good work. Birgitte’s reputation precedes her! And I wanted someone with a lot of community communication experience. Given Birgitte’s communication for development work, through community radio it was easy to consider recruiting her! Birgitte’s involvement in UNECA’s tele-innovation centre project has led to awareness on community communications by policy-makers. Since the training she conducted with the community Information centres in Ghana, they have asked for more training and … specifically requested that they want Birgitte to come back! I would warmly recommend Birgitte as an adviser, coach and facilitator to other agencies wanting to work at the grassroot level, particularly pursuing a communication for development agenda and also those working on women and gender issues.”
Aida Opoku-Mensah Director, Science and ICT, UNECA, Addis AbebaWe recruited Birgitte, when we needed a thorough review of our community radio project, hopefully identifying some strong change stories. Birgitte had worked with the project before and knew the particular environment well; when she was selected to do the review we knew the work was in safe hands. Birgitte’s best asset is her tremendous energy – it infused the project for months afterwards, inspiring everyone involved to bring new people into the community radio and try to spread its benefits to others. While being positive and encouraging, Birgitte also kept a critical eye open during her interactions with our project. She identified some administrative issues which were, in hindsight, impeding the project’s progress. With her recommendations and suggested solutions we were able to bring things back on track quickly and efficiently. Birgitte brings a number of special and unique qualities with her as an adviser: Her energy and enthusiasm – very empowering to all who work with her, not least because it is backed with years of valuable technical and organisational experience. I would warmly recommend Birgitte’s services, advice and support to community radio stations that are looking for inspiration, ideas from other radios elsewhere in the world, and for donors who wish to learn more about the changes that are happening at the ground level of these fascinating transformational projects.
Sarah Ransom Programme Analyst UNDP Lao PDR