Lian Fonsa’e was developed on the backdrop of a successful TV programme of the project called Vota Ba Futuru (Vote for Future) during 2017 and 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. UNDP values the importance of providing good quality civic education and as a result, the UNDP LEARN project has produced and broadcasted 24 episdoes of TV program “Vota Ba Futuru” through the previous 3 national elections in Timor-Leste (Presidential Mar, 2017/ Parliament June, 2017/ Early election May, 2018) together with the STAE and RTTL.ep. Through the report of a questionnaire which was conducted after the early election, it turned out that the TV program “Vota Ba Futuru” had made one of the biggest impacts to public life of all the activities which LEARN project had conducted.
A per the findings of RTTL survey conducted in 2017 shows, 67% were reached weekly in all territories of the country and 88% in Dili. In 2018, the UNDP Electoral Project-LEARN conducted an assessment of the effectiveness of the TV programme and almost 60% of the voters suggested to have information about the electoral processes through Vota Ba Futuru.
The structure of the TV program is to therefore, encourage 6 participants in each episode to be selected from a local suko, irrespective of their background, gender, economic conditions and education level. Currently, two presenters, Carla and Ricardo facilitate the discussion whom are both from the University of Timor-Leste studying law. The themes which have been explored during these episodes have included the difference gap in decentralization between rural and urban areas, discrimination in Timor-Leste daily life, the process and access to democratic freedom and gender rights.
As a result, participants have deepened their understanding of decentralization and have become more analytical of the process. For example, Elvis Belo Elfer, a male student said “My knowledge about decentralization was general before, but today I could understand more deeply about it. It is also good that all friends watching the TV will also get information and understand this topic better”. Nazza Purpupale Elldra Monbra, a female student also commented that “Today I could learn a lot about how to talk about difficult topics and respect opinions. I hope those watching can also learn how to talk about this topic and have new ideas”
In another episode on women’s right, Domingos Belo, male student mentioned “I am very happy to join this program. We can develop our country not only by men together but with women too”
Therefore, the TV programme will continue air episodes to create a free and open space for youth to discuss their opinions, ideas and analysis about the nation’s political decentralization process.