May 26, 2015
The Soul Beat

Soul Beat Africa

The Soul Beat 252 - Communication and Change News and Issues
May 26, 2015
From SOUL BEAT AFRICA - where communication and media are central to AFRICA's social and economic development

This is a general issue of The Soul Beat e-newsletter which contains a selection of summaries from the Soul Beat Africa website covering a range of development issues. It includes programme experiences, research reports, evaluation reports, and resource materials which look at how media and communication, including information and communication technologies (ICTs), are contributing to sexual and reproductive health, the Ebola response, maternal health, malaria, gender-based violence, and climate change.


  • 1. Bingwa Magazine - Kenya and Uganda
    Published since 2009, Bingwa magazine for children is intended to be a source of information, advice, and fun for children aged 9-14. Published by Child Africa, Bingwa (which means champion in Swahili) offers a space for children to speak up and be heard, encourages a love of reading, and nurtures integrity and action with the long-term goal of fighting corruption.
  • 2. Girls Empowered Stories of Change - Digital Storytelling Project - Malawi and Rwanda
    As part of the global Grassroots Girls Initiative (GGI), the Firelight Foundation worked with three organisations in Malawi and Rwanda to empower adolescent girls from economically poor and marginalised communities. In order to document how the initiative has benefited girls and to allow girls to share their stories of change, the project introduced a digital storytelling component. Nine adolescent girls were trained to use smart phones to film and edit their stories, which were then shown in village film festivals to start conversations about girls' education.
  • 3. The Birds and The Bees Peer Education Programme - South Africa
    Since 1999, the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust's Birds and the Bees peer education programme has been working with high school students in Khayelitsha, a township in Cape Town, South Africa, to build their capacity to support rape survivors and fight sexual violence in their schools and communities. The peer educators take part in a 13-week programme, culminating in a four-day youth camp, where they learn skills and knowledge to implement awareness-raising activities and help support survivors.
  • 4. Elembo Radio Drama - DRC
    Broadcasting from February 2015 to October 2016, Elembo is a 156-part serial radio drama that uses entertainment education to address issues such as adolescent reproductive health, child and maternal health, refugees, and deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Elembo (meaning "Footprint") is produced by Population Media Center in collaboration with a local creative team, and is broadcast twice a week on eleven community radio stations.
  • 5. I Survived Ebola Multi-media Campaign - Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea
    Launched in December 2014, the I Survived Ebola campaign is using personal stories and experiences told by Ebola survivors in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea "to inform, protect, and spread hope" while also countering stigma and discrimination. The stories are being documented and shared in video, audio, and print formats, and disseminated though media, online platforms, a mobile phone app, and other distribution channels, including being dramatised in a 5-part radio drama. I Survived Ebola is being implemented by PCI Media Impact in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and Vulcan Productions.
  • 6. Holding Government Accountable to Gender-based Violence in the Republic of Congo Project
    From December 2011 to March 2014, this project worked to strengthen documentation, reporting, and monitoring of domestic and sexual violence incidences and the responses of law enforcement agencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo. By tracking and documenting cases using information and communication technology platforms and building the capacity of local women's and human rights organisations, the project sought to give survivors a voice, produce evidence to better understand the issue, and put pressure on governments to combat gender-based violence. The project was implemented by the Women's Rights Programme of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and AZUR Développement, with the support of the Africa Technology and Transparency Initiative (ATTI).

  • 7. Rapid Qualitative Assessment of Maternal and Newborn Health Care (MNHC) Speaking Book in Two Districts in the Amhara Region, Ethiopia [September, 2013]
    By Endale Engida and Tesfaye Simireta
    This research summary discusses the findings of a research study, conducted by UNICEF, on the use of "Speaking Books" as a health promotion tool to address maternal, newborn, child, and family health (MNCH) issues in the Amhara Region, Ethiopia. The MNCH book was designed to be used as a tool by health extension workers involved in Ethiopia's Health Extension Program to complement the Family Health Card.
  • 8. Love Me Parents: An Evaluation of Tanzania's National Safe Motherhood Campaign [September, 2014]
    This report discusses the findings of an evaluation of the Wazazi Nipendeni or Love Me Parents multi-media campaign in Tanzania, which sought to improve maternal health by increasing early attendance at antenatal care (ANC) clinics, encouraging uptake and adherence to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) for malaria prevention during pregnancy, promoting birth-planning, and improving knowledge and behavioural outcomes to prevent maternal and neonatal childhood mortality. Launched in November 2012, the campaign included radio and TV spots, billboards, an informational short-message-service (SMS) number, and a range of print materials.

