Community Radios Model
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.