With support and funding from the Ministry of Panchayati Raj , SMART carried out an Action Based pilot project on Panchayats to assess how the community radio, through dissemination of information, improve the functioning of the PRIs by making the elected members aware of their role in bringing about inclusive development.
The deliverables included a baseline survey of 10 Panchayats to understand the existing level of information regarding their role and responsibilities, maintenance of accounts, information on funds and the outcomes expected, role in just and equitable distribution of resources, involvement of gram sabha in decision making, social audit and assessment of existing gaps in understanding the functioning of the PRIs.
A committed slot was given to programs related to Panchayati Raj Institutions and their functioning on Radio Mewat. The program was closely monitored and adequately advertised through wall writing, pamphlets, meetings and regular visits in targeted areas.
The radio station broadcast programs every day for three months at a stretch and invited questions on PRIs and their role in inclusive, equitable and decentralized development.
An end line survey was conducted in the targeted areas at the end of the project to assess the impact of the radio transmission on Panchayats and their members. The survey incorporated assessment of improvement in understanding of the PRIs, recall of messages and absorption of information. The data was assimilated and analyzed and submitted to the Ministry. The response was amazing and it was very clear that information can empower people.