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The Role of Community Radio in Establishing Good Governance

Through Right to Information in Bangladesh

By AHM Bazlur Rahman -S21BR

Chief Executive Officer
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication
ceo@bnnrc.net

As there is no appropriate power and opportunity to complain for marginalized
population in the centered democratic society, one kind of opportunists, politicians and
local administration take the chance to deprive them of their legal rights.

These marginalized rural and poor people may get an opportunity to discuss regarding
these actual rights through the programs of Community Radio. Side by side, these sort of
radio plays a role of mirror in the society and accelerates pro people endeavor of local
administration and the politicians and arouses their responsibilities to the society.

Community Radio can play the role regarding the discussion program with community
members and the personnel of different administrations reviewing the problems of
community people and indicating the things to be done.

The discussion regarding local government or council or live telecast of meetings and
conferences are the excellent strategies of Community Radio. In primitive society the
total locality or society had been regulated by only a couple of families and the general
people would hesitate to say anything. Community Radio can assist in opening the voice
of the general people. In some cases, the influential personalities do not have any way
without tolerating these broadcast discussions.

Good Governance is such a system which is practiced in economics, politics, and through
the use of social resources. And it is such a work process in state management that civil
society can express the opinion regarding the issues of concerning interest, legal rights,
and differences of opinion and can participate in every issue of state.
That means there exists less opportunity of effective participation of people in the
existing governing system but in good governance system, there exists manifold
opportunities for the participation of people.

Good Governance can be assorted into three stages in general .They are:

A) Good Political Governance
B) Good Social Governance, and
C) Good Economic Governance

(A) Good political Governance:
In good political governance, there exists decentralization of power and
administrative authority and transparency; people’s participation and accountability
exist in every stage of governance. Besides, establishment of justice and creating
speedy trial exist in the boundary of good political governance.

(B) Good Social Governance: In good social governance there exists building strong
civil society, establishing human rights, equality of both male and female,
exchanging information especially to ensure that in Urban and Rural and make it
easier, to encourage the businessmen to spend a little portion of their income in social
welfare.

(C) Good Economic Governance: In good economic governance there exists some
points such as, to enhance the amount of budget necessarily regarding social
development; to reform tax management, to make the information available regarding
Credit and government services and to ensure the access of poor community in these
kind of services; to take appropriate decisions by reviewing the impacts of trade
policy of multinational companies and world trade upon the poor community people.

Amongst all the problems incessantly faced by the people of Bangladesh, poverty is one
of the most. Moreover, there exists ecological imbalance, economic disparity, imbalance
modernization in social infrastructure and the created problems by it, individual
ownership, political unrest, inequality, encroachment of government resources/ assets,
poor health services, insufficient income, violation of human rights and violence against
women etc.

Though there are a plenty of sugar coated speeches in the manifestoes of political parties
for confronting these problems; but in real sphere, it is not seen to make these speeches
fruitful. Subsequently, it can be said in a word that, in the activities of political parties,
poverty alleviation and good governance was ignored at almost all times.

In that case, CR can play a role in building necessary communication structure for
making people’s participation possible in development activities/ programs. Needless to
say about the development strategy that CR can put marks of success in implementing
them. CR can achieve a magical success in effective partnership development and
government, non governmental industrial and trade sector and market management.
Even, in establishing public-private partnership and societal corporatism of industrial
institution, CR can play the role of arbitrator.

How Community Radio can work in ensuring Good Governance

First, the first and foremost work of Community Radio is to give importance in keeping
democratic process always advanced by keeping up its position impartial. Besides this,
CR also can work as a catalyst with the government, opposition party, administration,
businessmen, and civil society leaders for keeping democratic process uninterrupted, and
as an aftermath, both sides become positively influenced.

To create a pressure from community and civil representatives through dialogues, talk
shows, discussion programs and magazine programs so as to state, market and society
can always play the pro people role. As a matter of fact, ensuring good governance is not
possible if state, market and society don’t work collaboratively.

Which work Community radio can perform specifically in good governance and
Development.

In developing Good Political Governance

- To enhance participation of people and civil society members for
accelerating the work of local government and broadcast program relating
to alternative opinion.

- To create awareness in rural community regarding things to be done in
drawing up local government’s budget and lengthy planning.

- To scrutinize the budget of local government and ensure transparency and
accountability and to offer information regarding things to be done by the
members of civil society organizations in enhancing participation of
common people.

- To arrange question- answer program among local parliament member and
local people through Community Radio.

- To identify service rendering sections of government and broadcast
regularly regarding all information of services (what services, for whom
the services are, price of service etc.) in the light of citizen charter
published by them.

- To make the citizens aware in responsibilities regarding state, market and
society by means of running citizen education program.
- To broadcast program regularly regarding how the citizens and the elected
representatives of local government will play more responsible role in the
society.

- To notify people regularly regarding the procedures of legislature,
executive and judiciary; in this sphere, to inform the community people
regarding the things to be done.
- To broadcast program how the community people can get good effect in
achieving access of family and village court.

- To bring the local administration aside from colonial gesture and attitude
and broadcast awareness raising program for keeping the community
people in the role of moderator.

In developing Good Social Governance

- To broadcast program relating to building strong civil society at rural
level.

- To broadcast regular program on the situation of human rights in the
locality.

- To broadcast issue based program and help people participate in that
program so that the community people can be able to involve themselves
in development program by exchanging information.

- To encourage the business personnel so as to they are able to spend a little
portion of their profit in social service. And, to receive opinion from
community people regarding where this (spending the profit)
will be more effective.

- To do active participatory program planning, making and broadcast
regarding different problems, potential and remedy of minor community
and disabled people.

In developing Good Economic Governance

- To broadcast talk show/ conversation program at community level about
increasing budget in social development sector after analyzing the budget.

- To broadcast development related program by means of interaction of both the
local government and community people so that the citizens can pay tax regularly
and the local government can carry out its responsibility.
- To broadcast analytical program so that the poor people can avail themselves of
loan facility and they may not fall into trap in getting loan; to collect best
applications/exercises from home and abroad for making the micro credit pro-
people and broadcast them continuously.

- To broadcast informative programs so that the poor people can establish rights in
their land as per governmental policy.

Community Radio can accelerate its victorious mission of good governance strategically
by means of ensuring local community participation. Community Radio can ensure rural
community participation in establishing good governance through policy making
discussions with government, existing marketing system, and civil society leaders.

For more info: ceo@bnnrc.net www.bnnrc.net