Radio Pata

Radio Pata is a 24/7 community radio, co-created with inhabitants of Pata Rât - a 2,000 strong Roma slum near Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Radio Pata is streamed through a custom mobile application, also implementing grass-roots community self-organization tools and a feed on public social services.
The project aims to empower the Pata Rât community, to connect the Pata Rât community and the larger social body of Cluj-Napoca, and to catalyse societal/institutional change.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

1. The problem
Roma inclusion is critical to Romania’s social protection system: the share of Roma on the labour market will reach 20% by 2050. At a national level, the at-risk-of-poverty rate of the over 2M Romanian Roma is 84% and increasing. 7km from the city centre of Cluj-Napoca - the second largest city in Romania, in the immediate vicinity of the city dump - there is a 2000-strong Roma ghetto, living in extreme poverty, marginalisation and isolation. Local public authorities are constantly criticised for poor availability, accessibility, efficiency, and effectiveness of social service provision.

2. The opportunity
AltArt Foundation teams have been working since 2012 with the Pata Rât community, developing cultural and artistic programs with the community, financed by Norway Grants, the European Commission and the Cluj City Hall. During these collaborations the idea of developing the community radio emerged, as a tool to empower the community and break the barriers of social isolation.

3. Objectives
Creating a more inclusive society, democratising the relation between the public administration and citizens, contributing to empowering the marginalised Roma community in Rata-Rât.

Radio Pata, an autonomous, innovative community service, fostering:
-local identity
-community organisation
-connection to the larger social body of the city
-improved access to services provided by public institutions

4. Beneficiaries:
-Roma community in Cluj
-Citizens of Cluj
-Public institutions, providers of social services

5. Future: In the following 4 years Radio Pata will be developed as a social business, to be maintained by the community. The engine of Radio Pata is Studio Pata, with the capacity to record/broadcast podcasts and music, master CDs, s.o.

6. Institutionalization: The Radio is actively seeking partnerships with local social service providers (e.g. child protection, health, education, work), in order to stream available services through the radio application interface, custom tailored for the Roma community and personalised for different user profiles. Along with its real-time feedback system, Radio Pata steps up as a radically bottom-up tool for innovating and democratizing social service delivery.

7. Scaling: In the next years, Radio Pata aims to cover 80% of the Pata Rât community, reach 20.000 Cluj citizens and pipe the services of 7 providers. By 2022 Radio Pata will compile its methodology and start exporting it. Marginalised communities that already showed interest in implementing a community radio include Plovdiv (Bg) and Izmir (Tr).

8. Course of action: During 2018-2019, AltArt organised workshops in storytelling, creative writing, poetry, audio editing for youth from Pata Rât, assisted by professionals from Radio Cluj. Workshop participants visited Radio Cluj and got acquainted to studio equipment, broadcast, etc.

9. Methods and tools used: All components of Radio Pata are developed through facilitated community consultations. Programme structure of Radio Pata is decided upon through co-curation. Content is produced by the community, for the community. The radio platform (server and Android application) are developed full open source and will be uploaded to GitHub.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Generating Ideas or Designing Solutions - finding and filtering ideas to respond to the problem or opportunity
  • Developing Proposals - turning ideas into business cases that can be assessed and acted on
  • Implementation - making the innovation happen

Innovation provided by:

Join our community:

It only takes a few minutes to complete the form and share your project.