12 million listeners regularly tune into Equal Access Nepal radio programs which are broadcast to target rural Nepalis
Digital Broadcast Initiative, Equal Access Nepal is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization. Nepal is a developing country, but development is uneven and incomplete unless the population has access to information vital for their well-being. Therefore, the Equal Access Nepal creates and disseminates radio shows that empower listeners with critically needed information for social change on a wide range of development themes.
Digital Broadcast Initiative, Equal Access Nepal (Equal Access) was established as an NGO in Nepal in February 2004. Initially, Equal Access, an International NGO based in San Francisco (currently also registered with the Social Welfare Council as an INGO in Nepal), started operations in Nepal as the executing agency for the UNDP Asia Pacific Regional pilot project, Digital Broadcast Initiative. This initiative, that utilized digital satellite broadcasting technology to bring vital development information direct to underserved communities in rural settings, was formally launched in Kathmandu, June 24, 2003. Since then, Equal Access has continued to implement numerous ‘communications for development’ projects in Nepal, with programming on a range of thematic areas including education, healthcare, microfinance, sustainable agriculture, human rights and conflict management, HIV/AIDS and women’s empowerment.
Equal Access projects are designed to reach the broadest possible audience in culturally appropriate and cost effective ways. The unique project methodology catalyzes local content production and distribution as a tool to extend the reach and impact of health, education and other development programs. This vigorous approach combines local content development with community-based outreach and interactive assessment to ensure that the communications services provided are truly needed and that communities are central stakeholders in the process. By using digital satellite technology, solar energy and other appropriate technologies, Equal Access has been able to reach areas with poor telephony, little or no electrical power and high rates of illiteracy.