The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Communication and Information sector’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) project ‘Building Bridges: Communication for Empowerment in Nepal’ established two community multimedia centres (CMCs) at the community radio stations Radio Kapilabastu and Radio Today.  Building Bridges, now concluded in Nepal, aimed at creating communication, information sharing, and expertise networks among district-based community learning centres (CLCs) and CMCs.

From the article on this programme: "The CMCs aim to develop the communication and learning capacities of certain marginalized communities (such as Janajatis, Dalits, Muslims and women) in selected districts of Nepal, and increase their access to community media, thus allowing them to express themselves and participate in democratic processes more effectively.

The project was implemented in three phases - (a) setting up the CMCs; (b) conducting six capacity building workshops; and (c) conducting three networking meetings. The UNESCO Office in Kathmandu, the Community Radio Support Centre (CRSC), the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NFEJ), and experts from the two radio stations jointly addressed the CMCs’ technical and infrastructural requirements....

Three capacity building training workshops were then conducted at each of the centres training approximately 90 participants. These included sessions to develop the communication capacity of radio program producers, journalists and social workers from disadvantaged communities; and a more technical ICT training session that introduced participants to computer skills and the use of the Internet.

In the project’s third and final phase, three networking meetings were held to share information about the operation and benefits of CMCs with members of local communities, and to share experiences and best practices among the CMC personnel themselves.

[As a result of the project,] members of local communities and the [marginalised] communities in particular have begun to use desktop and Internet services from the CMCs.

The Radio Kapilabastu CMC conducts computer training classes for community members, teaching them to use basic application packages. Both CMCs have begun to collect books and other information to create real and virtual libraries.

[Capacity building workshops have improved the quality of] the radio programs, news and personnel output at the two community radio stations....

However, the project’s most significant outcome is perhaps the strong sense of ownership that local communities and stakeholders have felt towards the two CMCs." 

CMCs Nepal

ICT in Education News [PDF], February 2012, accessed May 8 2012. Image credit: © UNESCO