Finalization of Radio Listeners Club Guideline
Submitted to: UNICEF Bangladesh Submitted by: Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication

Jointly Prepared by: Syed Kamrul Hasan Coordinator- KM4D & Mark Manash Saha Program Coordinator- (Training ) Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio & Communication Edited by: Dr. Khurshed Alam Chief Executive Bangladesh Institute of Social Research(BISR)


Jointly Prepared by Syed Kamrul Hasan Coordinator- KM4D & Mark Manosh Shaha Program Coordinator-Training Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication

Edited by

Dr. Khurshed Alam Chief Executive Bangladesh Institute of Social Research

Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication House:13/1 Road:2 Shamoli, Dhaka 1207

Table of Contents
Table of Contents List of abbreviation Executive summary 1. Background and Objectives 2. Rationale and justifications of the finalization of the RLC guidelines 3. Methodology of the study 4. Focus Group Discussion (FGD): a. Pregnant and lactating women including adolescent pregnant and lactating women b. Mix Group 5. Interview with Radio Professionals 6. Consultation Workshop 7. Conclusions and Recommendations 8. Annex

List of abbreviation
BBC BNNRC C4D FGD CR CRI CRS CSO DRM DW EPI FIVDB FM GO Govt. GoB HIV/AIDS ICT ICT4D ID IRIB KII MCH MDG NGO NHK RLC RSA RTI RVA SMS TBA TT TV VOA VOR WSIS UNCRC UNICEF UN – – British Broadcasting Center Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication Communication for Development Focus Group Discussion Community Radio China Radio International Community Radio Stations Civil Society Organization Digital Radio Management Radio German Expanded Programme on Immunization Friends in Villages Development Bangladesh FM Radio Frequency Government Organization Government Government of Bangladesh Human Immune Virus / Acquired immune Deficiency Syndrome Information Communication Technology Information Communication Technology for Development Identity International Research Institute of Bangladesh Key Informant Interview Mother and Child Health Millennium Development Goal Non-Governmental Organization Radio Japan Radio Listeners Club Radio Saudi Arabia Right to Information Radio VERITAS Asia Short Message Service Traditional Birth Attendance Tetanus toxic (TT) vaccine Television Voice of America Voice of Russia World Summit on Information Society United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an International agreement that protects the human rights of children under the age of 18. United Nations Children's Fund United Nations

1. Background Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) is a national networking body on alternative mass media working for building a democratic society based on the principles of free flow of information, equitable and affordable access to Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) and Right to Communication of remote and marginalized population. It strives to contribute to achieve 6th five years plan, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), WSIS action plan and UNCRC. The organization focuses on Radio for development, Right To information & ICT for development as an effective strategy for social development. It is a pioneering organization that supports the community radio movement in Bangladesh. The organization is promoting advocacy with the government to use community radio for addressing critical social issues and behavioral norms at community level. BNNRC has a good number of publications and promotional materials (including Community Radio Handbook, CR Code of Conduct, Children Club Guideline) and organized more than 400 workshops, seminars, roundtables, consultations, meetings, trainings (technical and general), dialogues, and national and South Asian conferences as well as awareness development program activities. It is instrumental in developing the first Community Radio Academy in Bangladesh and South Asia as well. BNNRC is also providing various technical assistances to the community radio initiators through ‘National Help Desk’. BNNRC has strong linkage with the media organisations, UN Bodies, development organizations, ICT journalists and ICT based organizations at the national and international level. It has also good working relation with the concerned Ministries and departments of the Government and media academicians of several universities of the country and abroad. BNNRC is one of the members of the Community Radio Central Monitoring Committee of Bangladesh Government and conducted the first National Baseline Survey with support and approval of the Ministry of Information. In 2010-2011, BNNRC has implemented a project titled “Empowering Communities: Strengthening and Building Capacity of the Community Radio in Bangladesh” in Partnership and financial assistance of UNICEF. It was a 15 months duration project for strengthening the capacity and skills of the community radio staff.

