Learn how we use evidence-based behaviour change campaigns to improve and save lives in low-income countries.
Learn about how DMI brings together two different worlds: demonstrable scientific practice and creative storytelling.
Location Early childhood development
Intervening in the first 3 years of life is the most cost-effective way to help children develop to their full potential. Effective stimulation during this period plays a key role in encouraging brain development, whilst poor nutrition and sub-optimal parental interactions hinder it. We partnered with the Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) to support the Malezi II programme and improve early childhood development and nutrition outcomes by delivering a radio and mobile video campaign in the Tabora region of Tanzania.
Early Childhood Development (ECD) – encouraging play, child-directed language and praise.
Nutrition – preventing stunting by promoting exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding.
37 x 1 minute radio spots and five x 5-6 minute films to be distributed via mobile phones , each produced in Swahili.
The Malezi II project ran from January 2018 to December 2020. We broadcast our radio campaign on three radio stations and distributed our films in 86 health centres as well as with the help of over 270 Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Tabora.
Over 400,000 people
In Tanzania, 95% of under-8s are not engaged in early stimulation activities, learning opportunities, or care facilities. Tanzanian children also suffer from widespread micronutrient deficiencies, with 36% of under-fives not growing as they should for their age.
For this reason, we partnered with EGPAF to distribute age-appropriate ECD and nutrition related behaviour change messages in community and health care settings. For our radio campaign, we conducted a media analysis to identify the three most popular radio stations amongst parents in the Tabora region. As some complex messages are easier to convey visually, we also produced five short films to be shown in health centres and distributed by health workers in the community. The videos are sharable via Bluetooth, facilitating a ‘viral’ spread via internet-free sharing.
Our team in Tanzania worked with EGPAF to conduct desk- and field-based formative research to understand which behaviours to promote and which barriers to behaviour change to address. The overarching message we promoted was: “from birth, stimulate your children by speaking to them and engaging them with their surroundings. Play, Talk, Praise”.
For our radio campaign, we adapted 25 spots from DMI’s ASTUTE campaign in the Lake Zone to ensure they were relevant for audiences in Tabora. We wrote and recorded 12 more spots focusing exclusively on ECD behaviours, including the importance of playing, talking to and praising young children, using positive discipline to help children learn and the importance of both mothers and fathers interacting with young children.
We produced five short films, each covering a different age bracket (0-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-24 months, 24-36 months, and 0-36 months). In the films we follow Veronika, a community health worker, as she visits local families and explains the different ways in which caregivers should play with, talk to, positively discipline and praise children during these different stages of their childhood.
Our 37 radio spots were broadcast 10 times a day on the three most popular radio stations in Tabora – the national radio station Radio Free Africa (RFA) and two community radio stations: CG FM and Voice of Tabora.
The five films were uploaded onto 1500 SD cards and 600 tablet devices which were shared with 276 community health workers (CHWs) in the intervention areas and 86 health centres in Tabora for use during consultations with parents and caregivers.
Watch the video
2-3 years old
Wise Parents Have Smart Children
EGPAF conducted surveys before and after the campaign to measure exposure to our radio spots and films, as well as to measure the impact of the wider Malezi II project.
We implemented our media campaign in close collaboration with the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF). We are grateful to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, who funds the Malezi II project.