Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Health Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Jill Darby

Abstract

Community-oriented radio can be a valuable tool to mobilise communities and contribute to making positive social changes throughout the world (Dagron, 2001). Heartline Bali FM is a community-oriented radio station, which since development, has sought to positively impact the people within the community it serves. Located in the rural Balinese village of Tulikup, Indonesia, the station has responded practically to the health and social needs of the community through radio and other social development strategies since its establishment in 2003. In 2004, a base-line needs assessment was conducted within the village to help inform the radio station of the health and social needs of the community that it needed to address (Pepall, Jaya, & James, 2006). In 2007 an evaluation of the three-year community development project was conducted using community appropriate research methods to measure the social changes. The methodology used for evaluation was a multi-faceted approach aimed at continuing the community empowerment process that the project had sought to develop. It incorporated an evaluation tool called the Most Significant Change (MSC) technique and series of community radio indicators that are used for evaluating community-oriented radio stations. The MSC technique is a dialogical, story based evaluation tool which has been proven effective when evaluating social development programmes throughout the world, particularly in developing countries(Davies & Dart, 2005). MSC aims to explore community-wide beliefs of significant changes that projects have made within communities, and as such sought to determine significant changes within Tulikup brought about by Heartline Bali FM through their on and off-air social development programs. To maintain research rigour the MSC was complimented with a series of community-oriented radio indicators that were developed to guide evaluation of radio stations which aim to empower communities through health and social development community strategies. Indicators explored all areas of the community radio station with a focus on determining the level of involvement from the community with the operation of the station. Using the indicators acted as a form of triangulation with the MSC technique. In 2004, the majority of the community were negative towards the radio station. There was wide-spread distrust existing towards the station as the majority Hindu community were unaware of the intentions of the station, which consisted of mainly Christian staff. Through a range of community-relevant social development programs the station has shown that their intentions are only to have a positive impact on the well-being of the community. Within three years, Heartline now has community-wide acceptance with people believing the station provides a valuable contribution to the community and hope that it would continue to do so. The station is committed to positively impacting the community in community-relevant ways. In the past this focus has been through many health promotion programs, providing information regarding local health issues such as HIV/AIDS, dengue fever and diarrhoea prevention. A recent survey by the Department of Nutrition Polytechnic of Health Denpasar found that over 50% of the community were living below the poverty line so raising the economic status of the community has also been a focus (Kusumajaya, 2006). A number of off-air community development programs have been implemented which aim to increase the economic level of the community. By using radio as a conduit, Heartline has aimed to influence the social situation/networks of the community and strengthen social capital. The radio station has been able to positively and significantly impact many individuals throughout the community through a range of community development activities. Since the radio station is now a trusted source within the community, this provides a valuable opportunity to now impact the community on a community-wide basis.

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