BBC Media Action's blog

Helping communities to make Naija better

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Author: Uche Joy Nnogo, August 3 2016 - A small community in Nigeria is demanding better services to protect their children from diarrhoea. Joy Nnogo, of radio show Talk Your Own - Make Naija Better, shares their story.

A young woman sits silently. Older women in her community are consoling her.

"My two year old woke up one morning with a fever,” she tells us. The young woman had taken the child to the health centre for medication. A day later, her child started convulsing with severe diarrhoea. She had no idea how to deal with it. She is crying now. In-between her tears, she tells us that the child became weak and collapsed. She’s grieving but doesn’t blame anyone or anything. She just looks tired and defeated.

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Inside a randomised control trial: insights from Bangladesh

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Author: BBC Media Action Research and Learning team, July 27 2016 - BBC Media Action conducted its first ever randomised control trial (RCT) on the impact of our health programming on audiences. In this blog, we explore some of the methodological challenges of conducting an RCT and ensuring randomisation in the field based on our work with pregnant mothers and women of childbearing age in Bangladesh.

This is the second blog in a two-part series on BBC Media Action’s Bangladesh RCT, read more about the results of the study in the first blog.

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When the skill of questioning is listening: interviewing refugees in Europe

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Author: BBC Media Action Research Editor Katy Williams, July 26 2016 - Having recently undertaken the perilous journey from Damascus to Berlin, researcher and filmmaker Reem Karssli – now seeking asylum in Germany – had a strong connection with the people she interviewed for BBC Media Action’s research into the communication needs of refugees in Europe.

Filmmaker Reem Karssli knows first-hand the importance of reliable communications to refugees. Six months ago, she fled the war in Syria and is now a refugee herself in Germany where she became part of the team researching the communication needs of refugees for BBC Media Action’s Voices of Refugees report.

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Can mass media cause change? A randomised control trial finds out

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Author: Paul Bouanchaud and others including a team from BBC Media Action, July 20 2016 - Can the mass media cause changes in an audience's knowledge, attitudes and intention to practise behaviours? At BBC Media Action, we have just successfully conducted a randomised control trial to investigate this chain of causality in a prime time health TV drama in Bangladesh.

Do BBC Media Action programmes cause changes in our audiences? Do our television and radio shows increase knowledge, make people think differently or change their actual behaviour? In short, what is happening as a direct result of our programmes?

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Sexploitation in Tanzania - how a radio show is helping young people

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Author: Gaure Mdee, July 20 2016 - We arrived in Kahama in north-western Tanzania on a cool Thursday afternoon. The town is home to one of the country’s largest gold mines but unemployment here is high. Many people struggle to make ends meet in spite of the riches that lie hidden below the ground.

Our radio show Niambie (Tell Me) aims to give young people a voice. We had travelled to Kahama to make a show about how corruption affects them and ways in which the community can tackle the problem together. As a national corruption chief told us during our visit, 'corruption is rife and rampant here.'

In preparation for the show we interviewed young people at the offices of local youth development charity Kahama Heroes. Young people spoke openly.

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How can humanitarian broadcasting help support recovery from crises?

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Author: Theo Hannides, July 7 2016 - When disaster strikes – whether in the form of an earthquake, conflict or epidemic – people need the right information to understand what is happening and how they can best respond. In recent years, the humanitarian community has increasingly recognised the importance of providing accurate and trusted information and using communication in crises. However, there is very little evidence available of what actually works best in information and communication responses to emergencies, not least because it is so difficult to do robust research. BBC Media Action’s recent report looks at how to meet these challenges and, by synthesising research from across four of its emergency responses, adds to the evidence base of what does and doesn’t work.

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'Together we can do it': an action-packed festival

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Author: BBC Media Action's Mahbubul Hasan Manik, July 7 2016 - "This event helped me learn these techniques by heart" one man told me after he finished watching a demonstration of how to build a simple water filter. This knowledge will help him remove iron from his water, which can lead to serious health complications if consumed in excess. He’d just spent his Friday afternoon at a special Amrai Pari mini-festival held in Rangpur in the north of Bangladesh.

Amrai Pari (Together we can do it) began life as a television programme. It featured communities adopting low cost, replicable solutions to everyday problems caused by extreme weather and changing weather patterns.

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Tackling Zika: What health communicators can learn from Ebola

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Author: BBC Media Action's Sophia Wilkinson, July 6 2016 - Since the World Health Organisation declared Zika a global public health emergency in February of this year, much attention has been brought to bear on applying lessons learned during the Ebola crisis of 2014-15. This blog draws on the lessons for the health communication sector explored through a new practice briefing from BBC Media Action, Using media and communication to respond to public health emergencies - lessons learned from Ebola, and the unique role media and communications can play in effectively tackling Zika.

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App designed to help Syrian refugees

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Author: Leen Hashem, June 21 2016 - 'We've started a WhatsApp group for refugees living in this area' a middle aged man said enthusiastically, explaining how the platform was helping the group share information and provide each other with much needed support.

The man, formerly a respected school teacher in Syria, was speaking to a group of people at a drop-in information centre (called Dawaween in Arabic). Forced to flee his home in Syria to Lebanon five years ago, he was determined to help his community build a future. ‘Syria is our homeland and we must be prepared to rebuild it on our return’ he remarked assuredly. His peers nodded in agreement.

Information is aid

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Skiing in Afghanistan

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Author: Mukhtar Yadgar, June 15 2016 - Afghanistan’s Bamyan province is best known for its ancient statues of Buddha, destroyed 15 years ago by the Taliban government. Today, its relative security and freezing winters are aiding the growth of a fledgling skiing industry. Mukhtar Yadgar explains how a radio station is helping local people discuss its potential for growth.

A five minute drive from the site where the ancient Buddhas of Bamyan once stood, a radio mast sprouts from the ground. It belongs to Radio Bamyan, a local radio station in one of Afghanistan’s most mountainous regions. It’s summer now and wisps of brown dust rise up with the heat, yet in the winter months, Radio Bamyan’s roof is covered with snow.
 

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