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Submitted by Mwendalubi Maumbi on
Thank you for the blog. Very timely for what I am doing - strengthening the link between civil society organisations and community radio stations in Zambia. I have worked with various community radio stations in Zambia and I have observed that the problem is simple yet complicated. While many civil society organizations and even government departments recognize the impact community radio stations could have on their delivery, they do not understand the costs involved in production and as such they either have meager budgets or non at all for program production but have high expectations of information flow. I've experienced situations where organisations only seem eager to pay for programs at the end of their fiscal year to at least show to their donors that they had a media component in their activities and such programs are studio based without the participation of the community. On the other hand, media organizations harbor the myth that civil society organizations are all out to just make money and therefore seldom include them in their programming unless airtime it paid for because anyway, they couldn't produce the programs for free even if they wanted because of cost restraints. The truth is that information alone is inadequate to yield much results. Beyond information there ought to be structures where community members can access services or make follow ups and that is a great challenge as many areas are rural and lack structural support. Could you send me your email address? I've a report that I could share, thanks.