Indian CR Stations take first steps towards peer reviews

A three day workshop on Peer Review for Community Radio practitioners concluded at New Delhi today. The workshop focussed on Self Assessment and the need for Community Radio Stations to assess their stations by themselves and follow this with similar reviews by peers among themselves. The sessions were moderated and presented by Community Radio experts and practitioners.

The self assessment initiative addresses a long-standing need for a regulatory system within the Community Radio Movement in the country. With the availability of a toolkit and the development of a comprehensive guide, the Community Radio Stations can now carry out assessments to be able to evaluate and monitor their station’s functioning and activities.

The three tools suggested at the workshop were the Self Assessment Toolkit developed by Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia, the Community Radio Self Assessment Guide introduced by Ideosync Media Combine and the Community Radio Continuous Improvement Toolkit by UNESCO Chair on Community Media (India).

Ms Jayalakshmi Chittoor presented her views and shared the Self Assessment Toolkit. Developed as a set of questions under the various operational aspects of a Community Radio Station, the toolkit is meant to enable. It says, “regular self assessment exercises give the CRS an opportunity to plan training and other capacity building tracks in their upcoming years work plans”.

Being the first such Peer Review workshop to take place in the Community Radio sector, the three-day event at New Delhi also initiated the process of visiting stations to be able to identify the area for improvement for the visiting Community Radio Station and the Community Radio station being visited.

According to Mr Naguveer Prakash from Kalanjiam Samuga Vanoli “the whole process will help one understand their station’s progress so far and the complimentary visit between stations will help to achieve higher targets”.

The general consensus was that Community Radio Stations should develop their own self assessment guides keeping in view some basic elements of program participation, sustainability etc.

Why is the self assessment needed and how should it be undertaken were some of the questions that were answered by experts who emphasised on the idea of Community Radio Stations discussing and having their own responses to the guide.