"Vrai Djo" Project: Final Report
"At the end of this campaign, the commitment on the part of the beneficiaries to fight against SGBV was clear. This commitment is reflected in the changing perceptions and behaviour of men towards their wives, with a deeper understanding of their positive role in society."
This report shares an evaluation of "Vrai Djo", a behaviour change communication (BCC) campaign designed to promote positive male role models in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In short, the evaluation found that: the "Vrai Djo" campaign has contributed to a change in male behaviour; the "Vrai Djo" campaign has been useful and relevant; and the choice of lead character was credible.
As detailed here, with funding from the British Government, the Search for Common Ground (SFCG) launched a media campaign under the slogan "Vrai Djo", which means "Real Man" in order to challenge men to improve their attitudes towards women. The aim of this campaign, which uses short films (public service announcements, or PSAs) featuring a DRC celebrity (Celeo Scram, "a superstar of Congolese music...[who] has not succumbed to negative temptations and his behaviour is considered to be exemplary for a Congolese music star") in order to contribute to a change in male attitudes towards more positive and constructive behaviour towards women.
After having written video scripts, SFCG conducted two focus group discussions, one with 14 communication experts and another with 18 SFCG staff in Kinshasa in to test the suitability of the messages that were launched and make sure that they communicated their messages effectively. Following the focus groups, SFCG conducted a series of pre- and post-tests. The objective of the pre-test was to verify the effectiveness of the messages in order to determine whether or not they would have a sufficient impact on the beneficiaries. Selected findings from Kinshasa include:
- "The first question of the pre- and post-test asked viewers if they would not hire a woman for a job, because they thought she was beautiful....There was an increase in the number of respondents stating that a candidate's competence should be the only factor in determining whether or not she is hired."
- "Regarding the issue of what kind of attitude a man should have towards his wife if she comes home late, there was a relative improvement between pre- and post-test scores. All of the married men already had a positive attitude, and said that they would calmly ask their wife why she was late. Young singles and single adults however did not have this base attitude, and showed some improvement."
- "Regarding the question of whether or not "it is possible that a soldier might provide assistance to a woman who is alone", 100% of the participants said that it was....These were pre-acquired and were reinforced during the post-test."
- "The results of the pre- and post-tests show that all of the participants in each category of focus group thought it was possible to protect children against underage marriage. On the question of how a parent should respond if they are not satisfied with their daughter's academic performance, and if they should sign their daughter up for remedial courses, post-test results showed an improvement among young and adult singles."
- "An improvement was recorded regarding the question of the behaviour of a man towards a girlfriend who would refuse to have sex. Married men already had a positive attitude before seeing the clip, but single adults and young singles improved their opinion."
During broadcasting, listeners were able to call by phone, send an SMS/text message or email to ask questions, get clarifications, or give their views on the programme. During the month of June 2011, 24 listeners responded - 19 in the DRC and 5 from the diaspora. Eighty percent of them communicated that campaign was tackling actual problems within Congolese society and was an influential factor in changing the behaviour of men towards women in society.
Email from Dr. Dirk J. Koch to The Communication Initiative on August 10 2011. Image credit: AFP/File, Gwen Dubourthoumieu