Issue 10

Andrea Scavo
Chris Snow
Publication Date
November 1, 2016

BBC Media Action

"This briefing, based on quantitative data from seven countries (Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Myanmar, Tanzania and Sierra Leone), outlines the links between watching and listening to governance programmes and political participation, as well as the key drivers of participation: political knowledge, discussion and efficacy."

This BBC Media Action research is intended to measure links between watching BBC Media Action's governance programming and participating politically in seven countries: Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. Programming aims to influence accountability on three levels:

  • "Empowering people: providing trusted, accurate and balanced information, stimulating discussion and challenging barriers so that people from every section of society are able to participate effectively in the decisions that affect their lives
  • Creating space: supporting more inclusive public discussion on the issues that affect all sections of society
  • Influencing power: exposing those in power to views from across society, requiring them to explain and answer for their actions, increasing transparency and improving leaders’ responsiveness."

Quantitative data collected from more than 23,000 respondents of the population demographics of each research country. "The research hypothesis was that exposure to BBC Media Action governance programming is associated with increased political participation and three of its key drivers: political knowledge, discussion and efficacy. The surveys were carried out between 2013 and 2015 and were based on a common set of questions, allowing for cross-country comparison."

Findings include: "BBC Media Action’s audiences participate more than people who do not listen or watch its programmes, even when taking other influencing factors - such as age, income and interest in politics – into account. There is also a strong, positive association between exposure to BBC Media Action programmes and political knowledge and discussion. The findings also suggest that exposure to governance programmes can have a 'compensating effect' on the political participation of groups who have historically been less engaged in politics - those who are young, less educated and less interested in politics."


BBC Media Action website, November 17 2016.