I s s u e  16   -   A U G U S T ,  2 0 0 0

Strong Community Orientation and Content
Training - a Never Ending
Process Coaches in the Community
Formal Training Courses
A Training Station
On-the-Job Training by Project Staff
A Community Radio Training Centre

Strong Community Orientation and Content
Getting a Community Radio on Air - in a way that ensures it will stay on air for a while - requires the successful completion of a number of important steps: no less than 25 according to the trainers of the NSJ Centre, who carried out two training courses on "How to Start and Manage a Community Radio" for our Media Project this year.
These steps are all important and include points from how the community is made up and what it aims to achieve through the radio, over organisation of the station, deciding the technical set-up, getting to know the legal framework, and on to financial planning and finally getting the frequency, the license and preparing the programme format.
Mid-way in this planning process - and before the equipment arrives and programme preparation takes up all the attention - it is important to formalize the community structures. Truly representative management boards need to be established, effective community mechanisms have to be in place above the board, and clearly defined job descriptions for the community radio workers - paid staff and volunteers alike - have to facilitate their implementation of the directions given by the management board.
It is to ensure the consolidation of this important step in the preparatory process that the National Project Coordinator, Mr. Tomas Vieira Maria, at the end of July started out on a mission to visit the three communities organizing stations within the UNESCO project's Wave I-support to establishment of Community Radios.
These management boards will not only be responsible for carrying out the decisions of the General Assembly of the Community, but will on a day to day, week-to-week basis form the 'background group' of the staff and be ultimately responsible for the funds channeled through them to the radio.
The second important function of the visits by the National Project Coordinator to Cuamba and Homoine is for the communities to sign contracts with UNESCO in order to release the funding for equipment, training and initial running costs.
The signing ceremony is by us and by the communities seen as the culmination of a more than one year community organizing effort, which has successfully demonstrated a readiness of the communities to not only 'have a radio', but also the demonstrated collective strength to shoulder the major responsibility it is to create the environment for an effective medium with a strong community orientation and content.

Training - a Never Ending Need
  When planning a Community Radio training is something that need to be included at all levels, for all functions and from day 1 to the end. As most of the work in a Commu-nity Radio station is carried out by volun-teers, very few will have the required skills to begin with - and there is no certainty that once they have the skills, they will stay on.
  As such training needs to be ensured continually. In the context of the Media Project we are doing this in different ways:

Process Coaches in the Community
For each of our partner communities we have identified a process coach, who is responsible for ensuring informal as well as more formal training activities for the communities. One evening a week, or every second weekend between 20 and 60 community members can join the group and work with programme preparation, production, etc. The coach also functions as a facilitator of the community-processes when needed such as spurring the creation of community management structures, organizational strategies, etc.
Formal Training Courses
In partnership with the NSJ Center we have so far organized two training courses on "How to Start and Manage a Community Radio Station" and one course on "Programming for Community Radio". We are planning to shortly carry out an initial Technical Training course and one on "Community Audience Research".

  A Training Station:
To ensure sustainable structures, we are planning to upgrade one of our partner stations to function as "A Training Station". The concept is simple and used elsewhere in the world with great success: While the Training Station continues to function as a normal station, 6 core community radio workers (paid staff and volunteers alike) from one other station spend about two weeks at the Training Station, each working closely with one staff member there, who passes on their experience and knowledge to the trainee. In this way the visitors get well acquainted with the working procedures of one function in the radio, and at the same time insight into the organic functioning of the organization, ways of evaluating programmes and other important day-to-day routines.

On-the-Job Training by Project Staff:
Yet another way in which we ensure capacita-tion of the communities, is by sending our own staff to train the radio staff in the communities. As such the Media Project Administrator,
Mr. Claudio Rodrigues, recently carried out a mission to Chimoio where we already have a contract. Here Mr. Rodrigues went through the ins and outs of financial planning, accounting, working with banks, and inventory of equip-ment. He also ensured that the proper software was on the computers and the relevant staff and volunteers were able to work effectively with it. The project will continue to use this hands-on training with the other communities, once the staff has been identified and those responsible for administration and finance in the management committees are known.  

  A Community Radio Training Centre:
The Institute for Social Communication (ICS), a state Development Communication organization with provincial delegations, is presently planning the establishment of a Community Radio and Rural TV training center. With funding from UNFPA and the Radio Netherlands Training Center, the Maputo based center is foreseen to function in partnership with UNICEF, UNESCO, Radio Mozambique and the Ministry of Agriculture. Once functional, this center will for the first half year train 20 community radio trainers in the many different needed disciplines.

Media Development Project c/o UNESCO, P.O.Box 1397 Maputo, Mozambique
Tel. + 258.1. 498752/ 490840 Fax +258.1.498717
E-mail: unesco@mediamoz.com