Development Media International

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Development Media International (DMI) is a UK-based NGO that runs radio and television campaigns in Africa to save lives by promoting healthy behaviours. Our current focus is on maternal and child health. We have developed a statistical model, with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, that allows us to predict exactly how many lives we can save when we run campaigns focused on the key causes of under-five mortality (such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria). The model predicts that these campaigns can reduce child mortality in a given country by 10-16%, and that they are the cheapest way of saving lives that is currently available (at $2-$15 per ‘year of healthy life’). We are currently testing this model through a randomised controlled trial of a radio health project in Burkina Faso, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Planet Wheeler Foundation.

What we do

DMI delivers radio and TV campaigns to change behaviours and save lives in developing countries.

We design and deliver radio and TV campaigns (see examples) that are designed to improve health outcomes by informing people about important healthcare issues and promoting behaviour change where appropriate.

Our campaigns are carefully designed:

  •    To encourage behaviours that will save the most lives in a given country and context (for example, by promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life)
  •    To change behaviours by tackling the key barriers to behaviour change head-on (such as religious beliefs or cultural norms) and by tapping into underlying motivations and other enablers of change
  •    To reach the largest number of people in the most effective way (by choosing our media partners carefully based on the demographic profile, geographical location and language preferences of our target audience, and designing our campaigns to reach them several times a day for a sustained period)

Our primary focus is tackling the key causes of death and disability among children under five and recent mothers. In 2011, 6.9 million children under the age of five died worldwide; our model, based on wide-ranging and robust evidence, predicts that we can save one million lives among this group by running campaigns in 12 countries over several years. (It also predicts that we can do this more cheaply than any other existing health intervention, and we are running a cluster-randomised trial to prove this).