2. Rationale and justifications of the finalization of the RLC guidelines Radio is one of the most popular, cheaper (sets) and friendly media to create an easy accessible environment for the community in line with the Right to Information (RTI) as well as enter-educating the listeners. Indeed, the listeners are the main stakeholder of this intervention. Without listeners, Radio programs and services are useless. In Bangladesh there are few Radio listeners clubs but scattered all over the country. They do not have any organogram or institutional structure even no regular internal organizational communication in between them as having no platform. On the other hand, they have no structural or vertical linkage or connection with the Radio stations. As a result, Radio management could not know the real needs of the listeners properly; likewise, radio programs are developed without reflection of expectation of the larger numbers of listeners. For the sake of achieving development goals of the country, listeners as well as the larger community need to be connected with radios. To ensure this, it is considered essential to structure country wide Radio Listeners Clubs within a short and set form. RLCs, thereby, will take part in developing radio programs towards achieving the development goals. UNICEF is implementing a number of development activities in Bangladesh giving special focus on women and children related issues. The programs implementation process can be strengthened if the people participations are ensured. For prompt dissemination of information and building awareness among the communities, radio is the most prior and friendly media to connect the extreme remote communities of the country. In this connection UNICEF has taken initiative to develop and finalize a Radio Listeners Club Guideline for the RLCs for forming, strengthening and bring them in common understanding platform for contributing their support for designing, developing and producing development-oriented appropriate radio programs. UNICEF has offer this job and BNNRC, as pioneer networking non-government organization took the opportunity for implementing the activities towards developing and finalizing a Radio Listeners Club Guideline.

Objectives of the study To know the opinions of the listeners and community groups in finalization of the Draft Radio Listening Club (RLC) guideline. 3. Methodology of the study The assessment was made basically following a blending of 3 methods which include FGD, In-depth interviews and workshops. The following steps were followed: a. Selection RLC members, community listeners (non-RLC), pregnant and lactating mothers including adolescent pregnant and lactating mothers, and Interviewee (Radio Professionals both public and community radios). b. Drafting and Finalization of Checklist for FGD and in-depth interview c. Selection of Facilitator for conducting FGDs and interview with Radio Professionals d. Selection of Consultants for developing draft Radio Listeners’ Club Guideline and Process documentation. e. Conducting FGDs and In-depth Interviews f. Process Documentation g. Drafting of RLC Guideline h. Conduct 02 workshops (one at Sylhet and one at Dhaka) for sharing and opinion gathering on Draft guideline i. Organized 01 experience sharing/consultation workshop with International Radio clubs in the country j. Finalization of Guideline by incorporating inputs of workshop participants k. Project Completion Report and RLC Guideline submission to UNICEF.

Starting and ending dates for implementation of the activities: 26 June - 31 July 2012. Areas of operation: Bangladesh Betar (Dhaka and Sylhet region) and Community Radio locations (Moulvi bazaar and Bikrampur) of Bangladesh. Activities Implemented: • Conducted 4 FGDs in 2 selected regions (Dhaka & Sylhet), with pregnant and lactating mothers including adolescent pregnant and lactating mothers on their need expectations for information and how mother can contribute in the content development of the programme. • Conducted 5 Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with selected Radio Listeners (from Club and community listeners) of Bangladesh Betar (Dhaka and Sylhet regions) coverage areas and Community Radio locations at Moulvibazar and Munshiganj districts. Conducted 8 in-depth interviews with professionals of Bangladesh Betar and 2 community radio stations. Conducted 02 workshops (1 at regional level - Sylhet and 1 at Dhaka) to share, consult and validate the guideline document.

Conducted 01 experience sharing workshop with International Radio club members in the country. Finalize the Radio Listeners Club Guideline adapting the feedback, suggestions and comments of the FGDs, Interviews and consultation workshops.

Deliverables: • • • A Radio Listening Club (RLC) guideline –Final Draft A Completion Report (pictorial)-describing the whole process Submission of RLC Guideline and Completion Report to UNICEF: At the end, BNNRC will submit the final guideline and completion report to UNICEF.

4. Process documentation and findings 4.1 Process and Findings from the FGD: 4.1.a. FGDs with pregnant and lactating mothers including adolescents The study team has conducted 04 Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with the pregnant and lactating mothers including adolescent pregnant and lactating mothers in Tongibai Upazilla of Munshigonj district on July 14, 2012; in Bhaluka Upazilla of Mymensingh district on July 20,2012 and in Moulvibazar sadar Upazilla and Sreemongal Upazilla of Moulvibazar district on July 24-26, 2012. Two mix groups and one group of pregnant and lactating mothers including adolescent at Bhaluka Upazilla of Mymensingh district were selected in consultation with UNICEF Bangladesh. It was ensured that in the groups there are adolescent mothers. As per the activity plan a guiding questionnaire was developed including questions for the target listeners on their need, expectation, preference, access, availability and utilization of information, the listeners choice, frequency and habit of radio listening, the scopes and potentials of Radio Listeners Clubs etc. and finalized in

consultation with UNICEF team. After that Facilitators for conducting FGDs were selected in a walk-in interview and oriented thereby. A total of 42 pregnant and lactating mothers including adolescent pregnant and lactating mothers from different professions have participated in the FGD sessions. Information on FGD with Pregnant and lactating mothers at Glance
Sl. 1. 2. Total Category Female Adolescent No. of participants 36 06 42 (** Find the detail in Annex – A) Remarks Some adolescent participants were observed in this group

