Miguel Sabido pioneered the Sabido methodology in the 1970s when he was Vice President for Research at Televisa in Mexico. He had an idea for a new pro-social communication model using telenovelas to promote literacy, family planning, and other social development goals.
Acompáñame (“Accompany Me”) and the five additional Sabido telenovelas broadcast on Televisa were attributed as huge successes. The second Sabido telenovella was Acompáñame, which aired for nine months from August 1977 until April 1978 and showed family harmony when choosing to plan one’s family. The results of Acompáñame, as reported by the Mexican government’s national population council (CONAPO), were:
Sabido developed additional social content telenovelas, which were all broadcast on Televisa:
During the decade 1977 to 1986, when six of these Mexican soap operas were on the air, the country experienced a 34 percent decline in its population growth rate. As a result, in May 1986, the United Nations Population Prize was presented to Mexico as the foremost population success story in the world.
Thomas Donnelly, then with USAID in Mexico, wrote, “Throughout Mexico, wherever one travels, when people are asked where they heard about family planning, or what made them decide to practice family planning, the response is universally attributed to one of the soap operas that Televisa has done. …The Televisa family planning soap operas have made the single most powerful contribution to the Mexican population success story.”