Population Media Center Program Summary

January 3, 2012 • Brazil, Senegal, Serial Dramas, Burkina Faso, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Ethiopia, United States, Daily Email Recap

In addition to distributing daily articles to this mailing list, Population Media Center (PMC) has been hard at work trying to solve the population problem, one country at a time.  Here is a summary of our work over the last year.  100% of the board and staff have donated this year to help this work move forward.  If you have not yet taken the opportunity to support this work, you can do so at https://www.populationmedia.org/learn/donate/.

Thank you for your participation in this list and for the fascinating articles submitted by many members of the list.  I wish you a very good new year in 2012 and thank Joe Bish for agreeing to coordinate the Poplist in 2012.

PMC Program Summary

Brazil – Social Merchandizing

PMC partners with Comunicarte and through them works with TV Globo in Brazil on analyzing the content and impact of the social content of the network’s telenovelas and other programming. TV Globo’s telenovelas are followed, on average, by 70 million viewers and address an array of issues, including family planning, contraception, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, human trafficking, exploitation of natural resources, and maternal and child health, among others. In 2011, Comunicarte monitored seven TV Globo productions.

For more information on PMC’s work in Brazil, visit https://www.populationmedia.org/where/brazil/

Burkina Faso

PMC’s program, Cesiri Tono, is being re-broadcast over six stations throughout Burkina Faso.

PMC has received funding from UNFPA for two 156-episode radio serial dramas (one in Djoula and one in Mooré) in Burkina Faso, the two most commonly spoken languages in Burkina Faso. Both dramas will air nationally over the course of two years and focus on issues relating to reproductive health, contraceptive use, safe motherhood, and women’s empowerment. In addition to the radio dramas, educational materials and interactive components will engage listeners beyond the twice-a-week broadcasts to help youth and adults in Burkina Faso make healthy and informed decisions.

PMC has hired a country representative in Burkina Faso: Moussa Dadjoari from the Ministry of Health. He formerly served in the Ministry as Regional Director in the North Region of Burkina Faso. He received a “Chevalier d’Ordre National” from the government of Burkina Faso for his service. PMC has opened an office, has hired staff, and is undertaking formative research.  We plan to conduct a writers’ training workshop in early 2012.

To learn more about our programs in Burkina Faso, visit  www.populationmedia.org/where/burkina-faso.


PMC’s Health Extension Workers (HEWs) project is comprised of two radio programs and the production and distribution of print materials to promote rural health among the general population, with a special emphasis on the 30,000 health extension workers serving rural communities, especially their provision of family planning services. The project is funded by UNICEF.

Mieraf (“New Beginning”), a Sabido-style radio serial drama in Amharic, is expected to run 150-180 episodes.

Finot (“The Right Road”) is a radio magazine style program to complement Mirafe. It is broadcast nationally once a week on Radio Ethiopia.

Capacity Training Workshops Addressing Violence against Women were funded by UN Women. PMC-Ethiopia completed the project consisting of five capacity building workshops to address the issue of violence against women. The workshops were given to various leadership groups in Ethiopian society to enable them to effectively promote gender equality.

A Multi-Media Communication Campaign to Address Alcohol, Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia is a project funded by the Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA). The project consists of a radio serial drama, special radio program, spots, print production and capacity building training program.

Save the Children Norway (SCN) is continuing their support of PMC-Ethiopia for 2011-2015 with a project addressing Harmful Traditional Practices and Female Genital Mutilation comprising a national talk show, two regional radio magazine shows, print materials, capacity building workshops, and some research and monitoring. This is a continuation of the project SCN supported from 2007-2010.

To learn more about our programs in Ethiopia, visit  www.populationmedia.org/where/ethiopia.


Sexpertos Saludables (“Healthy Sexperts”), an interactive website targeting Mexican youth (preteen/teen) on sexual health issues, launched in February 2011. The Instituto Carlos Slim de la Salud (ICSS) is a funder and advisor on the project.

PMC is planning to co-produce a telenovela with MTV-Mexico addressing teenage pregnancy.  MTV Networks plan to broadcast the program throughout Latin America.

With an estimated audience reach of 22 million households over 23 territories, the program will include 70 one-hour episodes that weave in issues relating to teen sexual health, including teenage pregnancy, contraception, HIV/AIDS and STIs, and healthy relationships.

In addition, the series will incorporate transmedia elements to extend the narrative over different platforms and deepen the audience’s connection to the story and characters, thereby encouraging behavior change.

To learn more about our programs in Mexico, visit https://www.populationmedia.org/where/mexico/.

Papua New Guinea

Nau em Taim (“Now Is the Time”) (Pidgin language) and Echoes of Hope (English Language)

The two distinct 208-episode radio serial dramas have been on the air since February 2011.  The project is funded by the Packard Foundation, the UN Country Team, AusAID, Population Services International, and Colgate Palmolive. The programs address all of the Millennium Development Goals: gender equality and women’s empowerment, education, family planning, HIV/AIDs prevention, environmental protection.

