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Building the capacity of community media in Kenya through development and sharing of local content

Year when project approved: 
Approved budget: 
US$22 550.00

Radio is acknowledged as the most widespread electronic communication medium in the world and the most convenient and affordable means of reaching the world’s populace, particularly in very remote areas. Recent surveys on Audience-Scape (2010) carried out by InterMedia show that radio is an indispensible tool in Kenya for delivering development information. Nearly all Kenyans are radio listeners, and nearly all of these listeners said they use this medium as a regular source of news and information: 89 percent of Kenyan adults get news and information from the radio on at least a weekly basis. The news and information provided by radio were also deemed trustworthy by more than 95 percent of all respondents.
Community Radios in particular, empower the local communities through dissemination  and exchange of development programmes. They put the tools of communication into the hands of the poorest, underprivileged and most vulnerable communities and enable them to express their views, be entertained, as well as engage in dialogue and development. Debates are inclusive of common issues affecting national unity, like tribalism, nepotism, racial discrimination, corruption and in demand for good governance. During the 2007 post-election crisis, community radios were hailed for their good services towards national cohesion, as documented by a mini-study by the BBC World Service Trust in 2008 which concluded that whereas some mainstream commercial public media played a partisan during the entire election process, community radio stations were said to have played a much more positive role than their better financed commercial rivals” (BBC World Service Trust, 2008:7).
However, community radio stations have continued to face vast challenges including non-availability of capacity to source, develop and package local content. It is within this framework that Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET), which represents all community media groups nationwide, seeks support to organize a five-day intensive training programme and an on-location follow-up training process to facilitate the development of skills and capacities of five community media groups under KCOMNET through edutainment focusing on amongst other issues of development, governance, implementation of the new constitution, social justice and human rights, gender and national cohesion. Each group will represent a selected region. Finally the developed content in the form of radio programmes will be produced, shared among community radio stations and also disseminated through the new digital and social media platforms.

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Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET)
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The Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET) was formed during a workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa on Community Media held in Nairobi in November 1995. Registered in 2002 as an association under the Society Act, KCOMNET has grown to become a fully fledged Membership network of community media in Kenya with an interest in development communications and community communication/media groups, committed to the promotion of community media activities. Today the network boasts some 17 fully-fledged community radio stations following concerted advocacy efforts by the network. Since its formation KCOMNET has engaged in intensive training and capacity building as well as lobbying for an overall regulatory framework for broadcasting with special emphasis on community broadcasting. Its role continues to be that of coordination, defence and support in aspects such as training, content development, fundraising and advocacy for community communication groups. It has partnered with various organisation in carrying out its mandate, notably UNESCO, BBC World Trust, Commonwealth of learning (COL) among others.

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(+254) 722 474 221
Location and contacts
Responsible UNESCO Regional advisers: 

Lydia Gachungi-Kiniti (l.gachungi@unesco.org)

UNESCO Field Office:

Project contacts: 

Njuki Githethwa, KCOMNET Coordinator (njukig@yahoo.com / info@kcomnet.or.ke)

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