Annual Report 2014 ---------------------------Bini Shutor Mala
Barrier Free Inclusive Society for Persons with Disability
Engage Community Media for Elimination of Gender Based Violence
Basic English Language for Outreach Radio Audience (BELFORA)
Pioneering, Connecting & Empowering voices for Change
Strengthening BNNRC and Mobilizing Stakeholders for Community Media
Youth women in Media and Journalism
Capacity strengthening of the Community Radio Broadcasters to Address Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) & Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) issues
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Activities Implemented by: Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)
Bini Shutor Mala
Project Title: Bini Shutor Mala (under Nirapod-Saving Women from Unwanted Pregnancy and Unsafe MR project). Implemented by: 7 community radio stations in collaboration with Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Marie Stopes Bangladesh under coordination of BNNRC. The Radio stations are: Community Radio Station Padma, Rajshahi. Community Radio Station Nalta, Satkhira, Community Radio Sagorgiri, Sitakundu, Community Radio Station Jhinuk, Jhinaidah. Community Radio Station Naf, Teknaf, Community Radio Station Bikrompur, Munshiganj, Borendro Community Radio Station, Naogaon. The project duration was July – December, 2014 Objectives: To create awareness among the young community on FP (Family Planning), ASRHR (Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights), VAW (Violence Against Women), RBA (Right Based Approach), and MR (Menstrual Regularities). To reach more young people of the targeted community with the project related information both in and outside the project areas. To reach maximum number of community people with the messages in an innovative and interactive way.
Main Achievements: The project started with an orientation program where the focal persons for each station in this program joined and received an overview of the program including the objectives and expected outcomes. A baseline survey has been conducted to explore the understanding level of audience in the broadcasting area regarding legal protection for child marriage, gender based violence and adolescent health rights.105 respondents have been visited and interviewed. Many of the respondents have expressed their opinion to broadcast program on adolescent issues through community radio. Later the selected CR stations have prepared Magazine program titled as: “Bini Sutor Mala”. The timelength of each Magazine program was 45 minutes. A drama series (of 20 minutes) followed in each magazine that focused on specific issues.12 drama episodes were broadcast on 12 specific issues. The specific issues used as the key contents of the drama episodes are: mental and physical development of the adolescent girls and boys, menstruation and wet-dream, early marriage, pregnancy care, Breast feeding, reproductive rights of women, violence against women, Family planning, menstrual regularities (MR), consciousness after MR, The concepts of HIV/AIDS, how it spreads and The actions to be taken to prevent this disease. The general drama content has been prepared by reputed writer and actor Mr.Solaiman Khoka and later that was customized in local dialect, performed and edited by the producers at each station level. The Magazine program was broadcast on Monday and re-broadcast on every following day in the week. In every magazine program specialists, including one or more doctors, concerned people and the target young groups took part in an open discussion through live broadcasting. During the live broadcasting listeners took part by phone call and SMS which helped them to clarify their previous knowledge and to get updated information about reproductive health/ concerned issue. Besides through quiz contest the winners got prize money by answering the program related questions. Listeners clubs were also formed in the broadcasting area to mobilize the local listeners. 10 listeners clubs are formed in every broadcasting area with 15 members in each group. Every listeners club has one group leader who discusses about the specific issue in the group and collects feedback which can help the group members to get the concerned information and local health services. At the end of the project an end line survey has also been conducted. Lessons Learnt: The program became a very popular program among the community listeners. Listeners made positive response about this program by phone call and SMS. The use of drama episode for educative and motivational purpose was very helpful. Many old beliefs and superstitions could be reduced by listening the drama episode. It has created the urge among the listeners to seek more information in this regard.
This type of program is very essential for the society. The program is essential for both parents & adolescent. Because it provides many updated information regarding the adolescents’ health rights issues. Key Challenges: Such a program introduced to the mass community was quite new for community radio practitioners. During production and performance of the program (magazine and drama), the producers felt challenges to transform and customize this into local context and dialect. Broadcasting of some sensitive message to a conservative local audience was another challenge. However, those could be addressed through consultation (making off-line consultation) and by ensuring the participation of different stakeholders in different stages of the program (like program production, broadcasting, feedbacking and survey works).
Barrier Free Inclusive Society for Persons with Disability
Project Title: Barrier Free Inclusive Society for Persons with Disability Implemented by: The project is implemented by 04 community radio stations of the country in collaboration with Bangladesh Visually Impaired Peoples Society (BVIPS) and Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC).The project is co-financed by Sight savers and European Union. The 04 Radio stations are: Radio Bikrampur, Radio Nalta, Radio Padma and Radio Naf. Project duration: July 2014–January, 2015 Objectives:
To increase the awareness of Community Radio broadcasters and listeners of 04 community radio stations regarding rights and ability of persons with disability.
To disseminate message within the community regarding the matters with PWD, increase their awareness and ability to adopt.
To facilitate them in acquiring the skill and ability of radio producers in radio program production and broadcasting.
