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.
We received funding from the Waterloo Foundation to produce four short live-action films, which aim to combat COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and misinformation in Southern Africa. The films were shot in Mozambique and then distributed in Mozambique and Zambia.
Mozambique and Zambia
COVID-19 – combatting vaccination hesitancy and misinformation.
4 x short audio-visual spots.
Our films were promoted on Facebook in both countries, and played via free WiFi hotspots in Zambia.
This campaign built on the progress we had made in responding to COVID-19. Since April 2020, we have produced 370 radio spots in 50 languages as well as short films for TV and social media. We also utilised the learning gained from producing live actions films on COVID-19 prevention in Côte d’Ivoire.
Our research team conducted initial research into the specific barriers to vaccine uptake in Southern Africa. The results of this formative research helped us to produce four audio-visual spots, each addressing different barriers.
We worked with local filmmakers and actors, and tested the film concepts with our target audience to ensure they resonated and had the potential to achieve behaviour change. We made the films available to the Mozambican Ministry of Health for use in their national campaigns.
We promoted the films on social media, specifically Facebook, where we conducted a small cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT).
In Zambia, the films were also shown to users of free public Wi-Fi hotspots in universities, in partnership with our existing partner, eNgoma. Universities were chosen to target the high number of young people who were yet to be vaccinated in Zambia.
We estimate the social media campaign reached 1.5 million people across the two countries (not including additional views achieved through peer-to-peer sharing, or via partner channels).
Watch the video
COVID or a Hug
DMI conducted two cluster randomised controlled trials (cRCTs) to test two different versions of our videos: one version providing information only, the other directly referencing and de-bunking common myths regarding the vaccine as well as providing information.
A cRCT was conducted in Zambia using university Wi-Fi hotspots. In this time, the vaccination rates rose dramatically in Zambia, though this was not directly attributable to our campaign.
An additional cRCT was set up using Facebook targeted ad campaigns. In Mozambique, the myth de-bunking videos not only generated a higher link clickthrough rate than the information-only videos (p<0.001), but also inspired significantly more comments and debate on the posts.
This was the first time DMI used either of these distribution channels to conduct a cRCT and it has opened doors to possibilities of conducting low-cost research before scaling distribution.
We are grateful to our funders for supporting this intervention.