Community Participation and Communication Support Programme - Community Radio

What is the project about?

 The Community Radio stations are staffed by volunteers who create, edit and broadcast localized radio programmes. Volunteers at Lakonepheng Community Radio Station, Saravane Province. Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/ Chelsey Parish

Large parts of the Lao population, particularly in remote areas, have poor access to information, communication systems and public services. Access to information that is relevant to the community is vital to help people make informed decisions about their lives. Local information about markets, services, job opportunities and development issues, such as reproductive health, is very often lacking.

The Community Participation and Community Support Programme is working to address this problem through establishing and supporting eight community radio stations across Lao PDR and by creating mechanisms and infrastructure that will support other community radio stations sustainably into the future. 

The radio stations allow the Lao people, including often marginalised groups like women and ethnic minorities, to make informed decisions, express their views, share knowledge and validate their cultures and traditions. 

What have we accomplished so far?

Through the scaling‐up of community media in remote, poor and marginalised communities, local news and educational programmes are now being aired through the voices of local community radio volunteers in five provinces from eight community radio stations. These eight stations are broadcasting in eight different ethnic languages and reaching more than 200,000 people across Xiengkhuang, Sekong and Oudomxai provinces.

  • Reached an estimated 72,249 people (100 per cent of the population) in Houn District and more than 38,417 people (79 per cent) in Namor District, 29,000 people (85 per cent) in Khoun District and more than 35,000 people in Thateng District (100 per cent) have access to the community radio station frequency.  
  • Empowered communities to increase their knowledge and access better quality of life.
  • Given a voice to marginalised groups through enabling communities to access and create localised, quality information in a community-orientated and locally appealing format. 
  • Developed capacity to promote local information sharing. This has included building the competency of Community Radio Volunteers and staff to develop community-based radio programme content, technical knoweledge, financial management and day-to-day operational management skills. 
  • Established successful working relationships with many local organisations and community radio stations are now independently building partnerships with community leaders and private businesses.
  • Develop the capacity of community media leaders, in particular women and ethnic people, and encouraged them to participate in development policy debates.
  • Two new Community Radio Stations were launched in Saravane Province (Lakhonepheng District) and Saiyabouli Province (Khop District) in 2016.

Who finances it?

2015 Donors  
Oxfam USD 764,774 
United Nations Development Programme USD 1,100,000
Total Budget USD 1,864,774

From Ripples to Waves: Scaling Up Community Radio in Lao PDR

The UNDP believes strong and effective media is at the heart of equitable development. Through volunteer-run Community Radio, the unique voices of Laos marginalised and poorest communities are beginning to be heard. The UNDP in Lao PDR has supported community radio for development since 2006. "From Ripples to Waves: Scaling Up Community Radio in Lao PDR" documents the impact of localised, grass-roots media on rural development in Laos.

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Lao PDR 
Go to UNDP Global