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International Program for Development of Communication (Community Radio)

The International Programme for the Development of Communication is a major forum in the UN system designed to develop free and pluralistic media with a global approach to democratic development. The flagship UN project for community radio in India approved by the Bureau of International Council in 2007 is a collaboration between UNESCO and UNDP towards help establish the first seven radio stations in India.

The project aims to build partnerships with civil society organisations to facilitate the establishment of India’s first few Community Radio Stations. The project will be implemented through a multi-stakeholder partnership to facilitate timely and effective implementation.

These first few community radio stations are

Radio Bundelkhand in the state of Madhya Pradesh, in partnership with Development Alternatives

Vikalp Radio in the state of Jharkhand, in partnership with Alternative for India Development

Namma Dhwani (Our Voice) in the state of Karnataka, in partnership with MYRADA

Kumaun Vani (Voice of Kumaun region) in the state of Uttarakhand, in partnership with TERI

For more detailed information on each of these radio station, you could read our field work reports here


The main objectives of this project are

   # To develop relevant best and innovative practises and models in community radio. These could be in the area of programming, 
     community participation, management and sustainability
   # To promote low cost and sustainable use of technology
   # To promote the use of community radio to voice the expression and aspirations particularly of the underdogs of the target 
   # Ongoing research and documentation to share both triumphs and failures of the initiative over the course of the project period

Project outputs

   # Capacity building in project and sustainability planning
   # Capacity building in developing participatory content production strategies in local languages for community members and 
     project staff
   # Installation of low cost technologies
   # Capacity building on technical maintenance and installation
   # Promote the use of Free and Open Source Software for production and archiving needs

Major milestones

   # Selection of the project partners on the basis of needs
   # Field visits to all initiatives to facilitate research
   # First session of capacity building on participatory content production training
   # First session of capacity building on project and sustainability planning
   # Installation of transmitters based on SAFCA clearances for individual organisations
   # Field visit to determine technological needs followed by procurement and installation
   # Follow up to capacity building on participatory content production training
   # Follow up to capacity building on project and sustainability planning
   # Documentation and Evaluation
   # Sharing of best practices