Main Achievements: The program named as “Amader Katha” was mainly a discussion of 25 minutes focusing on PWD’s rights. The recorded discussion was broadcasted in every Tuesday of the week. After
broadcasting of the recorded discussion, live talk shows were held in which one person with disability and 02 stakeholder representatives (from government, NGO, civil society, educational institutions) joined. They discussed on a series of issues in 16 episodes. The issues of discussions were: the current scenario and status of PWD in Bangladesh, PWD Charter, Rights and safety of PWDs, Survey on PWD, Education of PWD, necessity to ensure training and work environment,ICT & PWD,access to communication and ICT for PWD,Women and disability, family and disability, disability and the growth of children, Disaster and PWD,PWD access to local government,PWD and access to decision making, community based rehabilitation of PWDs.The discussion and the live talk show programs covered the issues of PWD’s access to facilities and social services,training,education,employment options, legal protections etc.It has been expected that the community people would be informed and motivated to work for the benefit of the persons with disabilities Lessons Learnt: The discussion episodes-“Amader Katha”has been proved a successful radio program. It has brought into light the needs and demands of the persons with disability, the importance of their education, skill enhancement and rehabilitation aspects .It has elaborately discussed on the government facilities and the steps taken by specialized non-government organizations for the welfare of PWDs.It also presented the future plans to be taken by individuals and organizations for the benefit of the Persons with disabilities.Alongwith informing the community ,”Amader Katha” has also generated numbers of recommendations so that future action plans could be prepared .The program has created sensation within the community and the listeners from the Persons with disabilities and from other walks of life shared their concern, idea and views through SMS,mobile phone call and even by visiting the studio instantly. The community has been convinced that PWDs should be mainstreamed in the society and should get equal access to all facilities and services. Key Challenges: The talk shows as a program format and the talking point on disability issue –were not familiar (popular) to the listeners. It took time to achieve listeners’ choice. There was prejudice with disability issue within the community. It was a challenge to debrief the listeners and made them convinced. However, gradually it was overcome.
Engage Community Media for Elimination of Gender Based Violence
Project Title: Engage Community Media for Elimination of Gender Based Violence (under Girl Power Program - GPP) Girl Power Programme of the Dutch Child Rights Alliance (CRA) is a five-year (2011-2015) project. This project is funded by Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for promoting equal rights and opportunities for Girls and Young Women (GYW). It is being implemented globally in 10 countries including Bangladesh. Reducing gender based violence against girls and young women is the overall goal of this project. In Bangladesh, under the coordination and leadership of Plan International Bangladesh, the project is being implemented in partnership with 10 implementing organizations. Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) is one of the implementing organizations. Reporting period: January – December, 2014 Objectives:
To sensitize and inspire media professionals on gender and child right issues to contribute in writing features/produce radio programs. To disseminate information on gender and child right issues. To mobilize all stakeholders to take initiatives for protection of girls and young women through media messages.
Project Area: Countrywide specially focused on Community Radio Padma, Rajshahi including the other Community Radio coverage areas in Bangladesh.
Main Achievements: Under GPP, BNNRC has conducted several activities to address reduce gender based violence at the project areas. These activities are as below: i. ii. iii.
iv. v. vi. vii.
Broadcast media message through Bangladesh Television Broadcast media message through Community Radio. Organize Training on Child Protection, Child Rights and Gender issues with the CSOs or Partner organizations (Role of Media Practitioners on stopping Child Marriage-10th May, Rajshahi in collaboration with Community Radio Padma and a GPP partner organization named Association for Community Development (ACD). Awarding Community Radio Journalists for Their Best Practices. Publish News Letter on Girl Power Project (7000 copies) Develop media message on Protection against Gender Based Violence Organize Sensitization Workshop for Journalists on Gender and Child Protection(Share and explore the best practices : Child Protection and Child Right issues in Community Radios, held at YWCA, Dhaka on 11th March, 2014)
1. “Aparajita”, the live magazine program broadcast through community Radio Padma A total of 42 episodes of live magazine programmes (‘Aparajeeta’) were broadcast through Community Radio Padma (Rajshahi) on different issues of girls and young women throughout the year 2014. Considering its priority, the senior management of Radio Padma has increased broadcasting hours of ‘Aparajeeta’ program from 10 minutes to one hour and fixed the airing time between 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm (the prime time). Other than the first Wednesday of every month the program is also being repeated at least once in a day on weekly basis. Through this radio programme, the target communities of Radio Padma’s coverage areas became more sensitized by listening various information related to gender based violence at their local levels. They have started responding through SMS, phone and letters and took part in the program through VOX-POP, community dialogues or debates. Besides this other community radios stations of the country also have increased their regular weekly programs on reducing child marriage and other child protection issues. The community radio program producers are also exchanging their best practices in developing contents, formats among themselves. Bangladesh Betar,Rajshahi initiated phone–in monthly radio programs on child marriage issues including ‘Field Reporting” (monthly program), weekly drama under the programs of population cell named ‘Gramer Naam Polashpur’ (serial) and ‘Shukh Dukhkho Bhalobasha’ and “Kotheekaa” program twice in a month. 2. Trained and motivated media practitioners became active Trained and motivated media practitioners are sensitized and active to write/produce news items and programs on Gender and Child Protection issues. For example during the last six months the local media practitioners at Rajshahi produced more than seven reports/documentaries, investigative features in the daily newspaper like Daily Raj Barta, Amader Rajshahi, and Shonali Shongbad. The ‘Announcement of the Gobindapur village of Paba as a ‘Child Marriage Free Village’ published at National/ local news papers also influenced all and series programs at TV channels was produced on this news.
