I s s u e 4 8   -  M o n t h , 2 0 0 3

Community Voices for Sustainable Community Solutions

Community Radio can be one of the most powerful tools for development of democracy through the active involvement of citizens in decision-making processes, thus having on influence on the direction in which their own life develops. Community radio is therefore not just another - local - public radio, informing a given public. Community radio manages, when best, to be an integral part of the life of a community, involved in and with the problems, challenges and joys of it, with the community using the radio as a tool to reflect, analyse, discuss and look for solutions for many occurring situation.
In order to do this the community programmers of the UNESCO partner stations are organised in Editorial Groups, focusing each on a particular area of programming, such as health, HIV/AIDS, agriculture, culture, education, women, children, sport, fishery, democracy and human rights. The Editorial Groups produce all the programming of the station, ensuring that a number of persons, recruited from and belonging in different interest groups and "communities within the community" are involved - avoiding individual "stars" just talking from the top of their heads - and top-down.

The programming of the Editorial Groups is based in the group's analysis the community’s life in the thematic area within their responsibility: which are the development challenges here? What could the role of the radio be in its wish to moderate, facilitate and move towards solutions to local problems through involvement of all relevant segments of the society? This means that the editorial group gradually develops a high level insight into their special subject-matter area of work, and can become local movers - always in close contact with all the communities from where they come, and reflecting a summary of local experiences and the common dreams for a better future as well as locally identified, concrete development solutions.
To capacitate thes Editorial Groups of Community Programmers, UNESCO in Mozambique has developed a series of specific thematical seminars, providing training and insight into how to most effectively work with a given area. Seminars have taken place on Agriculture, Music and Local Culture, Civic Education for Elections, Health, Children’s programming and Education. Further seminars are planned in the areas of Women/Gender and Culture and Sports. Practical, step-by-step manuals are being developed for each of these areas to support the development of effective community programmes.

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