The Community learning programme Chahat Chowk developed by Gurgoan Ki Awaaz is based on the Community Learning Program (CLP) model of Commonwealth of Learning (COL). The CLP methodology enables addressing health or development issues through a structured communication for development approach.
In India, Gurgaon Ki Awaaz (GKA) was the first CR station to pilot the CLP model with the support of COL, Maara and Ideosync Media Combine. GKA produced a 16-epsiode radio programme series called Chahat Chowk to address reproductive and sexual health (RSH) for women in Mullahera, Gurgaon. The main objective of the series was to break the silence among community women on RSH matters and enable open conversations, which would then assist community members in taking appropriate action.
While the GKA team worked hard to create participatory processes for the design and production of their program series, it was important to assess to what extent this intensive approach enabled learning at the community level.
Was Chahat Chowk able to fulfill the articulated objectives and engage the community on issues of women’s reproductive health? Research also helped explore other related impact of the CLP methodology on the CR station’s own learning and networking with collaborators and stakeholders as well as how the initiative assisted the GKA team understand and adopt strategies to address sensitive issues within its community.
Ideosync Media Combine designed a participatory research methodology to understand the local priorities and situation in Mullahera. The research included qualitative and quantitative methods including a household survey, Focus Group Discussions as well as in-depth interviews. Additionally the research team analysed content of calls and messages received by the CR station in response to the Chahat Chowk program.
Additonally listener clubs were encouraged to score the program on a set of quality parameters through the use of Community score cards. These score cards were also painted on six prominent village walls inviting other members of the community to participate in scoring the program. The study was conducted from July – November 2013
and 1000 households were surveyed. Respondents included 650 women and 350 men.
According to respondents of the research, they received information related to pregnancy and white discharge from the Chahat Chowk programme. The program was more successful in providing new information on the issues to people who did not previously have any information on pregnancy, contraception choices etc than dispelling existing myths.
Attitudes towards RSH issues showed a change especially towards more gender sensitive approaches. In the baseline, most women believed that tubectomy was a preferred option for permanent contraception, as men should not be put at risk. However, post listening to the Chahat Chowk program there was a better appreciation of what such surgical procedures entailed and how vasectomies were less intrusive and easier than a tubectomy.
Chahat Chowk radio programme series produced by Gurgaon Ki Awaaz has been successful in engaging with its target community and it has been able to create small
significant changes in information levels on RSH matters within the Mullaheda community. Listener club members want the program to continue and are willing to support it in outreach as well as by contributing stories of change.
Ideosync Media Combine