3. Girl Power Award: BNNRC has honored 5 Community Radio Stations for their outstanding contribution in championing girls and young women empowerment issues. The Award has been initiated to motivate Community Radio Broadcasters (CRB) in Bangladesh to contribute in reducing gender discrimination at their own communities. The program producers and journalists from 14 community radio stations participated in this contest. The theme of this event was: ‘Because I am a Girl!’. All the 14 Community Radios sent their programs and features based on this theme. The competition process has been started from 1stOctober, 2014. All 14 CR Stations participated in the contest under category one (audio magazine programs- upto 15 mins duration), where as 15 CR reporters from 11 CR Stations participated in category two (feature/ report writing -within 1500 words) in this event.Ms Nibedita Ahmed Tuli, Deputy Director (External Service), Bangladesh Betar, Mr.Qadir Kollol, Correspondent, BBC, Bangladesh, Mr Amin Al Rasheed, Editor, Community Media facilitated the event as Jury Board Members. Result : The winners of this contest under category one : Community Radio Padma 99.2 - 1st for Magazine program ‘Adommo’. Community Radio Lokobetar 99.2 - 2nd for Magazine Program ‘ Shustho Maa, Shustho Shishu”and Community Radio Chilmari 99.2 - 3rd for Magazine Program ‘Shafollo Gatha’. The winners of category two (the Features or Reports) are 1st, Mahfuj Faruque, Head of News, Community Radio Borendra 99.8 - for a feature ‘Naam Taar Nishat Ara Chandona’. 2nd Sabiha Islam, Producer and Community Radio Nalta 99.2 for a story ‘ Ami Meye Bolei Shoite Paree’. The winners of this event were awarded crest and certificate while all participating CRSs also received ‘Certificate of Appreciation’.
4. Free access to resource materials by media practitioners : More than 200 media practitioners are benefited with free access to resource materials, such as GPP News Letter, the booklet on Gender guidelines for operating community radio station, a booklet, sticker and a poster on Reducing Violence Against Girls & Young Women through ICT & RTI provided to all selected media practitioners and other concerned stakeholders from this project. Challenges: Despite these achievements, still there were some barriers such as, shortage of manpower at the radio station level, appropriate motivation of the Radio staffs, natural disaster and political unrest sometimes posed challenges to implement the project activities. Lessons Learnt: It has been observed that the media coverage on gender, gender based violence and other right based issues are not up to the mark moreover it is getting less attention compared to other issues. One of those most important causes is lack of professional skills and understanding of large number of journalists including the Community Radio staffs working outside Dhaka. Most of the news on these aforesaid issues not fully reached to the community. It has been observed that through appropriate program interventions and message delivery the media practitioners, listeners/viewers/readers of the mass community throughout the country, could be better mobilized to practice positive values on the protection of girls and young women against gender based violence through media.
Basic English Language for Outreach Radio Audience (BELFORA) in Bangladesh
Project Title: Basic English Language for Outreach Radio Audience (BELFORA) in Bangladesh Supported by: American Center, Dhaka Period (phase 1, including the pilot phase of one year): August 30, 2012 to September 30, 2014 The next phase: 1st October 2014 to 30th September 2015
Project Goal : Use Community Radio effectively in improving the English language skills of the outreach radio audience.
To develop and broadcast appropriate radio programs on English language for the interested learners through five community radio stations of Bangladesh.
To upgrade the teaching skills of the local English teachers aiming wider effect and sustainability of English language learning program.
To make the local radio listeners interested to learn English language and ensure wider engagement to the radio programs.
To develop radio stories on the best practices of life and livelihood as educational and motivational materials and broadcast.
Project area: The project was started as pilot basis in the broadcasting area of Radio Pollikontha 99.2 fm (run by BRAC) at Moulvibazaar for one year. Later it has been extended and designed to implement in the area of 4 more stations. They are: Radio Padma 99.2 fm in Rajshahi, Radio SagarGiri 99.2 fm in Chittagong, Radio Jhenuk 99.2 fm in Jhenaidah and Radio Naf 99.2 fm in Teknaf, CoxesBazaar. Project beneficiaries: The Secondary level students, the drop-outs, the members of the listeners’ group, English language club members and other potential radio listeners of similar age group.
A series of 26 radio-drama program (duration of each-30 minutes) is airing on weekly basis through five community radio stations of the country. A Teachers’ Guidebook has been developed for the local English language teachers to further develop and continue the learning program through institutions in the area. Selected teachers on English language teaching trained. A series of 12 radio stories are ready for broadcast in coming radio areas, that are relevant to rural audience, such as agricultural and public health initiatives as well as stories about the success of rural audiences. The language of these programs is interpreted in Bangla. English language learning materials published through local newspapers. Community Radio producers trained and skilled. Listeners’’ club representatives oriented. Radio sets (500) distributed among the listeners Access to ICT devices like mobile phone and web-link as the teaching tool for for English language learning ensured. Produced supporting materials like BELFORA Brochure, leaflet, stickers and promotional radio spots. Need assessment and effectiveness study done.
Lessons Learnt: The Participants of the workshop (lessons learned workshop held after the pilot phase on 26th September, 2013) and the effectiveness study conducted within 80 listeners in the 2nd year revealed very positive response from all level of the stakeholders. It was observed that the beneficiaries were very enthusiastic about the BELFORA English language radio program. They acknowledged that it was an interesting and useful radio program for them where they would have easy access to the programs directly by phone calls, sending SMS, e-mails and writing letters. This English was helpful to create access to education and job opportunities for them. This type of program by using community radio should continue and replicate in other areas of the country-they remarked. Key Challenges: Community radio was a new media in Bangladesh and the staffs didn’t have experience to produce educational radio program like “BELFORA”. So it was challenging attempt for us. But we overcame this with the support of American center, BELTA members, Radio program and English language experts. In BELFORA Project, our target beneficiaries are low intermediate level but we didn’t have much knowledge yet. Material development consultants only had language expertise but had no experience on developing radio episodes. In this situation Mr. William Wolf (English Language Teacher, Chicago, USA; Former Senior English Language Fellow, Chittagong Independent University, Bangladesh, 20122013, Former English Language Fellow, TraVinh University, Vietnam, 2010-2011) extended his support by reviewing and revising the episodes scripts in standard. In early stage, exploring Local level performers and their engagement in developing radio episodes was a big challenge for us. They hesitated to perform but with proper motivation and practice they successfully played their roles. Engaging teachers was also challenging at the initial stage.
