Evaluation and Technical Assessment of Radio Pacis in Northern Uganda

Radio Pacis Logo

At the request of Dreikönigsaktion, Kindermissionswerk, missio-Aachen and missio-Munich, CAMECO implemented and supervised an evaluation and technical assessment of the Arua Diocese Media Centre/Radio Pacis in Northern Uganda. The organisation enjoys a good reputation for the quality and professionalism of its programmes, as well as outreach to communities in the West Nile region. But, some of their donors noted that they would appreciate an overall and comprehensive overview of organisational performance aspects of the Arua Diocese Media Centre in general, and the actual impact of Radio Pacis' programme in particular. Furthermore, it was deemed necessary to assess the energy and broadcasting infrastructures installed at Radio Pacis in Arua and Gulu, as well as to examine the feasibility of the planned future extension of the existing photovoltaic (PV) infrastructure, in view of feeding energy into the local provider's (WENRECO) electrical grid network.

The field assignment of the evaluation in Uganda took place from February 26th to March 20th, 2013 and was conducted by CAMECO and a local expert from Uganda. During the same period, a one-week technical assessment was carried out by two engineers from Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE) Luxembourg, at the sites of Radio Pacis in Arua and Gulu, whereby the overall process of the appraisal was planned, coordinated and supervised by CAMECO.

The Arua Diocese Media Centre Centre includes Radio Pacis, printing services, an Internet Café, and the Diocesan Communication Office. Radio Pacis was officially launched on November 26th, 2004. Since December 2005, the station is on air round the clock, seven days a week. Since 2007, they broadcast on two frequencies (in Lögbari, Kakwa, Madi, Alur, and English). In October 2011, a sub-station of Radio Pacis was launched in the Archdiocese of Gulu, where a third frequency is used for programmes in English, Alur and Acholi.

Regarding evaluation data, the evaluation team combined and approached various information sources, such as written policies, project applications, staff and Board members, volunteers, listeners, representatives from the local Church and government, media experts, etc.). The different methods employed included quantitative (ad hoc surveys and questionnaires) and qualitative techniques (group discussions, individual and collective guided interviews), whereby interaction with staff members and listeners of Radio Pacis, from various linguistic groups, dominated.

As far as key findings and conclusions of the evaluation and technical assessment are concerned, we can highlight that the level and degree of organisational performance and identification of staff with the Arua Media Centre is very high. Based on findings from listeners, the station also has positive impacts at social/community and personal/individual level (e.g. reported cases of an increase in self-confidence, personal capacity building, improvement of relationships, change of farming practices, better health care attendance, creation of unity, etc.). The technical infrastructure at Radio Pacis Arua and Radio Pacis Gulu (PV solar production, UPS and generator sets) usually adequately serve the energy demands of the organisation, are of high standard and generally well maintained.

Some areas for further and general attention, however, refer to issues of a strategic plan/orientation roadmap which sets out goals, priorities and tactics for now and the future, motivational strategies for various groups of volunteers and the financial, institutional and social sustainability of the Media Centre. In connection with technical areas, further attention should be directed towards ongoing data gathering on the energy balance of the single components of the system, preventive and sustainable maintenance routines, and the improvement of local technical skills, as well as proper ex-ante planning and ongoing independent external technical consultancies. (ps)