Strengthening innovative and gender inclusive use of community media practices in the Pacific region for peace and security
The importance of community-access radio in promoting social and community development, basic education, and models of good governance has been widely acknowledged in the international community. According to the World Association of Community Broadcasters’ 2007 report on community radio (CR) and its social impact, this form of development communication has contributed to poverty reduction and sustainable development, fostered broader non-partisan political communication within countries (including peace building and conflict resolution), helped to engage marginalized or excluded populations such as women in the setting of the public agenda, and helped to preserve indigenous culture, language and knowledge. Radio is often described as the ideal communication medium for the South Pacific. Despite the promise of recent technological developments such as the Internet and video conferencing, radio remains the most accessible and affordable communication medium in the Pacific.
This project will involve the implementation of a regional digital strategy for improving information and communications technology (ICT) – to bridge the communication divide between urban and rural and remote communities in the Pacific Islands region. It will focus on these goals to increase awareness of and advocacy for CR in the South Pacific through workshops, roundtables and similar public dialogue targeted at government officials, community leaders, public health officials, agricultural extension officers, youth and women’s groups, educators, and similar stakeholders. This will strengthen existing CR outlets through a community media network coordinated by FemLINKPACIFIC in liaison with international and regional media associations and help them to successfully work with local communities in order to inspire their vision of using community radio for their defined social and community development aims. This project builds FemLINKPACIFIC’s efforts to contribute to a strong Women, Peace and Security Architecture through the use of Community Media, and in particular community radio.