Findings from the exercise: Accessibility/engagement in media
Electricity supply is available. The people usually enjoyed Television, Radio, Satellite TV & mobile phone and read newspapers. A few of them have radio sets. They share their radio sets with others. They have mobile sets and listens radio programs using mobile sets. The participants use to listen radio programs individually. They use to do sewing collectively and listen radio programs and in the leisure periods. They listen radio programs with their neighbours, sometimes with family members and in group. Listening radio programs in group is more effective to them. The programs are helpful for their daily life. Community Radio “Polly Kantha” is well known to them. Polly Kantha broadcasts programs in local languages and on local community issues. This is really Community radio. The participants usually discuss immediate after listening radio programs with the issue and contents broadcasted in the community radio like- animal husbandry, poultry rearing and on the care of pregnant mothers, breast feeding, vegetable gardening, games and sports, drama, EPI, TT, fish cultivation, Mother and Child Health care, education, employment.






After enjoying radio programs they have had some query and shared those with the local experts, older members of the family, teachers, and local elites. Radio programs inspire them for homestead gardening, poultry rearing and animal husbandry.

Participants do not know about community radio where there is no community radio exists.

Information from radio: - The participants know about community radio Polly Kantha. During the Holy Ramadan participants wants to listen program related to Islamic issues. They want to listen program related to cooking, Mother and Child Health care, songs, agriculture etc. - Community Radio is for getting information. It is reliable and essential media to them. - Radio and Television both media is easy accessible. Radio programs usually address the present situation, listeners’ need and the daily needs of the community. Radio listening habit: - The participants usually listen programs broadcasted by FM radios, Bangladesh Betar, BBC, Commercial radios, Akash Bani and Community radio Polly Kantha. They use mobile sets for listening radio programs. They listen radio programs twice or thrice in a day and in the afternoon and night. Women related programs are favourate to them, they expect more participations of the women, local young girls and boys in presenting the program. Health, entertaining songs, film songs, songs of local singers, child programs and folk songs are most popular to them. Radio program: - The participants want to listen radio programs on the contents like local news, local problems, women issues, pregnant mothers’ care, nutrition, EPI, TT, dowry, employment, education, health care, antenatal and post natal care. They expect more women participation and representation in the women related programs. - Children related programs should broadcast in the holidays covering the content like- quiz, education, songs and suggested to allocate more time for child programs. - They get information from the government and NGOs health workers, Union and Upazilla health complexes and through radio programs. - They visit government and private hospitals for safe delivery/child birth. - There is no trained Traditional Birth Attendances (TBA) in their villages. Child Health related radio programs: - Adolescents want programs on recipe, cooking, health, topical diseases, cancer, 6 diseases and EPI, breast feeding, Vitamin A, De-warming, first breast feeding, children’s feeding, nutrition, how to prepare balance food for children, Mother and Child Health care, etc. - They want more radio programs on child based issues and ensuring their participation.

Health Program - The participants like community radio programs in their local languages, the accent like them, need to produce programs on local problems and issues with solutions, safe drinking water, sanitary latrine, hand washing, how to protect them from HIV/AIDS, and income generation. - A few of them have participated in the radio program. - Still they did not send any letter to the newly broadcasting community radio station. - They want to ask questions through phone calls and on health issues. - They want to participate in radio programs related to children, recipe, cooking and other issues. - They desire all radio programs will be produce in local languages except programs for children. - They want to listen programs regularly on these issues. Community Radio management Participants are eager for participating in the community radio programs. If they get chance, they will participate in producing drama, songs and education related programs. They will send SMS and make phone call to the CR stations which have been starting airing newly. They want programs in their language and want a community radio in their area (where no Community Radio exists). 4.1.b. Conducting FGDs with Mix group (RLC and Non- RLC) FGD Team has conducted 05 Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with the mix group of RLC members and non-RLC members in Tongibari of Munshigonj districts on July 14, 2012, in Bhaluka of Mymensingh district on July 20, 2012 and in Moulvibazar sadar and Sreemongal upazilla of Moulvibazar district from July 24-26, 2012. The groups were selected in consultation with UNICEF Bangladesh, Bangladesh Betar, Dhaka and Sylhet, and Community Radio stations Bikrampur, Munshigonj and Polly Kantha, Moulvibazar. As per the activity plan a guiding questionnaire was developed for those listeners (not included in RLC) to get their opinion on formation of RLC, their activities, what role they can play etc. and finalized in consultation with UNICEF team. After that Facilitators for conducting FGDs were selected in a walk-in interview and oriented them thereby. A total of 51 male, female and adolescent mothers from different professions have participated in the FGD sessions. Information on FGD with mix group at Glance
Sl. 1. 2. Category of participants Male Female No. of participants 28 21 Remarks *There were some adolescents observed in this category.

