An international conference in Pakistan has heard HCR explain how community-centred radio programming can help support sustainable development. International scientists gathered to report on sustainable crop technology at the “Scientists for Sustainability” forum in Islamabad, which was organized by the Lok Sanjh Foundation (LSF) and the Rural Business Development Center.
HCR Pakistan Director, Hazeen Latif, was invited to deliver a paper about HCR’s experience of how social change can occur when communities, radio stations and service providers collaborate in the making of messages for education and information at the local level. Hazeen made the point that radio programming methods need to respond to changes in the way listeners listen to radio. Recent research in Pakistan shows that around 90% of listeners in urban and rural areas use a mobile phone to listen to radio. Around 10% used a pocket radio.
After the audience responded with loud applause to Hazeen’s presentation, the conference Chair, Juma Salum Shamte, from Tanzania, said it was the first time he understood how radio programming was relevant to the issues being addressed by the conference. Dr. Shahid Zia, Director of the LSF declared “We want this model in Pakistan”.
Delegates who wrote the conference recommendations included the adoption of community-centred radio as a support to sustainable development.