A group of Burundian women and children stare directly into the camera. Photo was taken during a canvassing event hosted by PMC-Burundi
impact

Agashi 3 Recap: Life-Saving Health Information Shared Across Burundi

Aug 19, 2022

47,000+ more Burundians know they can determine the size of the family they want.

Millions of Burundians enjoy the Agashi (“Hey! Look Again!”) series, which began empowering audiences in 2014. Now after its third show, Agashi’s breathtaking cliffhangers and controversial characters hooked in over 1 million weekly listeners – but for the producers, audience size isn’t the sole metric of success.  

“We’re using entertainment to change lives and drive an uptick in local health resources,” says PMC-Burundi Country Director Jean Bosco Ndayishimiye. “Yes, Agashi is extremely popular, and that’s how we’re able to really engage listeners and connect our communities to social and health resources like local clinics and economic workshops.” 

By combining behavior change theory, media industry insight, and character-driven, culturally relevant storylines, the Agashi series guides audiences to vital health and human rights resources. Data collected after each season is then used to determine the impact. In the case of Agashi 3, audiences showed significant change in maternal and child health practices along with education, hygiene, and reproductive health. Successes include: 

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The Agashi series is one of the flagship radio shows produced by Population Media Center (PMC), a global sustainability non-profit and broadcast production partner. With teams in 14 countries around the world, PMC is committed to creating a more equitable world for all people and all ecosystems through transformative storytelling. From Burundi to Mexico, Nepal, the United States, and beyond, more people have more power to advocate for their own health, education, and wellbeing thanks to role models in PMC-produced shows. 

“Today I just learned that it is important to come back for post-natal consultation. I have three children who I gave birth to at the health center, but I never came back for post-natal consultation. From now on, I will take it into consideration by even advising others to do so.”

Female Agashi Listener

Humans have always used storytelling as a tool to share and shift beliefs and actions. For PMC and its broadcast partners, storytelling is the way to open eyes, minds, dialogues, and guide whole communities toward underused and critical health and social resources.  

“We go beyond the traditional public service announcement or kiosk sign, and it works,” shared Ndayishimiye. “We’ve been seeing behavior change because Agashi is entertaining and effective.” 

The Impact of Agashi 3

A nationally representative cross-sectional survey of listeners and non-listeners was conducted immediately after the broadcast of Agashi 3. The sample size included 1,437 men and women of reproductive age. In addition to questions on the content of the show, the survey collected demographic information and levels of engagement with Agashi 3

The popularity of Agashi 3 is impressive, nearly one in two respondents, or 43.4%, regularly listened to Agashi 3. This equals over one million Burundians listening to the program weekly–at only a cost of $1.40 per regular listener.  

A Look at Impact

Agashi 3 and COVID-19 

PMC-Burundi supported the Burundian Ministry of Public Health in communicating COVID-19 notices to its broad audience during the Agashi 3 broadcast. Short radio spots at the end of Agashi episodes were created with specific COVID-19 messaging to increase knowledge, dispel rumors about the virus, and provide information on prevention and treatment. Following the public health campaign, PMC-Burundi received recognition from Minister of Health Dr. Thadée Dikumana for its work in including vital COVID-19 information. 

Proved Impact. Future Success. 

The Agashi series has once again proved that storytelling can educate, inform, and ultimately transform lives. With an increase in mothers and families equipped with vital health information, and community members more aware of the importance of education and how to handle violent incidents, Burundians will live healthier and safer lives—all thanks to a radio show.  

We Make shows that remake our world

Combining behavior theory, media industry insight, and character-driven, culturally relevant storylines, our transformative approach empowers by entertaining. At scale. By popular demand. For global good.