The Community Engagement Network (CEN) is a South Sudanese participatory initiative that promotes social cohesion and transformation in diverse communities through locally driven innovative multimedia programs. CEN is a network of media organizations, arts and cultural groups, organizations and associations that operate within the different states of South Sudan.
CEN’s vision is a socially transformed and cohesive society. The network’s overall objective is to harness South Sudanese culture through media and arts as a tool for community engagement through strategic partnerships with networks of media and arts actors to engage 1 million people in six locations across the three greater regions of South Sudan by 2024.
CEN’s network of radio stations and partners will work with the rationale of strengthening and improving the already established radio programming by incorporating the practice of community, communication and engagement. The purpose is to promote innovative radio programming to disseminate meaningful messaging and communication with the local communities. The radio stations run their programs as usual, and synchronize cross-cutting creative media projects as part of CEN. As members of CEN, radio stations create impactful programming for the diverse audiences, languages and cultures in their respective states, while integrating best practices and creative media approaches. The cross pollination of programming across languages, states and regions where the network partners are is essential in creating effective community engagement across South Sudan.
CEN was legally registered by ministry of legal and constitutional affair under the NGO and Company Act and became recognized NGO in South Sudan by 2019.
- Dissemination of South Sudanese culture through traditional and contemporary media programming and content
- To support the development of media and its actors as a catalyst for free cultural expression, empowerment and social inclusion.
- To support the documentation and archiving of South Sudanese culture through multimedia arts
- To promote intercultural dialogue and inter-community relations between diverse South Sudanese communities.
- Increase community participation and involvement in determining information priorities.
- Bridging communication gaps between communities and relevant stakeholders
JamJang FM in Ajuong Thok
JamJang FM is a community radio established in 2017. In 2019, JamJang FM became part of the Community Engagement Network (CEN), a South Sudanese organization whose purpose is to create a platform for community communication and engagement through multimedia and arts projects and campaigns. Since establishment, JamJang FM has been funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM) through Internews. The project is funded
through September 29, 2020 and covers costs to operate the station 11 hours per day.
Radio Salaam FM in Maban
Radio Salaam was set up and operated by ACTED when they ran the camps and was closed due to lack of funding in June 2018. Internews conducted an assessment in Maban in February 2019 and the community placed importance on having a local radio station to provide the population with essential information as well as an opportunity to express their opinions about the services they are receiving and other critical issues. Radio Salaam FM has been refurbished by Internews and is back on air. It will soon be part of CEN.
Nile FM in Malakal
Nile FM is a humanitarian radio station located inside the Malakal Protection of Civilians (PoC) site. The station produces programs and disseminates information in Arabic 14 hours daily. The station covers a 45km broadcast range, reaching people in neighboring areas. The station broadcasts news and information about the humanitarian response on thematic topics such as education, peace, services, and marginalized groups in addition to broadcasting music and entertainment
Kondial FM in Bentiu
Kondial 97.2 FM located in the Bentiu Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Unity State Bentiu. Kondial FM broadcasts 12 hours daily in Nuer and Arabic, ensuring that the local population both inside and outside the PoC receive the right information to make informed decisions. The humanitarian radio station aims to produce specific programs that address peace, reintegration and protection issues. The radio also strives to have a beneficial impact on the life of vulnerable populations both inside and outside the PoC by broadcasting to a 25km radius. Kondial, which
means togetherness in Nuer, is a crucial information source for IDPs and the host community in Bentiu.
Our program Overview.
With sub-grant from Internews and grants from UNFAO, Transform Media UK, CEN is implementing humanitarian information services, Covid-19 response, down scaling climate information, and South Sudan intangible heritage project targeting both conflict conflicted and host communities in Upper Nile and Unity state. Currently CEN is managing and supporting the operations of community radio stations namely JamJang FM in Ajuong Thok; Radio Salaam FM in Maban; Nile FM in Malakal and Kondial FM, Bentiu. Additionally, CEN’s cultural partners include the Masrah Ta Bukra Theatre Initiative (MATATI) and Ana Tabaan.
CEN collaborates with both humanitarian and development agencies implementing programs in the following sectors.
- Peace, security and stability.
- Humanitarian relief and aid
- Child protection
Covid-19 response project implemented with support from Internews South Sudan program
As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic in South Sudan, Internews implements ahealth communication- COVID-19 project to ensure the reach of public health messaging efforts around the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as widespread dissemination of accurate, timely, actionable COVID-related information to the population in South Sudan.
The project will facilitate a two-way communication with the affected population, in understanding and addressing hyper-local information needs that are not solely concerned with health behaviors, and can identify, discuss, analyze, debunk, and mitigate rumors and misinformation related to COVID arising at local levels.
Community Engagement network produces and broadcast radio programs in support of the COVID-19 response in South Sudan. The produces radio programs are in different language and broadcasted to the audience in the 3 CEN managed radio stations catchment areas in Jam Jang, Malakal and Bentiu. Besides, the project produces narrowcasting services and rumor tracking activities targeting people who have been affected and displaced by conflict and residing in the “Protection of Civilians” (PoC) sites-Melut, Upper Nile state.
Down scaling project information project implemented in Malakal, Maban, JamJang and Bentiu with support from UNFAO.
Access to information about weather events and seasonal performance is crucial in addressing the vulnerability of farming communities and in enhancing the capacity of communities to manage weather and climate related events and hazards. Access to weather information allows communities to enhance their decision-making process, including with regards to the prepositioning of the type and timing of inputs.
Within the scope of the FAO South Sudan Strategy for downscaling climate information, FAO South Sudan plans to conduct radio shows, which build on its weather updates on a ten-day basis at the national and decentralized levels.
FAO has engaged CEN to provide weather forecast information and practical advice for farmers, livestock keepers and fisherfolk at a sub- national level targeting specific communities in Unity and Upper Nile state to be reached through existing radio stations broadcasts as well as through mobile “boda boda talk talk” programming. The programs are being produced in English and (simple) Arabic, decentralized programming will be produced in languages which are best understood by the local population.
South Sudan Intangible heritage project implemented with support from Transform Media UK
Cultural marginalization and divergent historical narratives contribute to root causes of conflict and cycles of grievance, whereas inclusive conceptions of national identity strengthen the bedrock for democratic process, improved inter-community understanding, relationships, and resilience.
CEN with support from Transform Media UK is delivering a mobile phone application and web platform that will engage members of all South Sudan’s diverse communities (including diasporas). Facilitating the roll-out of the tool will allow communities to crowdsource the collection and description of their own historical perspectives and cultural heritage on their own terms.
The program allows communities to gain public exposure and recognition of their histories and cultures collected in this process through a People’s History radio series and a Sounds of South Sudan radio series, to be disseminated to mass audiences through CEN radio stations and other partners. The digital platform for the first time South Sudan’s diverse oral histories and cultural heritage into one place and drive continuous social media content as new content is collected.
Humanitarian information services project implemented with support from Internews in Malakal, Bentiu, Maban and JamJang
With sub-grants from Internews, CEN implements humanitarian information service program by providing critical life-saving information even beyond crisis and civic engagement among communities in Malakal, Bentiu, Maban and JamJang by empowering them with information that guides them to make rational and informed decisions on pertinent issues affecting their daily living conditions by empowering communities with information that impact on their decision making.
The project also provides communities with blueprint information for how to engage service providers and those holding public office and private sector to positively engage in responsive service provision through continuous collection of feedback in participatory, representative and inclusive engagement of targeted communities.