USAID Radio Show Boosts National Conversation about Local Government

The Mayor of Bani Naim Appears on Baladiyatna on the Al Rab’a station in Hebron. Photo: Al Rab’a

A Palestinian local radio station is broadcasting its own version of a USAID-funded radio show to help citizens in the southern West Bank learn more about local government. Hebron-based Al Rab’a Station is broadcasting a daily radio show called “Baladiyatna,” inspired by the USAID-funded weekly show of the same name.

USAID Communities Thrive Project launched Baladiyatna (Our Communities) on national radio station Raya FM in October 2017, as part of its national media campaign on local government. Reaching 200,000 people a week, the half-hour program is designed to create a national conversation about municipalities. The show is broadcast on Raya FM’s national network, as well as through seven affiliates. One of those affiliates is Al Rab’a, which has the largest audience in the Hebron governorate – around 150,000 daily listeners.

The station’s CEO decided the concept of the USAID-funded show (with guests invited to discuss different aspects of local government) filled an important gap in the southern West Bank. “Based on our partnership with Raya FM and their weekly show, we decided to use the same approach, adapting it to our audience in the south, where the citizens’ need of knowledge about their local government is particularly high,” said Riad Khamis, CEO of Al Rab’a Station.

The show began broadcasting five times a week in January 2018. It is currently hosting mayors from different municipalities, who are discussing their challenges and successes. Mayors from the 55 municipalities supported by USAID Communities Thrive Project have appeared on the show, including the mayor of Bani Naim (pictured above). The radio show will then host citizens, followed by service providers and technical specialists, all who will comment on their specific challenges and roles.

By replicating the radio show model, Al Rab’a Station is amplifying USAID’s initial investment in national media campaign by creating an additional, daily opportunity for municipalities in the southern West Bank to engage with their citizens.

 

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