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Radio Drama

The NURHI Entertainment-Education Radio Program: Step by Step Implementation from formative research to broadcast

NURHI in collaboration with its partner Association of Radio Drama Artist (ARDA) decided to produce weekly radio programs for each of the four cities that include entertaining hosts, drama, songs, experts, quizzes, vox pops, user testimonials and live call-in sessions.

Step 1:  Design the radio program

NURHI and African Radio Drama Association (ARDA) developed the program in two stages; the design workshop and the story-writing workshop. The radio design workshop participants included NURHI staff, family planning experts, stakeholders, writers and community members from the four initial cities.  Based on formative research, participants agreed on the audiences, format, objectives, messages, and promotional strategy for the overall program with specific objectives and messages for each weekly episode.  There was one design document for all four-site specific radio programs. Click here to view the Radio Design Document.

Click here to link to How to Design and Produce Radio Serial drama for Social Development

During the story writing workshop, writers, program specialists and community members developed the drama characters, settings and stories for each of the cities. Separate stories were needed to cater for cultural and language differences among cities. After the stories were completed, the participants also agreed to divide the stories into 26 episodes.  Click here to view details of the radio drama treatment.  After the workshop these were refined, reviewed and finalized.

Based on these treatments, artists wrote the scripts that were reviewed and approved for broadcast by NURHI (click here to view all episodes of the NURHI radio drama scripts).  The first two episodes of each city’s program were produced and pretested with audience representatives.

Click here to link to How to Write a Radio Drama Serial

Step 2:  Produce radio program drama and magazine elements with live call-in and design support materials

After the drama and magazine scripts were finalized, ARDA produced the radio drama and magazine elements based on the design document. Click here to view Radio daram magazine script.  NURHI developed call-in program host guidelines for the live call-in portion and oriented the family planning experts and on air personality who would appear on the program to talk on how to deal with difficult callers, and familiarize them with the content outlines for each program.

A listener discussion guideline (click here for the radio listening group guidelines) was developed to help Social Mobilizers facilitate listening groups in their localities.   One month before the radio program began broadcasts, NURHI oriented the NGOs supporting social mobilizers on how to use to the guidelines.

Step 3:  One month before the radio program began broadcasts

In February 2012, NURHI’s 26-episode radio magazine drama (season 1) was launched in all four cities, each program tailored to the needs of the city.

Click on any of the episodes to listen:

Episode 1Episode 2Episode 3Episode 4Episode 5
Episode 6Episode 7Episode 8Episode 9Episode 10
Episode 11Episode 12Episode 13Episode 14Episode 15
Episode 16Episode 17Episode 18Episode 19Episode 20
Episode 21Episode 22Episode 23Episode 24Episode 25
Episode 26   

During these months, the program did not feature a live call-in segment. However, due to popular request, NURHI integrated a live call-in during the second phase (season 2), which was broadcasted from September 2012 to February 2013.

Click on any of the episodes to listen:

Episode 1Episode 2Episode 3Episode 4Episode 5
Episode 6Episode 7Episode 8Episode 9Episode 10
Episode 11Episode 12Episode 13Episode 14Episode 15
Episode 16Episode 17Episode 18Episode 19Episode 20
Episode 21Episode 22Episode 23Episode 24Episode 25
Episode 26   

NURHI and CCPN promoted the radio programs through radio spots, one page flyers, city-specific Facebook pages, weekly bulk SMS reminders to over 250,000 people, and during all social mobilization activities. During each radio program, listeners can text in answers to quiz questions.  The announcer reads the winners names and the NGOs gives the winner a prize pack which may include a ‘Get it Together’ t-shirts, caps, brochures, shopping bags, beach umbrellas and other items.

CCPN established listener groups in slum areas to listen to and discuss issues raised on the program.  Social mobilizers received radios, batteries and discussion guides, and were trained to set up and facilitate listening group discussions.

NURHI Advocacy and Behavior Change Officers in each city listen to the program every week, to ensure it is broadcast on schedule, and to record the questions and comments from listeners calling in or sending SMS the programs.  In addition, social mobilizers who facilitated listening groups tear out the page of discussion questions each week, adding feedback from the listeners, and submitted to NURHI.

Step 4:  Review, evaluate and redesign subsequent phases of radio program

NURHI provided feedback to ARDA on a regular basis. Also, NURHI held periodic review meetings and provided feedback to ARDA on a regular basis.

NURHI evaluated the reach and effects of the radio program through the MLE surveys.  Based on midterm findings Benin city (capital of Edo State) a NURHI replication city started off in 2013.  Consequently, a refined radio program was designed with the Phase III Radio Programs.  The Benin radio program design was heavier in content and storyline than the initial phase II design document. Key findings and directions from the midterm survey including reinforcing all ideational factors for family planning (knowledge, personal advocacy, approval from government officials and religious leaders talking about FP; and family size preference) and focusing on – Beliefs/Attitudes (addressing side effects, myths and misconceptions); spousal discussion of FP; perceived peer FP use; perceived peer support for FP and perceived self efficacy. the next radio program phase emphasized spousal communication, feature satisfied users, model peer support for FP and strategically addressed misconceptions.  Also, the call-in time was extended.