Communicating the Sustainable Development Goals – A toolkit for community radio

There is enough research based evidence to state that community-driven approaches lead to sustainable impact and local empowerment. Thus the key to the success in achieving the SDGs is to engage with citizens and to work with organisations that actually work on the ground and are deeply engaged and vulnerable populations.

Communicating Sustainable Development Goals: A Toolkit for Community Radio, is a one of its kind effort to demystify and simplify the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 targets for community radios, in order to ensure their contribution in meeting the Agenda 2030.

The Sustainable Development Goals are the people’s goals. Unlike Millennium development Goals, the SDGs have been shaped by the citizens and therefore need their participation if we want to come anywhere close to achieving the targets.

The 17 Goals are all inclusive and attempt to leave no one behind, provided they can be understood, absorbed and acted upon, particularly by the vulnerable and marginalised communities who at times are incapable of fighting inequality, injustice and poverty.

The lead author, Archana Kapoor says: “My own experience of developing the toolkit and then testing it with around 45 community radio stations and around 120 community members has made it very clear that communities are not aware of the SDGs. When we started the field testing, out of the 45 stations, more than 50 per cent had not heard of the SDGs, those who had heard about SDGs had a very vague idea about what they entailed. All felt that this was an agenda for the government to fulfill and had nothing to do with ordinary citizens and communities.” And she continues:

“The biggest challenge of the SDGs is this of communicating these goals to the people and making them equal stakeholders. This toolkit is an attempt to bridge this gap. We have attempted to not only break down these targets by not highlighting the key messages, but also relating them to everyday life. We have linked each of the goals to the government schemes and efforts and also listed out content ideas and outreach activities for facilitating programming.I am delighted that our efforts of the last 18 months have finally resulted in the development of this toolkit which is the outcome of a participative and consultative process.”