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2010 Scriptwriting Competition is starting

Liliane and I are ready to evaluate the entries for the 2010 Scriptwriting Competition organized by Farm Radio International. This year the topic is “Using radio to share stories about healthy communities“: 68 scripts have been selected to take part to the first round of the competition.

Check the list of participants.


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AMARC 10 opens today

Greetings to all the participants to AMARC 10, the world Conference of AMARC that is opening today in La Plata, Argentina. I’m really willing to know more about what’s going on there.

The draft Agenda and the Concept of the Conference.


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Onda Rural is online

Onda Rural, the alliance on rural radio in Latin America between FAO, ALER and AMARC is online.

We are very proud of that. It is the re-edition of a long standing collaboration among the three organizations which lasts from 2004.

We foresee interesting spaces of collaboration in the area in the field of radio, disaster risk management and communication for development.

Follow the account of Onda Rural on twitter.


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Radio is for everyone

Last week Mr John Cheburet was in Rome with us. It was a very nice experience and I’m sure everyone involved in this experiment got a benefit from it.
jc in rome005As you probably remember, John is the winner of the FRI scriptwriting competition on innovation in smallholder agriculture. His script was a story about how Sawdust prolongs the storage life of potatoes. John is a journalist from Kenya and works for The organic farmer. John usually spends his time in contact with farmers around Kenya, collecting ideas and stories.

jc in rome035This time the approach was a bit different. John spent three days meeting with people in Rome, partly at FAO and partly at IFAD. All of them dealing with agriculture but from very different angles. Very different, one from the other: we meet people dealing with Animal health and rinderpest and those working for CountryStat, people dealing with Plant production and potato (the subject of John’s winning script), gender issues, bees pollination and FAO-EU Food facility. And they were many..

jc in rome022The variety of interests was enormous as John interviewed more than 15 people in just one morning and two afternoons. More than 10 hours of sound, as he calls it, were recorded using a fast and simple voice recorder.

The last morning I asked him the miracle: “John” I said, “this afternoon we are going to call everyone back and we need to give a sample of what radio can do for them. We need to show also what contribution they can give to radio. Can you put together a clip to give a perception of what we have been doing the last two days? Some minutes of recording with the essence of what you and these people said during 11 different meetings.”

John just did it.

jc in rome027Wednesday afternoon we were again in the meeting room to learn how radio and development projects can go together. To give the taste of the power of communication. The power of radio, in the days of the Internet. So simple, so powerful.

And John had a great success. Every participant was extremely fascinated by what he/she saw and heard. Now you can hear it and see it, just as the participants did few days ago!

I think it was a very interesting experiment and would like to have chances to repeat it again, soon.

In conclusion, and above everything else, a very special thanks to John for his energy and enthusiasm.

John Cheburet‘s blog.


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AMARC Asia Pacific Conference – Conclusions

AMARC Asia Pacific Regional Conference is now closed.

After the interventions during Day 3 dedicated to fundamental issues like “Gender equality and empowerment through Community radio” and radio to give voices to diversity, AMARC AP and partner organizations met in the afternoon to discuss about the future and in particular the preparation for AMARC 10, the next AMARC World Conference that will take place in La Plata in Argentina, next November 2010.

It was an interesting meeting with a important round of table composed by FAO, UNICEF India and Bangladesh, UNDP, UNCRD, and Open Society to discuss how to proceed, how to bring relevant proposals to the World Conference, how to work for a smoother implementation of Community Radio in Asia Pacific in the next future.

Now it is time for AMARC AP, after the initial quadrennium dedicated to consolidate the movement in the region, to set up activities in support of the main topics of international development such as food security, climate change, national legislation, gender issues, human rights, knowledge management and capacity building.

Last day was dedicated to the election of the new Board that will be in charge for the next four years:

  • Ashish Sen from India was confirmed President of AMARC Asia Pacific,
  • Bianca Miglioretto from Philippines will be again Coordinator for WIN – Women’s International Network, and
  • Shane Elson, from Australia as Treasurer,
  • Maica Lagman, Philippines as deputy president,
  • Raghu Mainali, Nepal as vice-president for South Asia, and
  • Imam Prakoso, Indonesia as vice-president for South East Asia.

Some members of the new Regional Board

The board has now to front the occasion to follow the growth of the CRs movement in the region, provide support to those countries that still do not have a national legislation or have some problems (like Bangladesh, Thailand, India) and support the spreading of better and more relevant information in the region.

As final act of the Conference, the Assembly adopted the Bangalore Declaration.

Check the list of participants and the documentation on the Conference.


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AMARC Asia Pacific 2nd Regional Conference Begins

Very positive impressions after Day one of the AMARC Asia Pacific 2nd Regional Conference that has just started this morning in Bangalore, India.

After the morning Plenary sessions dedicated to the topics of main interest for the members as “Airwaves for Sustainability and Justice” and “Radio friendly legislation in Asia Pacific“, the afternoon was divided into several workshops.

I joined the one about the idea of creating a regional news agency to serve AMARC members but not only. During the discussion, the need of stronger networking among members was clearly stated by the majority of the participants: knowledge sharing is a main issue also in this context.

I think we, at FAO, have the knowledge to provide a major support both on the idea of setting up the news agency and on the side of increasing networking activities.


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2nd AMARC Asia Pacific Conference

Do you remember the AMARC Pan African Conference I took part last April, in Abidjan? Good! I’m almost ready to go to Bangalore to take part to the 2nd AMARC Asia Pacific Conference!

Reports will be available soon in this blog as well as on my twitter account.

This is a very important occasion to meet for the first time with such a large group of Asian radio broadcasters who are actually expanding and developing many activities in the field of rural and community radio.