Population Services International is also funding the production of trucker CDs of Nau em Taim episodes combined with popular PNG original music for wide distribution, as well as discussion guides for both dramas that can accompany PSI’s Health “Meris” in their extension programs around the country.

Media coverage of PMC’s program in Papua New Guinea has included:

The Economist Magazine
Airlines PNGMagazine
ABC Australia
NBC Radio in PNG
BBC Radio News
Radio New Zealand International
The Post Courier
The National

To learn more about our programs in Papua New Guinea, visit https://www.populationmedia.org/where/papua-new-guinea/.


Ngelawu Nawet (“Winds of Hope”) and Coñal Keele (“Harvesting the Seeds of Life”)

In June 2011, PMC completed its broadcast of Ngelawu Nawet (“Winds of Hope”), a 168-episode radio drama series in the national language of Wolof. Supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through a sub-contract via Agence pour le Développement de Marketing Social (ADEMAS), Ngelawu Nawet addressed maternal health, myths about family planning, involvement of men in family planning, child health, the prevention of HIV/AIDS, and the importance of treatment for tuberculosis.

In the Matam region, PMC completed its broadcast of Coñal Keele (“Harvesting the Seeds of Life”), a 58-episode drama in the Pulaar language. Coñal Keele addressed early marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), and adolescent reproductive health. Coñal Keele was funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Final evaluation research is under way, and PMC is planning a new project in Senegal.

To learn more about our programs in Senegal, visit www.populationmedia.org/where/senegal.

Sierra Leone

In August 2011, PMC received funding from UNFPA for a 208-episode radio serial drama in Krio in Sierra Leone.  The program will be broadcast nationally, focused on increasing contraceptive prevalence.

PMC has hired a country representative, Victor Massaquoi, has opened an office, and hired staff.

Formative research is under way, and we anticipate doing a writers’ training workshop in February 2012.

To learn more about our program in Sierra Leone, visit www.populationmedia.org/where/sierra-leone.

USA – 7 Billion Campaign

To encourage advocacy and education around the 7 billion milestone, PMC and Population Institute launched a campaign in fall 2011, Population 7 Billion: It’s Time to Talk. This campaign included a redesign of the Global Population Speak Out (GPSO) website aimed at capturing the attention of a wider audience and providing direct opportunities for people to get involved.

The three actions the site highlights are signing the GPSO pledge to speak out about population, creating and posting videos about why population matters, and signing up to help distribute Endangered Species Condoms as part of a partnership with Center for Biological Diversity. Since the new site launched, there have been more than 17,000 unique visitors, making for more than 28,000 unique visitors since September 2010. Funding for the Global Population Speak Out was provided by the Wallace Global Foundation and an individual donor. Visit www.populationspeakout.org to join the movement.

USA – Latino Project

PMC is currently developing its first entertainment-education program in the United States in the form of a 90-episode web series to inform, educate, motivate, and inspire positive behavioral changes around reproductive health and life decisions. The series takes place in East Los Angeles and is aimed at Latino/a teens and young adults.

The series was created and written by a talented team of Hollywood scriptwriters, most of whom are Latino, including the series creators, Carlos Portugal and Kathleen Bedoya. Through the gripping stories they have created, audiences will find themselves deeply engrossed in the dramatic lives of the young characters, while simultaneously learning through the characters’ experiences with reproductive health care and options, self-honesty, independence, self-confidence, healthy lifestyle choices, and the consequences of their actions.

The program will show the complexity of issues and demonstrate the importance of staying in school, having healthy relationships, delaying parenthood, practicing safe sex, and reducing stigma around sexuality. The series will help to normalize these highly sensitive topics by encouraging audience members to discuss these issues, access services, and make knowledgeable decisions about what is best for them.

In conjunction with the dramatic portion of this project, transmedia extensions are being developed that will extend both the characters and storylines. These transmedia extensions will provide opportunities for fan participation and interaction, will bring the fans deeper into the world of the characters, forging deeper emotional bonds and ultimately creating more opportunities to convey important social and health messages and provide teens with important tools to help them make healthy decisions in their own lives.

PMC has partnered with one of the leading transmedia companies, The Alchemists, to develop the transmedia plan for the series. The transmedia will include entertainment- and education-based extensions in the form of character blogs, social media launch pads, discussion forums, pre-existing online widgets and resources from partner organizations, texting campaigns, mobile applications and toolsets, video diaries, and other media-based applications to help deliver the greatest impact and extend the resources of the program.

