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PMC Launches new program in liberia

Mar 27, 2023

Population Media Center, with funding from The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and in partnership with Talking Drum Studio: Liberia Peace Center, has launched a new radio program called Barnusiethedeh! (“Let’s Do The Right Thing”).

Barnusietehdeh! Launch Event With Sweden Ambassador to Liberia, Urban Sjöström

The 156-episode radio drama will be broadcast in all 15 counties of Liberia thanks to partnerships with 35 community radio stations. The storylines and characters will cast light into the depths of issues that affect everyone, allowing audiences to learn vicariously about sexual and reproductive rights, gender-based violence, gender equity, social cohesion, and conflict resolution.

Population Media Center (PMC) and Talking Drum Studio: Liberia Peace Center (TDS Liberia) have come together to create a unique and culturally sensitive multimedia behavior change strategy. PMC’s well-tested and proven Social Behavior Change (SBC) methodology, with more than 20 years of field-testing, has proven to positively impact these kinds of issues using long-running, deeply local dramas. TDS Liberia is a trusted media voice and currently engages communities across Liberia via radio and participatory theater.

The project will:

  1. Contribute to long-term sustainability of effective pro-social programming in Liberia by building local capacity and demonstrating the power of entertainment-education for positive impact.
  2. Promote a peaceful and inclusive society which upholds human rights by addressing key issues, including: sexual and reproductive health and rights; gender-based violence, including female genital mutilation (referred to as “bush ceremony”); gender equity; social cohesion; democracy; and conflict resolution.

Barnusiethedeh! will incorporate multiple platforms that connect listeners with relatable characters, very real decisions, and accurate information. Radio is one of the most popular media channels among Liberian youth and the project is designed to promote internalization and interpersonal dialogue on the issues raised.

In addition to the long-running, entertaining, fictional radio show, Barnusiethedeh!, the project will also include participatory theater events throughout Liberia to get local communities actively involved, talk-shows on important topics to encourage discussion on complex issues like gender equity and peace building, and capacity building for community radio stations throughout Liberia.

As part of the participatory theater project, we will be collecting new transformative stories from different angles and different perspectives, to change perspectives throughout Liberia. By engaging communities with innovative and heart-felt stories, we inspire entire communities to choose a healthier, more equitable, and flourishing world for all.

Drone Training In Liberia

The capacity building will take many forms. PMC will strengthen TDS Liberia’s entertainment-education capacity through training in PMC’s theory-based methodology. Local community radio stations will also be invited to trainings in designing and hosting interactive talk shows with their listeners on the key issues. This training will include a focus on the ethics of “Do No Harm” in addressing culturally sensitive issues. TDS Liberia will work with these stations to build their sensitivities relating to discussions, especially on gender and conflict.

Robust monitoring and evaluation is always a key part of PMC’s program design. This project will be evaluated to understand the resonance and value of each media component and, of course, to track the success of the project in driving positive change on each of the key issues.

talk radio & gender equity

As part of the project activities outside of the radio drama, PMC & Talking Drum studios are conducting trainings in gender equity, conflict sensitivity and radio talk show development on issues important to the people of Liberia.

Focal persons training in Gender, Conflict Sensitivity and Radio Talk Show

About talking drum studios

Founded in 2019, Talking Drum Studio: Liberia Peace Center (TDS Liberia) is a national civil society organization that works toward igniting shared values in finding solutions to the most critical issues affecting Liberian society. TDS Liberia’s work is focused on four thematic areas:

  1. Strategic Communication and Community Mobilization,
  2. Governance and Democracy,
  3. Human Rights and Transitional Justice, and
  4. Natural Resource Governance and Land Management.

Other crosscutting themes integrated into all of TDS Liberia’s work include Women and Youth Empowerment, Peacebuilding, Institutional Capacity Building, and Learning and Research.

While TDS has produced popular and engaging radio dramas in the past, this project will develop their capacity and expertise in the use of PMC’s unique strategy for driving measurable social norm and behavior change and PMC’s rigorous impact evaluation approaches.

Follow the radio program on the Barnusietehdeh! Facebook page.