Community Mediation Program through Community Radios

Dispute is the common phenomenon in every society. It has long history as long as family or community. The origin of dispute settlement mechanism was also evolved together with the origin of the dispute. Every year thousands of disputes evolved and settle down in the family or communities. However, some of the disputes grow uncontrolled way and convert into serious conflicts. Sometime the disputes end by compromising or use of the power. If the disputes or conflict can be settled down constructively or win-win approach that will create the new situation and lead whole community toward the positive transformational process. Positive transformation begins from the informal and participatory approach rather than formal and controlled mechanism. Community mediation is one of most informal approach to peace building by the participation of the both conflicting parties. It was one of the famous and trusted mechanisms in ancient Nepal. In all ethnic groups of all locational communities it was the ultimate means of peace building, stability, social harmony, collaboration and cooperation. Even in the modern Nepal, the mediation process has resolved the chorionic disputes. The community mediation is a fair and impartial third parties’ facilitation process with the consent of the disputants to resolve the disputes in win-win situation.

The modern history of community mediation in Nepal began around 2000 when The Asia Foundation introduced the concepts in 5 districts in collaboration with the local partners. During this period more than 15000 community mediators have got skill of mediation and have resolved more than 85% cases registered in the community mediation centers. ACORAB and The Asia Foundation have collaboration to implement the community mediation programs in 14 earthquake affected districts since 2015 September. This was the first time the community mediation program was implemented through the community radios. After the earthquake, various disputes were evolved in the community as their original habitats were changed. Various new life skills were needed for the communities’ members to cope with the changed environment. Most of the community members were unknown about the government plan, policies and program related to the rehabilitation and reconstructions.

The Community Mediation Radio programs built bridge between communities, government and other supporting organizations. Community radios brought the communities problems and their expectations from the communities and supplied them authentic information about government policies, plan and programs. Community Mediation radio programs were successfully connected to the rights holders and service providers. Many people felt differences in their life because of the radio programs. ACORAB has collected the success stories from the field and documented in the book and documentary. On 16th of February, 2018 the documentary and book were unveiled in a program. The Environmental, Population, Science and Technology Minister Mr. Lal Babu Pandit unveiled the book and documentary and inaugurated the program. Mr. Pandit shared his experiences how the mediation is important to resolve the disputes of the family and community as well. He appreciated the community radios roles in this regards and also requested to circulated the authentic and life skill based information. The deputy mayor of Lalitpur Metro Municipality also appreciated the roles of the community mediation and special roles played by the community radios to spread the community mediation program through the radio programs. Mr. Chup Bahadur Thapa and Krishna Murari Bhandari also highlighted on the importance of the community radio to expand the mediation program up-to the household level. Ms. Preeti Thapa described the progress of the community mediation program in Nepal.   Now CIN is regularly producing and broadcasting the radio programs of community mediation and more than 56 districts’ community radios have been broadcasting the programs.

Dr. Ram Chandra Lamichhane, Kathmandu

March 1, 2018

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