3. Adolescent Total (** Find the detail in Annex – B) Findings of the exercise:

02 51

Accessibility in media - Electricity supply is available in the area. The people usually enjoyed Television, Radio, Satellite TV and use mobile phones. A few of them have radio sets. They have mobile sets and an average numbers of participants have listen radio programs in their mobile sets. - They use to listen radio at home and with their family members. Some of them listen radio programs in the tea stalls, neighbours’ house and shops. They love listening radio programs. Sometimes they listen radio programs individually, sometimes with friends and sometimes in groups. Most of them like radio news. - They enjoyed listening radio in their leisure. In group they usually discuss with the key issues like animal husbandry, poultry rearing, goat rearing and care of pregnant mothers, etc. - After enjoying radio programs they have had some query and shared those with the local experts, older members of the family, teachers, and local elites. - Radio programs inspire them for homestead gardening, poultry rearing and animal husbandry. They can start the small scale income generation projects if they manage loan from the NGOs. They usually sit together and share their views to start social activities jointly. - The activities like vegetable gardening; goat rearing, adult education, fish culture, road side tree plantation, how to start income generating activities with small capital, planned family, EPI for the children and TT for the pregnant mothers are implemented in the area with collective initiatives. - They get information about the date for EPI & TT and antenatal care through Radio programs. - CR Polly Kantha is well known to the community and newly established CR Bikrampur yet not known to all. Information receives from radio: - Still they do not know about community radio (where no CR stations exists). Radio programs are reliable and helpful to them. - They are interested to listen contents like religious discussions, cultivation, sports, news, breast feeding, drama, songs, entertainment, health care, family planning in radio. They prefer FM radio services. - Radio is the easy accessible media to them, during load shading radio can be played/used with battery. - Information that broadcasts through radio is need based, reliable and essential to them. Radio listening habit: - Participants usually listen Bangladesh Betar, BBC and FM radio programs twice or thrice in a day and enjoyed radio programs in the afternoon and night. Sometimes


they listen in group. They like Bangladesh Betar and FM radio programs very much. Their favourate programs are Islamic songs, jokes, discussion on religion, corruption issues, terrorism, reciting poems, protecting eve teasing, employment, songs, drama and agriculture related issues. Most of them listen community radio where there is a CR station.

About broadcasting programs: - They want to listen radio programs at early night on the contents like health, pregnant mothers’ care and their menu, violence against women, self-help, kids nursing, immunization, child diarrhea, antenatal and postnatal care, friendly health service centers, early marriage, dowry, and child related issues. Type of programs that listeners prefers from community radio - They expect that male members should to listen these programs for their self motivation. - Children’s program should be broadcasted in the afternoon. They want more participation of children in Child related programs. - Children participation will raise children listeners and expect more time for child related programs, local news, quality seed, impact of drug addiction, about their Upazilla and district. - Community radio should include some programs covering local heritages, culture, ritual, social norms etc. - They want program without political influences. Management of community radio - Participants are eager for participating in the community radio programs. They expressed that if they get chance they will participate in producing drama, songs and education related programs. They will send SMS and make phone call to the CR stations for asking questions as their station starts airing newly. They want programs in their local language. They also want a community radio in their area (where no CR stations existes). 4.2. Interview with radio professionals The study team has carried out 08 in-depth interviews with 8 Radio Professionals of Bangladesh Betar and community radio stations including Director General, Deputy Director General, Director (Programs), Regional Director of Bangladesh Betar, Dhaka and Sylhet and Station Managers of Community Radio Bikrampur, Munshigonj and

Polly Kantha, Moulvibazar. The interviewees were selected in cooperation in consultation with UNICEF team, Bangladesh Betar and initiators of community radios in Dhaka, Munshigonj, Sylhet and Moulvibazar. A guiding questionnaire/Checklist was developed and finalized in consultation with UNICEF team. A skilled senior reporter of a commercial radio was selected in a walk-in interview and oriented her the on the process and the guiding checklist. Interview with Radio Professionals at a glance
Name of the Radio Stations : Bangladesh Betar, Head Quarter, Shahbag, Dhaka; Bangladesh Betar, Agargaon, Dhaka;Bangladesh Betar, Sylhet; Community Radio Bikrampur, Munshigonj and Community Radio Polly Kantho (BRAC), Moulvibazar : 05 : 08 : Shahnaz Sharmeen, Sr. Reporter, ABC Radi, Dhaka : July 12-20, 2012 : Interview following approved guiding questionnaire and audio recording. ((** Find the detail in Annex – C)

No. of Radio Stations No. of Interviewers Interview conducted by Date

Findings from the exercise:
Bangladesh Betar is broadcasting countrywide programs 277 hours and 30 minutes daily through medium and short waves and in abroad 6 hours daily.