Pioneering, Connecting & Empowering voices for Change
Title of the Project: Pioneering, Connecting & Empowering voices for Change [Strengthening Community Radio in Bangladesh to fight poverty and promote development.] Project financially assisted by European Union (represented by European Commission), in collaboration with Free Press Unlimited and BNNRC. Overall objective of the Project : to strengthen the capacity of community radios in Bangladesh as sources of information on important issues affecting the lives of marginalized groups and as platforms to encourage dialogue and participation of the poor and the voiceless in defining policies on poverty reduction. Specific objectives: a) quality content (program) production on issues of development and poverty reduction: women rights, health, land rights, good governance, right to access to information, fight against corruption, education. b) advocacy and awareness raising on the importance of community radio for inclusion of weak and marginalized groups. c) facilitation of dialogue between communities and local and national governments. d) awareness raising and promotion of the active use of the Right to Information Act (access to information) as a tool to expose wrongdoing and fight corruption. Operational Area: Rajshahi, Satkhira, Barguna, Moulvibazar, Chittagong, Chapai Nawabgonj, Bogra, Kurigram, Jhenidah, Khulna, Cox's Bazer, Munshiganj, Naogaon, Bhola & Nowakhali (15 Districts). Target Beneficiaries: Staffs and volunteers of Community Radio Stations, Listeners, Representatives of local and national govt., civil society members and media professionals Project duration: February 2013-January 2015, extended upto May 2015 Reporting Period: 1 February 2014- 31 January 2015
Main Achievements: Training (capacity building) i. Skill enhancement for production and editing in program and news for community radio stations The Training on Skill enhancement for production and editing in program and news for community radio stations was organized in 2 clusters-one in Teknaf, the far south and another was in Rajshahi, located in the northern part of the country. About 15 participants joined in each cluster. Two community radio experts –Mr. Hans Noortman from Free Press Unlimited, Netherlands and Raghu Mainali from Nepal facilitated the sessions in 2 clusters. Mr. Manjur from ABC Radio (Bangladesh) assisted in technical sessions as co-facilitator of the workshops. The major contents of the training focused on: Journalistic Process (& preparation), Program Formats, Production (Editing) and Audience Feedback. ii. Follow up Training for Community radio producers on Skill enhancement for producing news, program and drama in Jessore and Bogra Training Need Assessment Before organizing the follow up training and to –make the training more practical and hands-on a need assessment was done in consultation with the Chief Trainer (Hans Noortman) of the previous course throughout the month of October. The specific needs have been identified and the course schedule was prepared accordingly. Training organized for Community radio producers on Skill enhancement for producing news, program and drama in Jessore and Bogra Skill enhancement training for producing Community Radio News, Program and Drama has been scheduled to organize in 3 clusters (means 5 CR stations in each cluster). The 1st Cluster training has been taken place on 29 November 2014 to 3rd December 2014 at RRF Training Center, Jessore and the 2nd cluster was organized from 6th December to 10th December 2014 at Red Chillies Hotel,Bogra. The 3rd cluster has been scheduled to organize on 20-24th March 2015 at Munshiganj. 10 trainees from 5 CR stations: Lokobetar, Krishi, Jhenuk, Nalta, Sundarban (2 persons per station) attended in the 1st cluster, while 10 trainees from5 CR stations: Radio Padma, Mahananda, Mukti, Chilmari, Borendra(2 persons per station) joined in the 2nd cluster.8 Partcipants from the rest 4 stations (Radio Bikrampur,Sagargiri,Pollikontho and Naf) will join in the 3rd cluster. Mr.Hans Noortman from Netherlands act as the Chief Facilitator while he is being assisted by Mr.Manjur Ahmed,a senior sound Engineer from ABC Radio (a national fm radio channel). The course included sessions on Radio news, Interview Techniques, Story Telling (local stories), script writing, balanced reporting, problems in involving listeners, Radio Drama, use of sound & music and how to make programs attractive. The course also discussed the challenges of radio producers and their performance.
Training Program re-planned The initial plan to organize some of the training workshops at Dhaka, has been changed by considering the deteriorating political situation of the country and re-scheduled to accomplish many of those at their station levels (Hands on) and by using mostly the local/regional resources. In the updated and replanned work schedule, the rest of the training workshops have been rescheduled with a target to complete all those within the months February 2015-April 2015. iii. Baseline Study –September 2014 During the month of October BNNRC has conducted a Baseline Study on the project. This important baseline study is a milestone work of BNNRC supported by the European Union in collaboration with Free Press Unlimited. The study was conducted by an independent research organization of Bangladesh named as: Change Maker. This is the first base line study for this particular project. Due to the tense security and political situation in Bangladesh for most of 2013, many planned activities were delayed, including this baseline study. The project steering committee decided to conduct a reconstructed baseline study in September 2014 (using primary and secondary data, project administrative data and recall techniques). The reconstructed baseline study is expected to be used further as the basis (and suggest indicators) against which the planned external evaluation at the end of the project period will measure in qualitative and quantitative terms the achievements and impact of the project activities. The specific objectives of the baseline study were: 1. Assess the status of the community radio stations prior to the start of the project (in terms of program and technical capacity, capacity and skills of staff and audience perception) 2. Assess the status of BNNRC prior to the start of the project (in terms of technical, human resource and management capacity, including capacity to and implementation of lobby and advocacy activities) 3. Assess the audience perception of the radio stations and content demands prior to the start of the project (in terms of content expectations, listenership habits and frequency, and perception of the audience/communities of the community radio as a platform to express opinions and enable dialogue with the government over development policies). Change Maker collected primary, secondary and project administration data in cooperation with BNNRC and community radios. Change Maker with the help of BNNRC collected the information by using a recall technique – interviews with audience to reconstruct content demands, expectations and listenership habits prior to the start of the project (February 2013). Change Maker also analyzed the collected data and presented in a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative final report (baseline study). The reconstruction paid specific attention to gender – assessment of capacities, needs and expectations of women staff of BNNRC and community radio stations, and content demands, expectations and wishes of female audience of community radio stations.
