Sajhedari Bikaas: Partnership for Development

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Partner: Pact Inc.

Project Length: November 2012 – November 2017

Millions of Nepalese are emerging out of decades of government instability, having undergone monarchial autocracy, Maoist insurgency, and the incessant power struggle between parliamentary political parties. With hopes for a new national constitution in the works, Equal Access is leveraging the power of media to empower marginalized communities to actively participate in shaping the future of their nation.

Equal Access is utilizing a range of media activities from production and broadcast of “Sajhedari” radio program on good governance and PSA campaigns to building the media capacity of local FM stations in six districts in the Far-West region of Nepal. Through Sajhedari Bikaas, Equal Access is able to successfully mobilize and engage citizens and local government to increase their public knowledge and generate open dialogue around democratic governance, stabilization, conflict mitigation, and inclusive development.

During the first year of implementation much of the focus was on the Constituent Assembly Election that took place in November of 2013. A major achievement in the beginning stages of Sajhedari Bikaas project is the successful Election and Citizenship Media campaign. Equal Access produced three public service announcements, encouraging target groups to obtain citizenship and voter registration papers at mobile service camps. The PSAs were broadcast 4,000 times over a period of two weeks.  A rapid assessment after the campaign showed that almost 40% of those surveyed in service camps stated that they visited voter registration camps due to the influence of the radio PSAs.

PSA listener Mamata Choudhari from Banke District stated:


“I listened to the information about citizenship distribution camps on local radio and visited the camp to obtain my citizenship certificate. I also got myself registered as a voter from the same place where I got my citizenship card. It would have been difficult if I had not heard about it on the radio.”

 

Some of the project activities include:

  • The training of “community reporters” – collecting community voices for radio programming.
  • The training of “community action researchers” – the eyes and ears of issues in the community as well as listener feedback.
  • Good Governance Roundtables – bringing together local government, stakeholders and community members to discuss issues of governance and local development.
  • Gender Based Violence Through Media – A training for women journalists
  • “Themes of Governance” trainings provided to partner FM stations – building the capacity of local media outlets to highlight issues of governance and local development..
  • “Local Production Training” provided to partner FM stations building their capacity to produce quality radio programming that addresses community issues.
  • The funding of micro-grant initiatives to Listener Clubs who are equipped to take action on guiding local development.
  • PSA campaigns – providing citizens with critical information about governance and local development.
  • Production and broadcast of 8 weekly local radio programs.
  • Production and broadcast of bimonthly nationally broadcast radio program.