UPDATE: Five countries in East Africa including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania & Burundi have adapted the toolkit and will be using it to assess themselves.
Community Radio in India became a legitimate reality after the historic Supreme Court judgment in 1995 which ruled that “airwaves are public property”. However, it was only in 2006 that the Government of India modified its initial guidelines (2003) that had allowed only educational institutions, to also permit civil society groups to set up Community Radio Stations (CRSs).
As per the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) website, India has around 180 operational CRSs (including educational institutions, KVKs, and those set up by civil society groups), with less than a third of those managed by civil society organisations.
Themes such as participation, inclusion, gender, capacity building, etc. have been treated as core principles that cut across all the nine parameters.
CR-CIT focuses on principles, practices, and processes. Impact of the community radio station on the community is outside the purview of this toolkit. This is primarily to help stations reflect on the extent to which their everyday practices and policies are in tune with the larger philosophy and best practices of community radio.
The toolkit is based on the principle of self-assessment and peer-review process and is a very helpful tool for community radios that wish to better themselves and offer the best services to the communities they serve.
This toolkit has already been adapted by several community radio stations in both India and Bangladesh. UNESCO Chair on Community Radio plans to build capacities of CR stations in East Africa this year to use this toolkit.