Community Radio is a new intervention and just started broadcasting. They have been broadcasting programs 4-6 hours daily, 28-42 hours weekly and 120-180 hours monthly.

Types of Program broadcasts at present:
1. News (National and local). 2. Entertainment 3. Development 4. Education 5. Health 6. Agriculture – Seasonal cultivation 7. Magazine programs on different issues and national events 8. Mother and Child care, women right 9. Program on child issues 10. Program on listeners’ request 11. Some programs are developed and broadcasted addressing the need of the audiences. (There is a SMS booth in each Bangladesh Betar stations covering areas).

12. Bangladesh Betar has been broadcasting programs on local languages through Dhaka, Khulna, Chittagong, Sylhet, Bandarbans, Rangamati, Rangpur and Rajshahi. 13. Agriculture related programs are always developed and broadcasted in local languages. 14. Bangladesh Betar has been broadcasting programs for abroad in Bengali, Nepalese, Urdu, Arabic, Hindi and in English too.

Community Radio (additional) I. II. Community radios have been broadcasting only development oriented radio programs. Beside this, CR broadcasted and celebrated special programs on national and international issues like World Radio Day, World Press Freedom Day, Science Fair including all national days and events. III. IV. They are broadcasting all programs using local languages. Women listeners’ reaction are major in community radios.


Bangladesh Betar has broadcast programs the ethnic groups weekly. Highest audiences’ reaction through SMS and letters come from males listeners. Listeners’ requests are mainly for entertaining programs, magazine program and phone in, Mother and Child Health care, women, agriculture, etc. Bangladesh Betar address the requests of the listeners by broadcasting their favorite programs, disseminate information and continue some serials and episodes.


Bangladesh Betar has been broadcasting programs focusing on household needs, upgrading mother and child importance at family level, how to make family happy, daily life, revisiting life, disaster and health.


They have broadcasted program on right to information too following the government policy so that people can be aware about their right. The programs are: vehicle and traffic situations, updating voter ID, Digital Bangladesh, Vision-21, Union information center, etc.


Bangladesh Betar has broadcasted programs on RTI (right to information) and have a plan to extend the duration and its contents in the future. During disaster Bangladesh Betar broadcasts programs round the days.

Program contents:
a. Bangladesh Betar has a separate cell for population, health and nutrition. The cell has been broadcasting programs in the prime air time on the above issues daily. Newly married couples, mothers and physicians have been participating in this radio programs. Mothers are participating through using mobile phones, sending SMS, interview and writing letters too. Their queries are mainly about on solving family level problems, divorce, dowry, child

marriage, legal right, women rights, mothers’ health and on social inclusions issues. At present community radios are broadcasting 30 minutes programs on the same. b. The contents are mother and child, antenatal and postnatal care, care for new born babies, mothers’ health care, care for pregnant mothers, child health, birth control and family planning, happy family, homestead affair, new vision and farmer’s wife and adolescent issues. c. d. Bangladesh Betar has broadcasts a total of 7 hours program on adolescent issues in a day. Mothers, physicians, university teachers, Govt. officials for women affairs, lawyers, athletes, journalists and women entrepreneurs have participated in the women related programs. e. The listeners’ have scope to share their opinions and ask questions directly, they usually want to know the solutions of their problems and about the service providers and posts. f. Bangladesh Betar has been broadcasting regular programs on child issues daily and weekly. The contents are like Kolokakoli, learners’ forum, time for youth, adolescent health, child health care, children’s forum, debate, quiz, drama on child and adolescents’ issues where Community radios have been broadcasting 1 hour and 30 minutes program on child issues daily. Sometimes guardians are coming with their children for participating in the child related programs. g. Children, guardians, teachers, experts, physicians, psychologists, actors and icons are usually taken part in the child related radio programs. h. Children have participated in the programs directly, in group, as moderator, representing schools and or children clubs. They have access to share their opinions, asking questions and they do it. The broadcasting authorities are trying to upgrade children related radio programs addressing their query.

Listeners Club


Bangladesh Betar have approximately 300 listed Radio (RLC) Listener in Clubs


Betar, Dhaka. A radio station without listeners is meaningless, invalid and worthless. Listeners are must. Listeners’ opinion

