ACORAB is a national network of 300 community radios in Nepal. It has been registered under the National Directive Act as an autonomous national institution. The governing body is elected by a democratic process in every 3 years. It is guided by its constitution which has ensured the social inclusion and gender equality in its governing board. It is a mandated national organization working for the welfare of the community radios in Nepal. It is involved in the institutional development of community radios to ensure quality broadcasting.
Since the establishment, it has been celebrating various national and international days to explore the new and innovative ideas for the development of the community radios in Nepal. The World Radio Day, Community Information Network (CIN) Day and ACORAB’s General Assembly Meetings are some major flagship programs which are annually observed. Likewise the previous year, ACORAB has been planning to celebrate the World Radio Day in collaboration with the development partners, media organizations, academic institutions, civil society groups and member community radio stations.
Radio is a most preferred media in Nepal (Broadcast Audience Survey 2006-2007) due to its accessibility and convenient nature. Community radio broadcasting in Nepal has observed rapid growth and transformation. The establishment of community radio stations is significantly increased in last decade, largely in rural and remote areas of the country. The presence of such mediums became the integral sources of information for grassroots people.
These platforms have performed exemplary work in raising awareness and social responsiveness; information empowerment is considered as the achievement of media intervention. It has impacted positively on people’s empowerment, promotion of good governance and transparency, and increasing accountability in the public sector in general (Mainali, Chapagain, & Subba, 2009). There is a growing recognition that community radio is a cross-cutting development tool (UNESCO, 2007). The increasing numbers of community radio station across the country is a positive sign of development particularly increasing the access of people to the information. Moreover, the establishment of community radios in Nepal has reformed the practice of radio broadcasting in Nepal with transfer of power to the grass roots people. Community radios in Nepal are owned and operated by community people. The essential characteristic of community radio is participation of community people from establishment to production of radio contents.
ACORAB believes on social inclusion and gender equality in its secretariat as well as governing board and member community radios have Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy-2011 and Editorial Directives-2009 as guideline documents which ensure inclusive participation and proactive engagement of public in radio broadcasting. GESI Policy has specific provisions of inclusive involvement of people who belong to marginalized and disadvantaged groups. Involvement of such groups is specified in various access channels such as governance, management, operation as well as radio programming.
Significance of World Radio Day 2017 Themes in Nepalese Context
UNESCO has proposed the main theme for this year's World Radio Day as "Radio and Public Participation". There is a highest significance of the 2017 theme in the Nepalese context. Of note, Nepal is a diverse country with multi-religious, multiethnic and multilingual values despite of small size in the globe. Although Nepalese people have harmonious and tolerance relationship among themselves, various forms of divisions on the basis of social, economic and political values are persistent in the social structure. For instance, women, dalits (untouchables) and adibhasis (ethnic groups) are struggling to gain equal status in the society.
In Nepal, Community Radios have been playing the instrumental roles to supply the information needs of the rural communities. It is an ultimate source of information and so many new insights and ideas have been created from the implementation practices towards the social empowerment and community development.
This is an appropriate event to showcase the best efforts of community radios in terms of public participation in the radio governance and broadcasting. Community radios are comparatively inclusive civil society sector in Nepal from gender and ethnicity perspectives. Beyond balanced participation, community radio broadcasting carries voices of grass root people in 66 local languages and dialects.
Celebration of World Radio Day
The 13th February is celebrated as World Radio Day. The celebration of radio day help to community radios to develop their links with multiple stakeholders and sensitize local communities about the contemporary issues. The day celebration will also help community radios to learn and share their learning for larger community benefits. Meanwhile, community radios stations are in Nepal are world recognized examples for their contributory roles to accomplish development goals through information/knowledge empowerment.
Since this year’s slogan is about ‘Radio and Public Participation’, ACORAB has identified resembling sustainable development goals as focused issues of the World Radio Day-2017. To streamline the SDGs agenda in the community radio communication process, ACORAB has planned to organize the two-days national conference of radios to celebrate the 6th World Radio Days in Nepal to explorer the development broadcasting opportunities in community broadcasting sectors.
The main goal of the Radio Conference is to expand the best practices and explore the new and innovative approaches to increase the effectiveness of the development activities as well as democracy and good governance strengthening at local level.
1. To show case the best practices achieved by the community radio in different thematic areas.
2. To discuss about the new media policies and law and their appropriateness for the institutional and journalistic capacity development of the community radios.
3. To explore the new areas for the community radios to increase the effectiveness of development intervention.
Expected Outcome from the Programs
- To share and collect the innovative and appropriative information broadcasting system through community radios to empower the local communities
- Dissemination of the exemplary practices and contribution of the community radios towards the positive societal transformation
- Empower community radios to mainstreaming the development communication as most important phenomena of the community radios.
World Radio Day 2017 will be observed by organizing two days long events. First day event will be Radio Conference which will consist policy dialogues sessions. It will be an opportunity to share best practices of radio broadcasting in front of policy makers. ACORAB will organize a national policy dialogue by inviting policy experts, parliamentarians, academicians and media experts. The community radio practitioners will also share the success stories, experiences, grievances and huddles. This will also help ACORAB to attain commitments for required actions needed for policy formulation and/or amendments.
Day One: Radio Conference
ACORAB Chairperson accompanying with the chief guest and other dignitaries will chair the inaugural session. The session runs about 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM.
There will be keynote speeches from the experienced and influential personalities, who have enough knowledge on Development, democracy and communication.
There will be plenary sessions which will focused on development and communication. The development and communication experts and practitioners will serve as panelists.
There will be parallel sessions of thematic presentation. Various themes leaders will present the cases. The findings of the thematic session will be presented in the plenary. The thematic sessions will be carried out to share the real and practical learning from field. The success cases from the field will empower community radio representative to learn new and innovative ideas to produce the program in various thematic areas.
Showcasing Impact of Community Radio Program: Listeners’ Voices
This session will be used to showcase impacts of community radios programs by presenting the voices of listeners. Presentations of listeners will be on the matter of earthquake, flood, conflict, girls’ trafficking and social taboos (such as Chaupadi, Dowry and Witchcraft).
At the end of the program, a Kathmandu declaration will be declared based on the plenary and breakout sessions outcomes.
Members of Community Radios, station managers, media activist, environmental activist, Academicians, development experts, gender experts, policy makers, political leaders, media students and etc.
February: Feb 13 -14, 2016
Registration Fees: NRs. 1,000 for Community Radio Representatives and Media Researchers and NRs. 2000 for Others.