CCP Celebrates World Radio Day

© 2013 Valerie Caldas, Courtesy of Photoshare

Entertainment education (EE) is an approach to social and behavior change communication (SBCC) where health and social messages are purposefully incorporated into entertaining programming.

Today we’re celebrating radio, one of the most popular and powerful EE mediums. Radio remains one of the most accessed platforms for information by millions of people worldwide. It reaches even the most rural places, unlike some other forms of technology, and engages people of all literacy levels. It has widespread appeal as a tool to educate health workers, inform mothers, encourage couples’ communication, and inspire collective behavior change in times of crisis.

We have used radio for decades to inspire healthy behaviors, drawing listeners in through compelling dramas and comedies, real life stories, interviews and the engaging personalities of radio show hosts. In the 1990s, CCP researchers published seminal articles on our Radio Communication Project in Nepal, which showed that EE was effective in motivating positive health choices and argued that EE campaigns can be participatory in nature. More recently, our research team explored reality radio as an innovative communication approach for health behavior change, looking at the impact of reality radio programming on Chenicheni N’chiti listeners in Malawi.

We work closely with technical experts, advocates, community members and local artists, producers and writers to craft evidence-based, quality programs. In Guatemala, our Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) project is helping local professionals to develop a first-of-its-kind radio program, using an EE approach to integrate messaging on topics across food security, maternal and child health, family planning and gender. In Nigeria, our Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) worked with the local Association of Radio Drama Artist (ARDA) to produce weekly radio programs that included songs, experts, quizzes, user testimonials and live call-in sessions. Listen to one of NURHI’s radio dramas.

Want to learn more about CCP’s use of radio in health and development? Join us for a Twitter chat today from 10am – 11am EDT using #WRDchat or explore the reading list below.


Further reading:

Laying the foundation for a groundbreaking radio program (Health Communication Capacity Collaborative)
The influence of a reality radio program on HIV/AIDS in Malawi: Results from a pilot study
Using entertainment education to promote self-efficacy and aspirations among young Malawians: the Tisankhenji radio program
Increasing equity, affirming the power of narrative and expanding dialogue: the evolution of entertainment education over two decades
Impact of the Integrated Radio Communication Project in Nepal, 1994-1997

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