Location Early childhood development

SUNRISE: Early Childhood Development Randomised Controlled Trial


The SUNRISE project stands for Scaling Up Nurturing care, a Radio Intervention to Stimulate Early child development. It is being evaluated by a randomised controlled trial to study the effects of mass media on early childhood development (ECD).


Burkina Faso


Early childhood development – responsive care-giving, play, child-directed language and praise.


60 x 1-minute radio spots and interactive phone-in programmes, all in seven languages.


This RCT study runs from January 2020 to December 2025. Our radio campaign began broadcasting on radio stations in Burkina Faso in October 2021 and will continue for 36 months.

Our Approach

A map of radio reach in Burkina Faso indicating the areas DMI's campaigns reach


The Study Design

For our SUNRISE RCT, we are working with a group of local radio stations, half of which are broadcasting the campaign and half of which are acting as controls.

We are collecting quantitative data on children’s cognitive, language, and motor skills, as well as responsive parenting practices and the child’s immediate home environment.

Surveys will also be conducted to measure coverage of our campaign, message recall and knowledge, attitudes, and practice in relation to early childhood development (ECD).


Using drama to promote cognitive development

We have conducted formative research that investigated barriers and facilitators to behaviour change relating to early childhood development. We used the results of this research to produce radio spots and 1-hour interactive call-in radio shows that address these barriers and promote cognitive development and positive parenting. We test all new spots with families within our target communities to assess their reaction and understanding.


Intensive broadcasting

We broadcast our 1-minute radio spots 10 times per day, every day, all in seven languages.

We are also working with our radio station partners to create and broadcast interactive phone-in shows. This format presents listeners with stories they can relate to and invites them to discuss the key behaviours presented, allowing the community to engage with the content collectively and in depth.

Partners & Funders

The RCT study is conducted in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University College London (UCL) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). We are grateful to the funders of this ambitious RCT: Wellcome and the Light Foundation.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine logo Innovations for Poverty Action logo The Light Foundation logo