BNNRC and community radio stations were involved in the study and data collection process to help the study team to draft a questionnaire for the recall interviews with the audience. At least 3 focus groups per radio station consisting of 8 to 10 listeners each were conducted in each community radio station. A task force consisting of representatives of community radios assisted the research team with the focus groups interviews. Additionally field visits in selected stations (at least 3) phone-in calls, analysis of program content and material, direct observation, participants’ observations and key informants interviews were conducted to enrich the data. The baseline study has identified a number of key issues relating to the community radio institutions, local community, BNNRC’s capacity as a facilitating organization and the opinions of the different stakeholders and experts regarding community radio. These issues can become extremely useful to address the present status of community radio stations, their source and deliberation of knowledge and information challenges to the local communities through using the power of community radio. iv. Equipment support to Radio stations One of the important supports to community radio stations was equipment according to their needs and demands. Equipment support aimed to increase the efficiency of the station and thus improve the quality of the program produced and broadcast. The equipment included desktop, laptop, Consol Machine, Printer, Modem, camera and voice recorder. Altogether the 16 radio stations received 18 laptops, 04 desktops, 11 Consol machine, 16 printers, 16 modems, 16 camera and 68 voice recorders. A compiled list of all Equipment provided (under the project) to Community Radio Stations: # CR
Equipment: Financial support by European Union and Technical Support by Free Press Unlimited, provided by BNNRC Equip
v. Program Production and Broadcasting, 843 programs produced during the reporting period From February2014 to January 2015 the station staff and volunteers produced nearly 900 programs under constant guidance and intensified supervision of BNNRC staffs. The general program formats are news and current affairs, informative programs, talk shows, magazine-type programs, local entertainment and music. Specific program formats are public service announcements, personal life stories, village debates, weekly forum (weekly phone with panel discussions). The program topics included disaster prevention and management, impact of climate change, women rights (including education, women health, child care and employment), local governance, land rights, food production and security, farming and fishing, opportunities for starting small businesses etc.
The programs produced by the community radio stations are designed to meet the information needs of the target audiences, and using the skills acquired during the first series of trainings. Each of the radio stations customized their programs to fit the interests of the general and specific audiences in each region, taking into account the area-specific context, experience and dialect. BNNRC officials provided guidance to the program producers by continuous field visit and follow up. vi. Publication of News Bulletin and other campaigning/awareness materials:
The News Bulletin named as “Community Media” has been started to be published from August 2013.The Bulletins were distributed among the stakeholders and well-wishers of BNNRC. The souvenir “Voices for the voiceless” published and distributed. The Bengali translation of gender policy in CR station has been published under the project support. The project website communitymediabd.org has been launched and now in updating process.
Key Challenges: The conflicting situation between two leading political parties of the country made the situation worse. The hartals and protests called by the opposition parties created lot of disruption in normalcy of daily lives. The protests and of blockades increased in frequency and caused severe disruption of daily life activities and work schedules for months after months. Both BNNRC and the CR stations (the key stakeholders of the project) had their work planning jeopardized and several activities had to be rescheduled. However, with the approval of time-extension appeal to EU upto May,the rest of the activities have been rescheduled.
Strengthening BNNRC and Mobilizing Stakeholders for Community Media
Project Title: Strengthening BNNRC and Mobilizing Stakeholders for Community Media Supported by: Free Press Unlimited Reporting Period: January-December 2014 Objectives: (1) To strengthen BNNRC so that it is actively engaged and undertake innovative initiatives in lobbying and advocacy for improved legislation and law enforcement with regards to community media ,with special emphasis on CR-Trust Fund and Community TV Policy. (2) To orient and sensitize the Civil society groups and other stakeholders regarding the importance of community radio sustainability, community television, skills of the Media professionals involved and the Civil Society Groups to have a stronger voice and role. In its interventions under FPU assistance, BNNRC has concentrated on two capabilities – C2 (the capability to deliver on development objectives) and C1 (the capability to commit and act).To achieve the objectives within the reporting period, BNNRC implemented the activities through which it has mainly focused and invested FPU supports in staff development (among others capacity building, knowledge management and network support) ,technical supports, and policy advocacy.
Main Achievements: 1. Annual Review and Planning Meeting organized As part of BNNRC’s periodic review process the organization has conducted spot visit and a rapid participatory review workshop at every Community Radio Station of the country. This process was completed within a shortest possible time starting from 2nd to 11th June 2014. A review team, comprising
the senior team members of BNNRC has been formed for the purpose. They have visited the assigned stations and conducted the Review and Planning Meeting as per schedule. The overall objective of the review was to explore the latest status of the progress of CR in running the programs, engaging the listeners and influencing the community lives by creating impacts. The workshop included the following parts: i. ii. iii.
Discussion on present status of Radio station: Achievements, challenges /constraints, community and listeners participation. Discussion on changes and impacts on the lives of the community: Best story/best practice in the lives of listeners. Discussion on Challenge, needs and way forward: Needs/ demands and way forward.
