Imagine paying four US cents to reach a person with important health and social messages. Imagine 67 percent of new health clinic clients saying that they came to seek services because of an entertaining radio drama. These are the real implications of PMC serial dramas.
The impact of PMC’s programs is remarkable, generating tremendous social change and opportunity for sharing best practices through peer reviewed journals and other publications. There are many ways to assess the impact of PMC’s serial dramas; community impact, individual impact, and cost per behavior change are just a few measures PMC monitors closely.
Applied globally in more than 50 countries, PMC programming shows amazing results at the community level. PMC assess the community impact of a serial drama via ongoing monitoring and evaluation during programs and a comprehensive endline assessment after the drama has aired. Here are two examples:
In two years of broadcasting Ruwan Dare (“Midnight Rain”) in Nigeria:
In one season of broadcasting East Los High in the United States:
As part of the continuous monitoring and evaluation, PMC also conducts focus groups, invites calls from the audience, and receives numerous texts, emails, letters, and visitors to the country offices of individuals who share their likes and dislikes with the programs, as well as information about how the program has impacted them.
Husseini Shehu Mumini, 28-year-old man, brought a photograph to a PMC focus group to share the impact Gugar Goge (“Tell It To Me Straight”) had in his life. He narrated his photo, saying: Here is the dead body of a 15-year-old girl in a makara (coffin) made out of bamboo. She died yesterday in a hospital. This girl was married to a 45-year-old man when she was 11 years old. She developed fistula during her first delivery. Her baby did not survive. She became pregnant again. She died giving birth to her second child. The radio program is all about this topic. People need to be enlightened on these topics.
Cost per listener is a valuable way to determine how much it costs per exposure to health and social messages, but cost per behavior change helps gauge the real impact of the program. Getting someone to understand that condoms prevent HIV is valuable, but getting that someone to actually use a condom when engaging in risky behavior is much more valuable. PMC’s serialized dramas are highly cost-effective because of the huge audiences they can attract and the strong impact they have on the public. In Ethiopia, PMC’s first long-running program, Yeken Kignit (“Looking Over One’s Daily Life”), cost just four US cents to reach each listener. In PMC’s recent Saliwansai (“Puppet On A String”) in Sierra Leone, the cost per listener was 53 US cents. Cost per behavior change varied depending on the behavior. It was $2.54 US per listener who began discussing family planning with family, friends, or neighbors and it was $1.62 US per listener who began using bednets to prevent malaria.
PMC is fortunate to receive media attention for many of its programs, some of which are featured in PMC in the News. PMC also receives media attention for its cumulative impact and its approach to addressing global health, human rights, and environmental issues, such as:
“Smart Soaps: The Population Media Center mixes science with soap operas to protect public health” by Corey Binns published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in the Winter 2008 edition.
PMC has published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals about the impact of PMC’s programs and approach. Here are a few examples:
PMC has been featured in books, documenting and explaining PMC’s approach and actual implementation and outcomes, such as: