Sustainability how to – for Community Media

Sustainability is one of the ongoing challenges for practically all community radio stations and community media. It is many-faceted and complex, and needs to be a consideration and building block in all aspects of community radio/media life. Starting off with a clear vision and understanding of the community development desired is important along with a deep-rooted community ownership of the station engaging ‘all the communities within the community’.

De-constructing sustainability: What is it made of? What might impede it? [read more]

What is sustainability?

Sustainability means to keep going over a period of time. To endure and with resilience be able to absorb disturbance – of whatever nature – and remain viable.

Empowerhouse can help you achieve your sustainability, by helping 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 in different ways.
Contact EMPOWERHOUSE for an identification of how you could move in the direction you want!
Anyone working with community radio in one way or the other longs for a recipe on how to ensure long-term sustainability. Such a recipe does not exist. But there are a number of important factors that are crucial for sustainability – and a related number of traps on the way it is easy to fall into which will effectively undermine long-term sustainability. Based on years of experience advising, evaluating and supporting community media, EMPOWERHOUSE has put together the 10 traps to avoid when you want a sustainable community radio. They are:
  1. Don’t think a community radio can be a ‘quick fix’!
  1. Don’t begin the life of a radio with a studio and equipment!
  1. Ownership comes from doing it yourself!
  1. There is no such thing as a free volunteer!
  1. Prepare for constant change!
  1. A radio for all must be owned by all!
  1. A power tool can cause harm!
  1. Modesty and cleverness can get you far!
  1. Know – and show – what you can do!
  1. You are not alone!
Read a little more about each of these pitfalls, which will limit your success, if you do not pay attention! If you want to read more, ‘Empowerment Radio – Voices building a community’ systematically builds up a framework for sustainable community radios through 13 chapters and 236 pages based on the author, Birgitte Jallov’s long and broad experience. But if you follow the 10 areas of advice below, you have taken important steps in the right direction.

”We recruited Birgitte, when we needed a thorough review of our community radio project. While being positive and encouraging, Birgitte also kept a critical eye open during her interactions with our project. 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