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19 Oct 2008
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Engage communities
Engage communities
We aim to reach as many people from our target audiences as possible, including those living in remote areas with little or no access to the media.
To extend the reach of our programmes we work in partnership with government agencies, community groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to provide face-to-face opportunities for audiences to consume, discuss and learn from our programmes.
Discussion helps individuals to explore the range of options available to them, to have information reinforced and to hear and learn from other people's experiences. Ultimately discussion can be key in leading someone to act.
We use a variety of innovative methods, including:
  • Distributing radios to 'community listening groups', where people gather together to listen to our programmes and discuss them
  • Training listening group facilitators to lead discussions and collect audience feedback for inclusion in future programming
  • Distributing radio programmes on cassette or CD, or multimedia tool kits, to teachers and community workers, who use them as educational tools with community groups
  • Employing video vans, equipped with screens and projectors, to take our programmes to 'media dark' areas
Through these methods, we have been able to involve hard-to-reach communities in our programmes, including:
  • Internally displaced people in Darfur
  • Illiterate women in Afghanistan
  • Linguistic minorities in Burma
  • Pastoralists in Somalia
  • Rural populations throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East
We seek to reach people who have been denied a conventional education, including women and girls, disabled people, children with no access to education in rural areas, people in southern Somalia (where there are few educational opportunities), and people who have had to flee their homes because of the conflict.
Engaging communities around the world
For example in Somalia, we work in partnership with the Africa Educational Trust and the BBC Somali Service to deliver weekly radio programmes to improve literacy and numeracy skills. Broadcasts on the BBC Somali Service are complemented with face-to-face tuition in 'community learning groups'.
Five hundred Somali facilitators were taught how to use a radio-based curriculum to provide face-to-face training to 500 learning groups across Somaliland, Puntland, and Southern Somalia. Almost 30,000 people in Somalia have so far learned to read and write thanks to this initiative. More
In Bangladesh, we are working in partnership with national broadcasters and the BBC Bengali Service to produce ground-breaking political debate programmes that help people hold their politicians to account.
The debates are held in locations across Bangladesh, including remote rural areas accessible only by boat, so that people throughout the country can participate.
Vans equipped with video players, projectors and screens travelled to remote areas to show the programmes to people without access to satellite or cable television.
In India, we worked in partnership with a range of Indian NGOs, All India Radio and the BBC Hindi Service to train 12 rural women to produce a community radio programme about sexual health and women's empowerment.
As part of the initiative, partnerships were also established with 25 NGOs and State AIDS Committees in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
They helped us design, develop and test a multimedia 'toolkit' - KissaGoi ('The Art of Storytelling') - in Hindi and English. The toolkit consists of 11 audiovisual films, group facilitator aides, and a facilitator's manual (English or Hindi). It was designed to help local NGOs initiate and stimulate discussions about HIV and AIDS in their communities.
Two thousand toolkits were produced and over 30 representatives from the 25 partner NGOs were trained how to use them. More
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