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Community Radios Model

Year when project approved: 
Approved budget: 
US$22 000.00

The establishment of community radio stations in Timor-Leste did not follow a clear, strategic and coordinated process and was not preceded by wide community consultations. This has led over the years to the communities not feeling the ownership of their radio stations; as a consequence, they are not actively engaged in the running of the stations, and not able to discern the fact the radio stations can contribute in a myriad of ways to the improvement of their livelihoods. In many cases, the community believes that the community stations belong to those volunteers who run them. Community members therefore have the feeling that the radio stations do not represent them and as such their participation is very limited. The preliminary assessments conducted for this project show communities interested in participating in the life of the radio station. They also highlight the fact that communities rely on the stations for access to updated local information. Another problem is that the volunteers that run the stations are not always in a position to effectively manage their stations since most of (limited) the training that they have been offered thus far has tended to focus almost exclusively on journalists skills, to the detriment of other essential skills needed, such as management, community engagement, and business and financial training. The model for community radio stations in Timor-Leste this project wishes to develop will serve as a guide for radio stations managers and staff. It will present the guiding principles and background for community radio stations in Timor-Leste, and highlight the key elements of a successful community radio station ? active community participation; sound management practices, solid structure, training, and effective strategies leading up to financial sustainability. The model will also be designed to suit the particular circumstances of Timor-Leste. Having a model that is written specifically for community radios in Timor-Leste will enhance volunteers' and communities' understanding of how community radios should be operated. This model will serve as a guide not only for existing community radios but also for others that will be set up in the future.

Project details
IPDC Bureau meeting nÂș: 

Implementation status :

Project evaluated:

Project scope:

Budget code: 
354 TIM 5081

Source of funds:

Beneficiary name: 
Community Radio's Association Timor-Leste (ARKTL)

Beneficiary country:

Beneficiary phone: 
+670 723 9945

Beneficiary type:

Location and contacts
Responsible UNESCO Regional advisers: 

Arya Gunawan,;

UNESCO Field Office:

Project contacts: 

Prezado Ximenes, President ARKTL,;

Project place: 
ARKTL Head Office, Dili

Project region:

Follow-up and achievments
Summary of the project implementation: 

The research team assessed community radio stations in Timor Leste by doing series of interviews with eight stations and listing their successes and failures. The interviews not only have been done with journalists, editors, management, radio technicians, finance personnel, and board members, but also withtheir community members as their target audiences. Series of in-depth consultations have also been done through discussion groups on topics that relate to questions of sustainability of future of the community radios. An extensive literature review, including a one-month comparative study visit to a successful community radio station in Yogyakarta, Indonesia have also been carried out to enrich the model. The project was completed in November 2010.

Achieved outputs: 
A framework for model for community radio stations in Timor-Leste has been developed. The model is designed to suit the particular circumstances of Timor-Leste and written to enhance volunteers and community understanding about how best community radios should be operated. In developing the model, Community Radio's Association Timor-Leste (ARKTL) focuses on three main areas, i.e.: management solving, business planning, and how to increase the community participation in the radio stations. Ten active volunteers working at community radio stations, and approximately 150 volunteer journalists have benefitted from this project. The model has been tried out in three community radio stations in Maubisse, Liquisa, and Cai Coli. It will be further developed based on these trial sessions.