Management for Sustainability
Planning Phase III of Media Project
Getting Vila Manica on
Media Management for Sustainability
Pluralism and diversity of the Mozambican media landscape was one of the
main overall objectives initially to embark on the major UNDP funded and
UNESCO implemented Media Development Project for democracy and good
When the project started, studies showed that the major impediment
against arriving at this objective was not the number of media in the
country – it was already considerable – but the main problem and
challenge was the very limited impact of these ‘information carriers’ –
and at best also ‘debate creators’.
In the area of private and independent print media, the project worked
to strengthen the human resources through some 25 training courses of a
two week duration, worked to strengthen the technical resources through
establishment of communication centres with media equipment in three
provincial capitals. And the project created with the media a paper
fund, which developed into a Joint Paper Purchase Scheme, which resulted
in the creation of an “Association of Media Houses” (AEJ) working to
better the conditions of the sector through among others lobbying and
What, however, still was lacking was the consolidation of the individual
newspaper in terms of management. A long term process was therefore
embarked upon with an aim to develop strategic management capacity
within a handful of selected print media with potential and need for
Through a participatory process headed by Afrisurvey’s coaches
(subcontracted by the Media Project) three core products have been
developed over the past four months in each of the five newspapers: (i)
a strategic plan, (ii) a style book and (iii) a set of financial and
administrative procedures. These core management products were presented
and discussed in an evaluation seminar on October 29 at the Media
Project, with the editors of the newspapers and Afrisurvey present.
It was here confirmed that the media themselves had been centrally
involved in the important process, and that the three products would now
be implemented through a three months intensive on-the-job coaching
process. Each of Afrisurvey’s three coaches in the areas of Management,
Admin/finance and Editorial development will visit each of the media
three times over the upcoming period. An evaluation seminar in February
will identify the next most pertinent steps to be taken, turning the
strategic plans into reality – using these as everyday strategic
With the process we hope to improve impact and quality of these five
media, thus practically moving one step closer to ensure that every
Mozambican has access to relevant and quality information on issues of
importance an relevance from more than one source, in order to make
informed decisions for their lives.
Phase III of Media Project
From our own world, and that of media development in Mozambique, we
can report that the second round of preparatory consultations has been
The conclusion of the meetings with the project's tripartite structure
is that all are interested in ensuring consolidation of especially the
project's community radio activities, but also to round up the two
strategic management processes presently ongoing in both Radio
Mozambique's provincial delegations and with a number of independent
The third phase will be planned and carried out with the strict and
clear intention to phase effectively out of all activities, leaving
structures behind that are able to support the long term sustainability
for the project's partners.
At the present point in time, where nothing is yet signed, the
indication is to go for a last project phase of a two-year duration.
Vila Manica on Air effectively
A group of community radio activists - calling themselves "dreamers"
- has for the past three years worked to mobilise the many different
communities within the community of Vila Manica at the border of
Zimbabwe. The dynamic groups counts more than 70 active volunteers, who
have managed to organise themselves in an association, to get a very
good hous from the local authorities, and prepare the basis for the
infrastructure through partnerships with Ibis and Oxfam America.
"Radio Macequece", which is the name of the emerging radio station, has
also established a close relation with our project, have taken part in
training courses, festivals and will soon receive their equipment for
studios, transmitter and antenna from us.
As the eighth community supported by our project to go on air, the
project's consultant specialising in audience research visited Radio
Macequece during the month of October to train the volunteers in
audience research, and to - together with them - prepare the first
baseline study. The community profile emerging from this study will be
used to put together a programme format with programmes matching the
need of the many different communities within the community, and
ensuring that they are put on air when the central target groups
actually listen to the radio.
It is expected that Radio Macequece will go on air early 2004 -
initially in an experimental regime.