Ohangwena Community Radio station staff attended a five-days workshop to build skills on ICT to strengthen their local news coverage and the sustainability of their local radio station.
From the 24th to 28th of February 2014, professionals from Live FM, conducted a workshop in Eenhana, Namibia. The workshop was successfully attended by six participants, consisting of correspondents, the station manager, volunteers and other staff members of the Ohangwena Community Radio Station. The workshop consisted of an introduction of a variety of ICTs and skills to enable a more successfull and competent use of helpful media technologies on a daily basis. The training also focused on improvement of quality broadcasting and of administrative and financial management, for the best possible sustainable future of the station.
The main objectives of this workshop were to strengthen the participants with knowledge about program development, gender issues, community participation and financial management, and nonetheless to introduce practical broadcasting monitoring tools, and provide any other relevant support that could strengthen the service performance and broadcasting quality of Ohangwena Community Radio Station.
Since the workshop had a main focus on the introduction of ICT tools, new software and Apps, the training not only consisted of theoretical sessions and presentations, but also in ahigh degree of hands-on experience in using the new technologies by the participants. New software was installed and introduced to develop the quality and better options for broadcasting. An example was the installing and introduction of the software ZARA Radio program, which enabled the station a 24 hour service by loading and providing music. This eliminated the problem of the usual dead air during the night and over the weekends. The Turbo Cash program was also introduced with a step-by-step demonstrations of its features and by an extensive introduction to the participants, with the main aim to plan a better management and finance administration of the radio station in the future.
When the participants had grasped the techniques and basics of the program, they were divided into groups of two to create ideas themselves and apply the techniques into their work. Related to the context of each of the sectors they were assigned for, they worked together on the creation of ideas, researching, script writing and production. They came up with potential programs on current local issues in the sectors of both agriculture, health, local governance and SME (acquiring loans and grants by financial institutions). During the practice, a separate session on gender was lectured, to remember to take this subject into consideration during each program production and broadcasting. This issue was also brainstormed and discussed lively by the particpants. Lastly, the participants were to complete their productions by the end of March 2014, so they were ready for post–production and actual broadcasting on the local radio.
The evaluation of the workshop and the participants' output were based on daily evaluation forms that consisted of questions and personal opinions, which showed the clear effectiveness of the daily sessions of the workshop. On the last day, an evaluation took place to measure the final impact and output of the workshop days. It was evident from the evaluation reports and the participant's replies, that the workshop had been highly effective and appreciated. It had achieved its objectives and the participants immensely valued both the workshop materials, the program and content of the training. They approved both the applied teaching methods and its participative training, the new skills and knowledge acquired, and last but not least; the newly installed and introduced software and technologies.
From a financial point of view, the evalutation of the workshop showed that the participants were aware of how to generate funds, but the absence of a marketing professionnal was possibly the reason why there was a lack of financial sustainability. Another remark and ideas from the participants suggested an organizational structure, which would enhance the performance, credibility and professionalism of the radio station. These considerations were taken into account.