2. Technical Expertise of BNNRC Staffs improved During the reporting period BNNRC staffs received training and orientation to acquire knowledge, understanding and technical expertise in Media Management, Gender relations and development, Radio news & Program format and accounting software. Seven (7) BNNRC staffs have been enrolled in oneyear on-line diploma course on Journalism. Pl find additional information below: Sl #
Name of the course Staffs attended (Training/orientation) (Number &Type)
How to deal with media 06 (Program 11 September, program Manager, Project 2014 Coordinator and Program Officers)
Prothom Alo jobs (the largest media house of the country)
Radio News and Program All (10) Program staff Format
17 September, 2014
Gender relations development
20 September, 2014
Amin Al Rasheed, News Editor,channel 24, Editor, Community Media Bulletin Steps Towards Development
Diploma in Journalism (On- 7 Program staffs line)
and All (10) Program staff
1 Accounts Officer
45 days(June- Stm vision July,2014) Ltd.,Dhaka
July-August ’14 Bangladesh Institute of session(1-year) Journalism and Electronic Media(BIJEM)
3. FPU delegates’ visit in Community Radio Bikrampur A three-member delegation of Free Press Unlimited (FPU) visited community Radio station “Radio Bikrampur”at Dewbhogh, Munshiganj on 14 November, 2014.The delegates included Ms. Ruth
Kronenburg Director of operations), Dessi Damianova ,Program manager, South Asia region and Bram truijen Project officer, FPU. During their visit they interacted in a lively warm session with Radio station staffs in the meeting room of Radio Bikrampur. The station is now broadcasting different programs in different radio formats on education, health, agriculture entertainment, science & technology, sports, local history and culture. Recently they are broadcasting a program on persons with disability. Besides, they are broadcasting the bad effects of early marriage and women’s health right based program named “jago go Vogini” & “Amar Sastho”. Responding on a query of Ms.Ruth on program impacts, the Program Producer, MR. Mushfiqur Salihin informed that until now they could stop 30 early marriages with the help of local administration and the community which can be mentioned as the impact of radio program listening. Visitors went around recording and on-air studio and took part in a Special live interview program with the producer and presenter Swapnil and Sravan of Radio Bikrampur. 4. The Process of Purchasing BNNRC studio and Community Media Academy [now under construction] continued. The Internal decoration and the procedural registration/paper work for final handover of the apartment is now underway.BNNRC has completed 90% payment to the builders. It is expected to handover to BNNRC very soon. 5. Observation of World Press Freedom Day 2014 11 community radio stations of the country organized seminar, rally and talk shows on the occasion in cooperation with local press club. BNNRC, in partnership with FPU supported the program. Earlier, BNNRC has provided to CR stations the Bengali translation of the theme of the World Press Freedom day (2014) ,that has been released by UNESCO(on achieving post-2015 goals of sustainable development). 6. Networking, dissemination, linkage- BNNRC represented and networked in International Media Forums To achieve the above result area BNNRC was active in different regional and global media forums by its representation, collaboration and networking support. One of the core objectives was to highlight the importance of community media issue to wider audience and to draw attention of the decision-makers. Some of these are as follows: 6. i South Asia Seminar on Community Radio The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC Asia-Pacific, in collaboration with the SAARC Information Centre, SIC, organized a seminar on the 'Status and Role of Community Radio in the SAARC Region' from 20-22 August 2014 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Dhaka Seminar is being organized in co-ordination with Ministry of Information, Government of Bangladesh and in partnership with Commonwealth Educational Media Centre For Asia (CEMCA) and Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio & Communication (BNNRC). The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC is represented by eight countries - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Discussions were held on topics ranging from policy reform to tackling climate change through community radio, from promoting social justice through community radio to building regional networks and promotion of safety of community media workers. While taking stock of the South Asian
experiences with community radio, the seminar put forth recommendations for further development of community broadcasting in South Asia. 6. ii BNNRC supported in CTO Forum Meeting Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) was one of the Supporting Partners of 54th Council Meeting and Annual Forum of Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) held at Dhaka on 8-12 September, 2014. AHM Bazlur Rahman-S21BR Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) participated in the 54th Council Meeting and Annual Forum of Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) as a panelist in the session of Developing Skill in ICT and Digital Technologies under Integrating ICTs in to Education on 10 September, 2014. It may be mentioned that the CTO, based in London, UK is an international organization of 53 member commonwealth countries working to promote telecom and ICT related cooperation, Its mission is to promote, facilitate and guide members in using ICTs to deliver effective development intervention.The 2014 Forum focused on key aspects of ICT access and utilization, including infrastructure, connectivity, applications value added services, data and security. The theme for this year is ‘ICTs for Development form Access to Inclusive and Innovative Services. 7. Policy Inputs by BNNRC 7.i As part of lobby and advocacy,BNNRC was active in providing inputs for the approval process of National Broadcasting Policy 2014(announced on 04 auagust 2014),particularly by incorporating the issues of Community Radio Trust Fund and Community TV Installation at rural areas of the country.
7.ii BNNRC included as member of the National Broadcasting Commission to formulate law In the month of October, The People’s Republic of Bangladesh has formed a National Broadcasting Commission. The objectives behind this initiative are to bring all the media outlets into one integrated structure and to help build up an independent, pluralistic, accountable and responsive broadcasting system in the country. As part of the process Ministry of Information has announced a committee through a gazette that included 38 members from all stakeholders of the society. This committee will draft a law on the structure and procedures of National Broadcasting Commission and the National Broadcasting Law 2015 according to the National Broadcasting Policy 2014.The committee is chaired by the reputed mass communication specialist and academician Professor Dr.Golam Rahman. The Ministry has included BNNRC as a member to represent the community media sector in the committee. . A 7-member sub committee was formed to formulate the structure and law related to National Broadcasting Commission and the Law. BNNRC is a member of the sub-committee. The full national committee will submit a draft law on the structure and legal procedures on National Broadcasting Commission within 60 days and a draft on National Broadcasting law within next 90 days.