is the most important factor for running radio stations as well as programs. Hence group opinions are the most important and there RLCs’ opinion can focus an effective area. They can build awareness of the community properly. They believe that RLC can play a vital role for developing and upgrading radio programs. RLC are always a support to a radio station. So the radio programs must address the need of the audience. b. Community radio Polly Kantha has 769 RLCs in their catchment area and out of all 769 RLCs there were 12 clubs formed only for the children. Community Radio Bikrampur is the process to form RLC. Listeners can only justify the standard, quality and reliability of the radio programs. c. Radio listeners clubs are the main stakeholder of radio programs; they can assess their needs and broadcasting time and situation. d. Now radio listeners club has no guideline at present; so it’s difficult to form RLC without a RLC guideline. On the other hand, RLCs have no permanent space/office to sit or to share their views and opinions in group. They have very limited radio sets; so they share their sets with others. The main problem is absence of mechanism to bring them under one umbrella. e. During organizing a Radio Listeners Club, age, sex/gender, class, profession, language of the listeners should be considered with priority including acceptance in the society,

religious and emotive issues, political situation of the area, and local ritual and norms. But RLCs should have their own choice to run their forum by their own. f. The listeners are the main key to make the radio program popular and upgrading its quality up to the mark. Hence radio listener clubs is the only platform of the listeners. g. Priority is given to listeners’ feedback while developing radio programs. Radio broadcasting authority should ensure the right of the RLCs, their freedom of expression, opinions to make the RLCs’ more active. h. RLCs can play a vital role to reduce social problems, early marriage, dowry, trafficking, drug addictions, road accident, and population problem and can make the society aware. i. RLCs can also solve local level problem with their own initiatives. They can arrange and organize exhibition on different social and climate issues like ecological situation, culture, life style, etc. j. Government has high priority for organizing RLCs countrywide. In this connection, a guideline is developing in-consultation with the listeners and with the support of UNICEF Bangladesh. This initiative is a milestone for radio intervention. Radio programs should include the reflection of listeners opinion through producing and broadcasting programs on listeners’ request. Bangladesh Betar have special programs for the listeners namely “Setu Bondo”. k. Bangladesh Betar considers listeners’ opinions, suggestions and feedback while designing, developing and producing radio programs.


Radio stations have shortage of manpower, continuous power supply, limited budget, vehicles and skilled staff on these activities at present.


Need to develop own Policy of the radios, citizen charter lists, bi-laws, skill development training for staff on different issues for community radio stations.


The main target is to reach the program at the remotest rural areas as well as the urban people of the country. In this connection, need to extend FM broadcasting and Internet radio service, give more focus on listeners need, change the style and trend of presentation of radio news, authenticity of information and investigative reporting, etc.


RLCs can be tagged with the social developments activities.

Bangladesh Betar/ community radio management and operation Bangladesh Betar is following the policy and of Bangladesh government. Listeners are the main key factor for Community Radio. Community people are fully involved in planning, designing, developing and program production of community radios. The listeners have every right to participate in all activities of the CR stations and they are doing it. It is difficult to response and reply listeners regularly at present but CR station management takes immediate action in phone calls queries. Other comments and remarks of the radio professionals As Radio professional, radio Listeners’ Club is their utmost dream. It’s their cherish desire, hope that in future RLCs will be formed in each villages of Bangladesh and they will come to a common platform. Radio programs will be successful and become more popular with the support of RLCs.


the will for

radio be the

programs developed

gearter interest of the nation and the

communities will be more benefitted.

Bangladesh government has the policy to stengthen RLCs in the up

coming days.

Community radio has a plan to arrange competition, publish

a wall-magazine and sit with the listeners regularly.


Process and Findings from the consultation workshop BNNRC has organized 02 workshops one at Sylhet on July 16, 2012 and one at Dhaka on July 22, 2012 for consulting and gather opinions of the participants on the draft guideline.

A total of 109 participants from different govt. departments and organizations like Bangladesh Betar, Community radios, development experts, media practitioners, Representatives from national and international RLCs, civil society members, local elites, cultural activists, university teachers of journalism, media experts and GO-NGO officials were participated in the consultation workshops and gave their opinions, feedback and suggestions on the draft RLC guideline.

BNNRC has organized another experience sharing workshop at Dhaka with selected participants from International radio clubs like BBC, VOA, DW (Radio German), NHK (Radio Japan), CRI (China Radio International) Radio Clubs etc.

A total of 41 representatives from different international RLCs have participated in the consultation. The workshop was held on July 21, 2012. (Details is in Annex - D) Information on consultation workshops at a glance:
Sl . Participant Represents Participants in Consultation Workshop from Sylhet (mix group) 0 1. 0 2. 0 3. 0 4. 0 5. 0 NGO 08 10 08 26 INGO 01 01 02 04 Radio Listeners’ Club 18 08 27 53 Community Radio 0 05 0 05 Commercial Radio 0 03 01 04 Bangladesh Betar 06 Dhaka (mix group) 07 Dhaka (Int. RLC) 01 14 Total Remarks

6. 0 7. 0 8. 0 9. 1 0. 1 1. 1 2. 1 3. Total 58 51 41 150 Researcher 0 01 0 01 Government Officials 02 04 0 06 Satellite Television 04 01 0 05 Media Experts 0 05 02 07 Media Practitioners 05 04 0 09 University Teacher 02 02 0 04 CSO 12 0 0 12

The findings are as follows:
p. Identified as a

commendable initiative to develop a Guideline for the listeners. This guideline would help to draw all the listeners clubs scattered

throughout the country into one platform,

develop their capacity and make easier to

engage them in mainstreaming development process. q. Suggest for continuous listeners' survey and an impact assessment on the overall impact of radio listening on social life. r. Expect to take the initiative from Bangladesh Betar to organize Annual Radio Summitwhere all types of Radio representatives and listeners' group representatives would join and discuss on development issues and prepare a plan for the future.


