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Development of third tier of broadcasting community radio in Bhutan

Year when project approved: 
Approved budget: 
US$13 750.00

Media in Bhutan has undergone considerable growth after the establishment of democracy in 2008. Today, mass communication in Bhutan encompasses both traditional and New Media technologies, ranging from newspapers, radio and TV to mobile phones and the internet. According to a UNESCO-supported Media Development Assessment (MDA) conducted in Bhutan in 2010, there are vital elements missing in the media landscape which need to be addressed. These include policy and legal frameworks to support the growth of media; Right to Information laws to ensure transparency and good governance; Fiscal and infrastructural incentives to encourage the growth of media; and enabling spectrum and licensing policies for electronic media.
According to the MDA (2010) “Community media is a new idea in Bhutan and, to this end, the only community media is a radio that has been licensed to Sherubtse College”. The Sherubtse campus radio is one of just half a dozen private FM radio stations in Bhutan. There are no separate laws and regulations for community radio in Bhutan. It is therefore important to recognize community radio as the third tier of broadcasting (along with public service and commercial radio), as a unique, not-for-profit sector in terms of licensing, but also in terms of the vital role it plays in democratization and equity, and to counterbalance the commercialization of media. This project aims to: Conduct feasibility studies for the establishment of community radio and pilot a few community radio stations; formulate policies and regulations for creating an enabling environment for community media based on the study; and encourage and collaborate with civil society organizations, including local communities, in an effort to promote community media.

Project details
IPDC Bureau meeting nº: 

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Beneficiary name: 
AMARC Asia Pacific
Beneficiary description: 

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) is an international non-governmental organization serving the community radio movement, with a grassroots membership base and with more than 4000 members including community radios, Federations and community media stakeholders in more than 115
countries. Its goal is to support and contribute to the development of community and participatory radio along the principals of solidarity and international cooperation. Through service to its members, networking and project implementation, AMARC’s main global impact since its creation in 1983, has been to accompany and
support the establishment of a worldwide community radio sector that has contributed to democratize the media sector in a number of countries across the world. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and community levels and defends and promotes the interests of the community
radio movement through solidarity, networking and cooperation.

Beneficiary address: 
GPO 3887, Kathmandu, Nepal

Beneficiary country:

Beneficiary phone: 
(+977) 1 5554811
Location and contacts
Responsible UNESCO Regional advisers: 

Iskra Panevska (

UNESCO Field Office:

Project contacts: 

Mr Ashish Sen, President AMARC Asia Pacific (

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