7.iii Planning meeting held on developing a common plan for signing a MoU for Community Radio A Planning Meeting was held on 26 January 2014 at YWCA Auditorium, Dhaka on developing a common plan for signing a MoU between Community Radio, Ministry of Information and Access to Information (A2I) Program of Prime Minister’s Office. A total of 15 representatives from 14 community radio stations of the country participated in the meeting. The meeting was organized by Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) in collaboration with Free Press Unlimited (FPU). The workshop was moderated by the AHM Bazlur Rahman-S21BR, Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) while veteran community media specialist Mr. Faruq Faisal worked as the Chief facilitator of the meeting. A Sub-Committee has been formed to develop a common plan on consensus, by taking idea and opinion from all the stations. By considering the current challenges, this committee will develop a common proposal along with the Budget on behalf of all Community Radio Stations to submit at Ministry of Information. 8. FPU commissioned Evaluation, reflected the Impact level FPU commissioned an evaluation in the period June-July 2014, which was conducted by an external evaluator-Raghu Mainali, a community radio expert of South Asia. The evaluation examined the longterm partnership between FPU-BNNRC and particularly the program support to BNNRC in the period 2011 – 2015.One of the objectives of evaluation was to explore the progress, analyze the relevance, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of the FPU support program for community media in Bangladesh. An overall objective of the evaluation was also to identify stories of change (impact) at BNNRC and community level of the FPU and Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs support to community media in Bangladesh in the period 2011 – mid 2014. The evaluation was conducted through desk study and field visit to three community radio stations in Bangladesh. The Evaluation report (submitted in July 2014) generated many significant findings and recommendations which could be useful for long-term planning for the community radio sector of the country. 9. Other supports Continue information and technical support to CR stations(existing and upcoming) through effective "Help Desk "at BNNRC Continue Strengthening Community Media Academy Organize Review meeting of BoT members with BNNRC staff about the project progress. Initiate and continue Community Radio News Agency at BNNRC Subscribe and represent in different International Media forums(like AIB,ABU,CMFE) Key Challenges: The conflicting situation between two leading political parties of the country made the situation worse. The hartals and protests called by the opposition parties created lot of disruption in normalcy of daily lives. The protests and of blockades increased in frequency and caused severe disruption of daily life activities and work schedules for months after months. Amidst the political turmoil, community radio broadcasters and the women fellows continue their work although they suffer from the dilemma, like the local level journalists whether they become the targets of local politicians and election candidates. Both BNNRC and the CR stations (the key stakeholders of the project) had their work planning jeopardized and several activities had to be rescheduled.
Youth women in Media and Journalism
Project Title: Youth women in Media and Journalism Supported by: Free Press Unlimited (FPU) Reporting Period: December 2013-December 2014 Objectives: i) To facilitate in creating an enabling environment for the young women to be enrolled in the media and journalism to develop as professional community media journalists and ii) To encourage more young skilled women to be enrolled in the media to work for the development of rural communities.
Main Achievements: The project has been started in December, 2013 in community radio station areas. “Call for application” from the interested local youth women was the initial step of fellowship program. The notice was served through community radio and by using notice board of local college and press
club. Responding to the “Call”, a total of 51 candidates in 1st batch and 61 in the 2nd batch submitted their applications from 14 community radio stations of the country. Through an interview process and in consideration of the applicants’ qualification, experience and interest, 24 fellows have been finally selected in 2 batches (12 in each). The recruited fellows received orientation from BNNRC and started their works under the guidance of a mentor from each station. An experienced and senior level CR staff played the role of a mentor. The fellows prepared and produced news/reports/feature/case study/human profile. Under this program, the fellows have accomplished the following tasks under the mentor’s guidance:
Produce and broadcast 4 special news bulletin/case study/life profile through community radio in a month (1 in a week). Publish 1/2 issue-based news /feature/case study/life profile in local newspaper in a month. Prepare and send to central level (Dhaka) 1 exclusive report once in a month on local issues to publish in community media bulletin edited and produced by BNNRC.
12 women fellows of the 1st batch, in their tenure of 3 months, broadcasted 144 reports through community radio and published 72 articles in local newspapers. The 12 fellows of the next batch already broadcasted 244 audio programs and published 144 reports in local newspaper in their on-going duration of 6 months. These programs and reports covered the issues like education of women and children, their access, empowerment, health, child marriage, example of success. These have reflected the updated situation of the disadvantaged community, particularly the on-site scenario of the present lives of rural women and children. The youth women fellows have earned prestige and recognition in the rural community through this program. Some of the parents now show interest to push their young daughters to engage in community media and journalism. As a result, 10 fellows out of 12 of the 1st batch are now working as regular staffs in radio stations of their area. With her radio station-radio Naf, Hla Hla Yee Rakhaine is also working as district correspondent of a popular weekly newspaper. Mentionable that, she is the only women journalist the area has ever produced. Some other fellows like Sanjita Kaochar Sopnil of Radio Bikrampur, Shahrina Jui and Hoimonti Mou of Borendro radio, Samia Akhtar of Radio Mahananda-all are working in their radio stations as full-time producers.Shammi Akhtar, a community media fellow of the 2nd batch, now working with radio Borendro told: “I have learned and explored many new areas of journalism while working as community media fellow, that made me confident to take up this as fulltime profession.” Publication: A “Youth woman in community media” brochure (1000 copies) was published. Along with the project objectives, activities and outcomes the brochure introduced the fellows and mentors with name and photographs. A Booklet-Our Voice, Our Power on the profiles of 11 fellows has also been edited and published.