Radio Listeners' Club (RLC) guideline is aimed to popularize radio within the wider community. This initiative also supplements to the initiative of Ministry of Information of GOB.


An effective Radio Listeners' Club Guideline would connect larger listeners' group with Radio. The clubs would be the Resource Center and opportunities would be created for the communities to discuss and take steps on local development issues.

On Draft Guideline The comments, suggestions and feedback on the draft RLC guideline are as follows: 1. Language of the guideline should be in Bengali and in simple and lucid word. 2. In 2nd paragraph of ‘Introduction’ need to adapt some lines on about International Radio Listeners Clubs like VOA, IRIB, VOR, RSA, RVA, China International Listeners Club. [Mention: above 1000 listeners club of other International Clubs in the country.] 3. The word “Club” may be replaced by words like “Srota Sangha”. 4. Use the word "Listeners", instead of "Community", use words like "joint efforts". 5. Include/mention the name of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose as the inventor of Radio in the RLC guideline. 6. Include some lines on Radio broadcasting during 2nd world war. 7. Include the present context and broadcasting mechanism like-DRM, Internet, Podcast, etc. 8. Revise the Goal & Objective part of the Draft Guideline 9. Mention clearly on the involvement of adolescents- Engagement of school-going children 10. Mention clearly the role of listeners clubs: Monitoring of the broadcast programs, give feedback and suggest improvement-strengthen demand side.

11. The function

main of

Listeners’ Club sending opinions, criticism, feedback and reports regularly the stations. to radio is

12. Monitoring Mechanism: create focal person at upazilla, district and divisional levels. 13. Monitoring mechanism need to be clear, responsibility to be specified and Bangladesh Betar may take a leading role to promote the process. 14. Each of the Radio Listeners Clubs should have their own bi-laws. The clubs should be formed and function in a democratic way (through election).There can be tier like Districtlevel Listeners club and under this Upazila-based listeners’ club, etc. An area-based apex body may also be formed taking leaders from the clubs of different tiers. 15. An operational mechanism, organogram, election/selection process of the club leadership should be specified. Facilitate to grow as institution. 16. Provision should be included in the guideline to link the clubs with the local administration and some dialogues/opinion sharing meetings need to be taken place at different tiers of administration on importance and role of radio listeners clubs. 17. Other existing groups in the community like -women groups (organized by women affairs dept. of GOB), Rovers Scouts Groups (50 current rover scout groups in Sylhet) and Community Learning Groups (organized by NGOs) can take role of Radio Listeners group to contribute in local community development. 18. More engagement of the local administration needed for club activities. 19. An area-based list of Radio Listeners Club may be prepared. These clubs may set areabased plan and target of development work and use Bangladesh Betar and community radio in this process. 20. Need to prepare a Central Database on RLCs. For preparing such a plan, all the radio listeners club can meet once in a year and organize an Annual Planning Conference on own contribution. As outputs, there can be produced 12 Action Plans for 12 months! 21. Analysis and Review of RLCs’ activities and programs support centres should be established at divisional level. 22. Bangladesh Betar can take a leading role in coordination, networking of the listeners clubs and facilitate to grow them on institutional basis. There should be a clear mechanism for networking and linkage within the clubs. 23. Bangladesh Betar can develop a Terms of Reference in consultation with the listeners. 24. Include mechanism of coordination among all the clubs-create a common platform for all the clubs, Share the list of clubs. Create Face book group. 25. Sustainability mechanisms of RLCs need to be incorporated in the guideline. Funding may disrupt the voluntary spirit of club activities! Encouragement of organizations like UNICEF, BNNRC may be encouraged for the growth and free functioning of the clubs. 26. Social Mobilization campaign in radio listening habits should be introduced by the listeners’ clubs. This will increase the numbers of listeners and make scopes to grow/form new listeners clubs in and around the broadcasting area. Bangladesh Betar, Regional office may take leading role in facilitating and nursing the process.

