Community Radio

Posted on: August 4th, 2016

Total Fund: Nu. 5.3m

Duration: Jan-2015 – June 2016

Funded by: Feb 2015-Apr 2016

Executing Agency: Ministry of Information and Communications

Sites: Dechen Pelri, Sarpang & Lotokuchu, Samtse

Two Community Radios (CRs) have been installed in Dechenpelri( Sarpang)and Lotokuchu(Samtse). These are the first of its kind in the country. The Ministry of Information and Communications in their process of piloting community radios requested Tarayana to be one of the implementing partners for the installation of two community radios mentioned above. Funding was secured from the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) by MoIC and technical input provided by Nomad, India. Both the radios have been installed and trial runs being carried out enthusiastically by the two respective communities. The formal inauguration is yet to take place.

The Foundation’s aim is to ensure that the perspectives of the people whose lives are most affected by development (mainly the poor and marginalized) are included within decision-making. Accurate information is nearly as important as clean water to the health of a community. Radio is the most accessible, participatory and effective medium to reach people in the developing world, giving voice to people to air and solve their own problems. Because radio is a personal medium that speaks local language, it also presents information about health problems and other community issues. Effective community radio programming helps to stimulate community discussion about attitudes and belief.

The Foundation will work towards achieving the program objectives by;

  1. Helping the communities to have their stories and views heard by other stakeholders in development
  2. Facilitating CSOs, government officials, etc to promote, train, discuss and talk about developmental programs within the communities
  3. Helping in promoting dialogue, debate and change. This will foster sustainable and equitable development
  4. Enabling the Community Radio to be the main sources to disseminate information about developmental issues, disaster etc.
  5. Helping promote education, health, and other livelihood program
  6. Creating a communication pathway between CSO’s and the local government
  7. Helping the communities hold developmental workers and the government accountable.
  8. Enabling community members discuss program that are ongoing in their communities and include the achievements and challenges and areas that still need to be addressed


  1. The Foundation has successfully installed two community radio stations in Sarpang and Samtse Dzongkhag respectively. “Edi Community Radio Station” at Dechen Pelri Village under Sarpang Dzongkhag and “Lhop Community Radio Station  at Samtse Dzongkhag.
  2. Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA) carried out the assessment of the CR and issued the radio license. The frequencies of CR are 91.1 Mhz. which needs to be renewed annually.
  3. The two community radios of Samtse and Sarpang were formally inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck in March 2016, and the two CR are now operational and broadcasting.
  4. A radio committee has been formed among different sectors like schools, community forest, Self Help Groups and gewog so that constant vigilant monitoring of the program and the topics is carried out.
  5. The air time for the Edi Community Radio  is two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. For Lhop CR, one hour in the morning and two hours in the evening. As the CR operators are all volunteers they have their regular field works to carry out therefore, the timing in the morning is limited for Lhop CR to one hour. The Foundation will carry out a listener ship assessment to improve the program content and airing time during the second phase. Sustainable measures are being explored to keep the radio up and running for all times to come.
  6. Phillips company radios were procured from Kolkata, India to be distributed to all the listeners on a subsidized rate to make radio accessible to all. The consignment has been received and dispatched to the two sites.
  7. Monitoring visits have been carried out by the Ministry of Information & Communications ( MoIC). A team from Nepal, AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters) also carried out an assessments of the Community Radio stations and it’s function in the country. The reports of this assessment for each CRs will be shared with the Foundation along with recommendations.

Planned activities

  1. The Foundation will work on improving some of program and technical components as per the assessment report submitted by AMARC.
  2. A preliminary assessment for the listener ship will be carried out to improve the reach and impact of the CRs.
  3. An annual experience sharing platform will be hosted by Tarayana Foundation for the other IPs to identify problems and find solutions,locally.