These publications have been distributed among different government organization, Information ministry, public and private University, Media Houses and different development organizations. Lessons Learnt: The community media fellows reached to the remote locations and collected information on the lives of women and children and prepare their news and programs. They are contributing in development and changes of their own community lives by their programs and reports on protection of early marriage, promotion of education and other important issues of mother and children. For the first time, the unheard voices of the rural women are coming up through the works of youth women journalists. One woman feels comfort to talk and disclose the facts with another woman of her neighborhood. Through the reports, many untold stories have been brought into light. Parents and social elites became sensitized and in some community radio station areas they have collaborated to immediately stop the cases of child marriages. Key Challenges: While female journalists are facing numerous challenges even at national level, it was not easy for the youth women to work as journalists at grassroots level. “Youth women in community media” was itself a very new idea, so it was truly challenging to introduce at local/rural level.Challeneges not only came from the families of the selected fellows; it was hard to convince even the community radio stations. There were challenges in every single step of implementation. Another great challenge of this new program is to retain these young women in professional journalism sector. However, by facing all those challenges, the program is running successfully under the coordination of BNNRC and mentoring of Free Press Unlimited. The fact is that the rural women are not at all the topics/subjects of news, but they are now producing news and writing reports in media. Now, the relevant stakeholders should come up and support them so that they can continue as a sustainable professional group within the community media.
Capacity strengthening of the Community Radio Broadcasters to Address Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) & Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) issues
Project Title: Capacity strengthening of the Community Radio Broadcasters to Address Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) & Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) issues towards building Community Resilience. Supported by: "Comprehensive Disaster Management Program (CDMP II)", Under the Ministry of Disaster Management & Relief (MoDMR), Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, with the support of UK aid, European Union, Sweden Embassy, Norwegian Embassy, Australian Aid, UNDP. Project Duration: Period: 5 months / March 16 ‘14 to Aug 15 ‘14. Extended upto December 2014. Objectives: The main objective of CDMP II and BNNRC partnership is to strengthen the role of 14 CR broadcasters for better communicating Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) issues through; 01. Strengthening capacity of the 14 CR Broadcasters (Radio Padma, Radio Nalta, Lokobeter, Radio Pollikontho, Radio Sagar Giri, Radio Mahananda, Radio Mukti, Radio Chilmari, Radio Jhenuk, Krishi Radio of AIS under the Ministry of Agriculture, Radio Sundarban, Radio Naf, Radio Bikrampur, Borendro Radio) with necessary technical skills, knowledge and understanding for production of quality radio programming on DRR & CCA. 02. Addressing crucial DRR & CCA information and awareness issues at a community level and eventually catalyzing the processes of building community resilience. 03. Develop, produce and broadcast DRR and CCA specific radio programs to raise awareness at the targeted community level.
Main Achievements: Training of Trainers: A 3 (three) days long ToT held on 3 to 5 May 2014 at IDB Bhaban, Dhaka with 34 Participants from 14 CR Stations and BNNRC. In the training course Hazard Specific Radio Program was produced by the participants and provided Professional support for pre-production of Radio program. Hazard Specific Radio Program Development and Broadcast in all 14 CR Stations: Hazard Specific Radio Program as Magazine program produced, each for 15-20 Minutes (14 × 2 Program = 28 Programs) on local Disaster issues and in local dialect. Broadcasted the Produced radio Program (average 48 times by each radio station).Total broadcasted = 1358 times, 1248 hours. Produced a Primer / Booklet on DRR & CCA issues. After being accepted by CDMP the Soft copy of Booklet distributed to 14 CR Stations. CDMP published this booklet later on. Production and Airing (broadcast) of a Docudrama: One short (5-10 Minutes) docudrama promoting ' Disaster preparedness in saving lives, livelihoods and property in line with local context produced and broadcasted in all the community Radio Stations. Each CR Station broadcasted 45 times. Established Linkage: Facilitated linkage with Union Disaster Management Committees (UDMCs), Upazilla Disaster Management Committees (UZDMCs) and District level and early warning services providers at local level. Attended the District, Upazilla and some Union meeting (total 196 meeting / per CR average 14 meeting), and mobilized/ oriented regarding Radio program on DRR & CCA. Broadcasted interview of District level officer and Local Government representatives on DRR & CCA. Media Coverage: Collect and prepare 10 best practices / case stories of change. Facilitate print and electronic media to cover stories in DRR and CCA programming in Community Radio. Produced and published 14 report at 9 National Daily News paper and 17 Regional and Local News paper, total 26 Bangla News paper covered by Local Journalists. 14 Journalists visited, interviewed with CR Broadcasters and Listeners, expert, Government officials, Listeners Club member, observed and produced report in print Media. TV Talk show: TV Talk show planned to organize. TV Footage is ready for show.
Lessons Learnt: CR broadcasters are now confident to make any disaster related radio program. However, they need refreshers on periodic basis. Listeners were sensitized and motivated on the programs. They have actively participated by sending their opinion, idea and reflection on the broadcasted programs.CR
stations received a total of 7,820 feedbacks until now. They have requested to continue this type of program on DRR & CCA issues. Key Challenges:
Short-term project Short-term training Lack of mobilizing capacity of CR Staffs-need more capacity enhancement. Lack of regular linkage with Government department by CR Stations Government officials are less interested to call/invite to the meeting.