27. Listeners Club should have a role in popularizing the radio listening by different programsorganize knowledge sharing workshop on regular basis among the clubs. 28. Arrange publication and broadcasting of club activities in local newspapers, bulletin and media. 29. Take integrated step to regularly publish the Bulletin on Listeners’ Club. 30. Encourage formation of clubs by school based students. 31. Encourage increase of women listeners. 32. Radio Program and News should be more attractive, audience choice needs to be regularly monitored-Listeners club can help in this process. 33. The Listeners should be involved in program production and broadcasting. Some radios have broadcasted programs based on listeners' participation, which needs to be reviewed and revised. 34. The capacity of the Listeners club members in program production may be improved by providing training to them. The listeners should get orientation in a way that they will be sensitized and explore innovative issues and contents to produce development-oriented programs. (For example: laws related to Overseas/Immigration issues). 35. Capacity building on leadership development, communication skill, radio program production need to be introduced for the club members. 36. List the clubs, acknowledge the clubs by radio authority. 37. Mention provision of updating of the guideline. 38. Modify in a way that this guideline should not be applicable to only community radios, should be general guideline for all radio listeners. 39. The overall guideline should be more generalized (with common principles applicable for all types of radios) 40. Proposed that the guideline should be kept on Face book for mass users’ opinion. Few other points 1. Listeners Club can be the effective soldiers of community development. Listeners must have their responsibility to their society. 2. They can take it as a movement and plan for how effectively they can use radio in social transformation, in fulfilling the Vision-2021 of the govt. 3. Focus more on disadvantaged/un-served community-how to ensure services! 4. Radio Listeners Clubs can be the powerful forum in disseminating information. More young people can be involved in clubs. Efforts should be made to activate the grassroots community in radio listening practice. 5. Community Television may be another option; the call for a community television may be started from Sylhet. Internet radio and campus radio –could be other options as useful and potential communication media.

6. Some of the FM Radios are using distorted language in the name of “Bangla”-there should be caution in language use. 7. Need to upgrade radio programs and need to give more focus on community motivation, education, MCH care, population control, etc. 8. Need to extend time of FM broadcasting so that listeners can enjoy radio programs using mobile set. 9. Need to ensure freedom of expression and free flow of information to make the broadcasting of radio news and programs of Bangladesh Betar more attractive and useful.

10. To boost up the listening habits in disadvantaged area, new radio sets can be distributed. 11. Include Exchange

Program among the RLCs’ home and abroad. 12. Include contents

like-Primary Health Care, MCH Care, Family Planning, HIV/AIDS. 13. Form new listeners clubs by new listeners following the RLCs’ guideline. 14. Broadcast regional and international news with equal importance on entertaining programs. 15. Provide information on historical important place. 16. Allocate more space and time on children related programs. 17. Broadcast programs on poets and writers of the locality. 18. Produce and broadcast programs on adaptation measures by the community against Climate Change. 19. Bangladesh Betar may introduce awarding to the best club. 20. Exchange and sharing mechanism should be developed within the RLCs. 21. Monitoring support from International Radio Stations should be ensured. 22. Specify regional/community initiative, encourage listeners creative initiatives for strengthening RLCs’ capacity. 23. Potentials/development scopes should be highlighted/encouraged

The findings have been incorporated in the guideline as considered useful and pertinent to the draft guidelines. Since the guideline is a living document and the technology is flourishing day by day it needs to adapt all those in coming days and therefore, the guidelines has to be kept open to all kinds of modifications.

5. Recommendations and conclusions Recommendations

The recommendations have been worked out based on the key findings of the workshops, FGDs and KIIs carried out for the present exercise. The followings are the main recommendations:
1. RLC guideline is necessary for the clubs. 2. It should be a living document where it needs to be revised from time to time based on the development in the technical and broadcasting sector 3. The guideline should be in simple and lucid langue and it should be users’ friendly and language should be the Bangla 4. RLCs should be organized and networked at the national level and a database of RLCs should be there. 5. Members of RLCs should be replaced from time to time as some will leave the club for obvious reasons 6. A monitoring system should be in place and a constant communication support from the concerned organizations including Bangladesh Betar and UNICEF need to be there 7. A code of conduct and bi-laws need to be there for the clubs which would formalize the operational system of the clubs. Conclusions To recapitulate the main findings, the following may be mentioned: 1. The study has revealed a needs for having a guidelines for RLCs 2. It has also revealed a genuine enthusiasm among the listeners, listeners clubs, women and children, adolescents and all other professionals. 3. Stakeholders’ involvement with the broadcasting is necessary from the participatory principle of development of the radio broadcasting system and to make it a need-based communication media.

4. The guideline has potential to help the formation of RLCs and that too as per people’s needs. 5. With the use of this guideline, the listeners will be organized countrywide and they would be able to sit together to critically assess the strength and weakness of the present broadcasting.