Empowering community radios with ICT

KCOMNET was engaged by UNESCO to undertake a radio needs assessment and a baseline survey of the actual status of four community radio stations in Kenya: Sauti – Hundhwe FM( 98.1), Mwanedu Radio (96.1), Mangelete Community radio ( 89.1FM) and Mug’ambo Jwetu Radio (102.3 FM).

The engagement was against the background of the support to UNESCO by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) in a three-year project known as “Empowering local radios with ICTs” in 4 radio stations in Kenya. The project intends to increase the quality of local radio programming and broadcasting by fully integrating the use of ICTs, strengthening local reporting on development issues and engaging poor people’s participation in debates related to their livelihood and development.

Activities:

  1. Activity I:  Identification of radios’ needs (equipment, resources & electricity and Internet connections)
  2. Activity II:  Baseline survey on radio programming quality and
  3. Activity III:  Feasibility study on the choice of and incentive schemes for correspondents in the area of signal coverage.

Outcomes

Activity I: Identification of radios’ needs assessment

  • Determined the human resource, technical and financial needs of the radio stations
  • Identified needs to integrate ICTs at the radio stations
  • Mapped use, type of mobile phones and applications in use by the radio stations
  • Analyzed  costs of the various ways of communicating through mobile phones
  • Set the basis and needs for training modalities
  • Set basis for community practice

Activity II: Baseline survey on radio programming quality

  • Determined the radio station’s programming quality in terms of
  1. General,
  2. Gender and
  3. Usage of ICTs by local radio stations
  •  Collected and analyzed data
  • Refined weekly progress monitoring indicators
  • Identified benchmarks to achieve at the end of the project
  • Captured data elements into a database programme

Activity III: Feasibility study on the choice of and incentives schemes for correspondents in the area of signal coverage

1. Determined the type and quantity of local correspondents to be recruited by Radio

  • Maendeleo (Sauti FM  98.1),
  • Mwanedu Radio (Mwanedu Fm 96.1),
  • Mangelete Community radio ( 89.1FM) and
  • Mug’ambo Jwetu Radio (102.3 FM).

2.Identified criteria for the selection of the radio correspondents, including gender balance

3.Assessed the incentives and benefits to be put in place to maintain a network of correspondence

4.Assessed the ICTs skills level of correspondents

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