Radio Chautari started broadcasting in Nepal from April 2009. It is an initiative of the UN Country Team (UNCT) to enhance the efforts of the United Nations in Nepal to communicate with the general Nepali population - particularly in rural communities - about a wide range of issues related to the peace process. This is considered particularly important during this fragile period of transition as the Constituent Assembly drafts a new constitution, and the state grapples with implementing the CPA - and seeks to transform itself into a more inclusive and just society. Given the extent of past exclusion, providing reliable information, particularly to those from traditionally-marginalised communities and the information poor, is considered vital for helping build understanding and trust - and promoting participation - in the still-unfolding process. Radio is, by far, the most effective means of communication in a country like Nepal with rugged terrain and high illiteracy rates.
Broadcasts: Radio Chautari broadcasts a weekly radio programme through the national network, Kantipur FM, and on 25 local FM stations through the Ujyaalo 90 Network. The programmes are broadcast once a week during primetime on each network – on Saturdays at 7.30 am through the Ujyaalo Network and on Wednesdays at 7.30 am on Kantipur FM. Through internal surveys, Ujyaalo estimates the listenership of the 25 FM stations at about 18 million. Of the total FM stations, three broadcast in the mountains, 15 in the hilly regions, and 10 in the Terai (some FM stations broadcast across two regions). With many parts of the Terai still wrecked by the conflict, reaching the inhabitants – with messages related to the peace process - is seen as particularly important. The programmes are also posted on the UN Information Centre’s website.
Radio Chautari also broadcasts two public service announcements (one-minute duration each) daily on Kantipur FM and on 53 stations of the Ujyaalo network. These PSAs also deal with key peace and development issues and are another tool for the UNCT to disseminate key messages. These are aired on super prime-time, immediately before or after the news on these stations.
Languages: To reach as diverse population as possible, the programme and PSAs are broadcast in Nepali and five other languages that serve some of the largest ethnic populations in the country. Four (Tharu, Maithili, Bhojpuri and Awadhi) are in the Terai, while the fifth – Tamang - is the widely-spoken language of a middle hill group that was severely affected by the conflict. These local language programmes are played once a week mainly through the Ujyaalo network (all languages); Kantipur also broadcasts the programme in Maithili.
Radio Chautari has covered issues related to peace process and socio-economic transformation. Click here to download Radio Chautari Flyer