In 2011, we completed the scripts for all 90 episodes, along with developing the full transmedia plan for the entire series. Focus group tests of the scripts were also conducted in East LA, where 80 teens sat on the edge of their seats while actors read 12 key episodes from the series. The series is slated to start production in the first quarter of 2012 and then start airing in the fall of 2012.

USA – Population News Strategy

PMC continues to work to educate and inform the America public about the major challenges population growth presents both domestically and abroad, and to highlight positive solutions that can help work towards a sustainable population worldwide. PMC’s Population News Media and Editorial Leadership program has been placing expert guests on radio talk show programs all over the United States since 2008 to raise awareness about these complex issues.

Various Op-Ed columns have also been distributed to over 800 newspapers across the country, and a wide variety of news items and opinion columns have been published in high-profile online environmental publications like Mother Jones, Huffington Post, and MotherNatureNetwork.com. As part of the Population News Media and Editorial Leadership program, PMC also offers a free daily email service that distributes population-related articles and editorials to 1,200 people worldwide, including many journalists. You can sign up for this service at https://www.populationmedia.org/who/subscribe-to-pmc. The articles are posted on PMC’s popular blog site, which receives close to 15,000 unique visitors each month.

Since we began radio talk show placements in the fall of 2008, we have worked with 43 highly-qualified experts drawn from a diverse set of organizations, academic institutions, and progressive think tanks. Our cumulative total now exceeds 550 interviews, and our shows have been broadcast in every state of the union. The total airtime we have produced is well in excess 3,000 hours – that’s 125 days of unique population-related content being broadcast to the American public. Perhaps this is the best way to appreciate the ongoing achievements of the Population News Media and Editorial Leadership program: to think of the relative silence that would have taken place in its absence.

This work has been supported by the Colcom Foundation and the Weeden Foundation.  To learn more about our Population News Media and Editorial Leadership program, visit https://www.populationmedia.org/where/united_states/population-news-strategy/.

USA – Population Strategy Meeting

PMC convened the fifth annual Population Strategy Meeting on October 3, 2011at the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, DC. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together heads of population organizations from the US and globally, along with population program directors of environmental organizations, to discuss strategies for moving the population issue forward. Funding for this meeting was provided by the Colcom Foundation.

Approximately 75 population researchers, advocates and organizational leaders attended the meeting. The keynote speech was given by Dr. Camilo Mora, an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. His presentation focused on global biodiversity losses resulting from population growth pressures. Other topics included messaging strategies to address the world population passing 7 billion, perceptions of young people on the population issue, reproductive health supply chains, and effective responses to “birth-dearth” scares.

We also organized a panel discussion regarding the National Environmental Protection Act of 1969, which contains explicit and strong language in its preamble on the harmful environmental effects of U.S. population growth. This panel discussion informed the audience about the 1969 NEPA, drawing attention to one possibility for getting the U.S. government to address domestic population growth as an environmental issue.

There was an introduction to two new films on population (Mother: Caring for 7 Billion and Hooked on Growth) and a screening of one at a theatre in Washington following the Population Strategy Meeting.


Hanh Trinh Xanh (“Green Journey”)

PMC has been contracted as a technical consultant to develop a 100-episode radio serial drama produced and broadcast by Voice of Vietnam with funding from DANIDA. Hanh Trinh Xanh (“Green Journey”) is broadcast once per week (with repeats) nationally. The focus is on climate change adaptation.

Green Journey launched in July and will run through June 2013. VOV has received numerous SMS messages from listeners, mostly related to their local problems of destruction of forests for timber and urban construction (this is one of the four story lines included in Green Journey).

The project is funded by DANIDA, the Danish International Development Agency.  To learn more about PMC’s work in Vietnam, visit https://www.populationmedia.org/where/vietnam/


BREAKAWAY; to play go to www.breakawaygame.com

BREAKAWAY is a free electronic soccer game developed and created in partnership with the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College (EMC). The 13-episode narrative game aims to engage, educate, and shift attitudes of boys (ages 8-15) on the issue of violence against women. The last chapter was released in April 2011 and remains on the web, available to play for free.

Funding for the game is from UNFPA. In 2011, we have worked in production of a Facilitator’s Guide, a companion to the game, intended for groups working with youth for deeper engagement on the issue of violence against women; global marketing promotion; and producing CDs of the full game and guide to be distributed and used in places where Internet access is problematic.

Since launching in June 2010 during the FIFA World Cup, the game has been visited by people from 174 countries around the world.

We are working on connecting with grassroots organizations that work with youth that would be interested in the Facilitator’s Guide to broaden our reach globally.

To learn more about the electronic game project, visit https://www.populationmedia.org/where/worldwide/.

New Projects

Over the last year, PMC has been developing new projects in



Côte d’Ivoire










The Philippines

South Africa



Please be in touch if you would like information about any of these projects.

Current World Population


Net Growth During Your Visit