  • 9. University Initiative Needs Assessment [April, 2014]
    An important focus of the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) is to expand the role universities and training institutes play in local and regional health communication practice, teaching, and research. For this reason, HC3 conducted this assessment to identify current areas of strength and opportunity for growth in social and behavioural change communication (SBCC) education, research and practice, both institutionally and among individual faculty.
  • 10. Farming for the Future: Communication Efforts to Advance Family Farming [2014]
    By Linda Austin
    This report discusses development communication as a key component of agricultural and rural development policies and programmes, particularly focusing on how communication can help support family farming. The report highlights the emerging concept of 'rural communication services', which seeks to gather the wide range of communication activities to support family farming under one umbrella, with the ultimate common goal of enhancing rural livelihoods by facilitating access to knowledge and information, while fostering social inclusion and a greater role in decision-making.
  • 11. Community Perspectives about Ebola in Bong, Lofa and Montserrado Counties of Liberia: Results of a Qualitative Study [2015]
    By Najmeh Modarres
    This report discusses findings of an assessment to better understand community perceptions related to responses to the Ebola virus outbreak in Lofa, Bong, and Monteserrado counties in Liberia, with a focus on communication. The assessment was conducted to assist the Government of Liberia and its partners to understand community attitudes, norms, and practices related to the Ebola outbreak; the changes that have taken place since the outbreak started; as well as ongoing challenges and concerns. The results are intended to inform ongoing and future activities on social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) in response to the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.
  • 12. Promoting Active Citizenship [January, 2015]
    by Duncan Green
    This paper pulls together insights and lessons from 10 case studies of Oxfam's work in promoting active citizenship. The case studies, written over the course of 2013/14, employ a 'theory of change approach' to explore how change happens in different contexts. The case studies cover a range of countries, including Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as different kinds of initiatives, such as humanitarian, long-term development, and advocacy initiatives and campaigns.
  • 13. Reading in the Mobile Era: A Study of Mobile Reading in Developing Countries [2014]
    By Mark West and Han Ei Chew
    Drawing on a year-long analysis of over 4,000 surveys collected in 7 developing countries and corresponding qualitative interviews, this report paints a picture of who reads books and stories on mobile devices and why. This information seeks to inform strategies to expand mobile reading and, by extension, the educational, social and economic benefits associated with increased reading.
  • 14. Community Based Monitoring to Increase Access of Adolescents to Primary Health Care Services: A Soul City Case Study [2014]
    This case study discusses the findings of a process evaluation of a community-based monitoring (CBM) of health services project conducted in twelve South African communities to assess and support quality health care and increase access to and participation in health care by adolescents. "CBM is a form of public oversight that uses local information to describe and track changes within the health care system. It is aimed at promoting accountability through increased involvement of users in the delivery of health care services"
  • 15. Ghana: Keeping Net Use Messages Fresh and Cool [2013]
    This case study shares the experience of Ghana's Aha Ye De (Twi for "It's Good Here") campaign in keeping net use messages fresh and relevant over a 3-year campaign. The Ghana Behavior Change Support (BCS) project created the campaign as the umbrella brand for all its malaria messages to support continuous distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINS). "Aha Ye De sought to boost use and demand for nets by positioning net use as a lifestyle decision for people from all walks and stages of life."
  • 16. Africa's Media Boom: The Role of International Aid [October, 2014]
    By Mary Myers
    This report from the Center for International Media Assistance discusses the role of media assistance in sub-Saharan Africa's media liberalisation, particularly during the early 1990s. It also reflects on key lessons learned by donors over the past 25 years and the implications of these lessons for the future of media development. Based on examples from across Africa, the report demonstrates the important role that donor aid played in African media development, particularly in the community radio sector.


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  • 17. A Journalist's Toolkit: Reporting on the Post-2015 Development Agenda [2014]
    By Christine Warwick and David Thomas
    This toolkit is intended for journalists who are covering, or would like to cover, stories relating to sustainable development and the design and implementation proposed for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and related framework of policies. It has been prepared to help clarify background issues and provide some international facts and figures to guide journalists reporting on the post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda and the proposed SDGs.
  • 18. Better Parenting Training For Caregivers of Highly Vulnerable Children - Facilitator's Manual and Job Aid [July, 2014]
    This Facilitator's Manual and accompanying Better Parenting Job Aid are designed to support community-based trainers - such as government representatives, community service organisation staff, local activists, and volunteers - to work with parents and caregivers to improve parenting practices. The two resources are meant to improve the attitudes, behaviours, and skills of caregivers, while also improving relationships and communication between caregivers and their children.
  • 19. The Climate Change Advocacy Toolkits [2014]
    By Hannah Reid, Ian Chandler, Raja Jarrah, and Peter With
    These Climate Change Advocacy Toolkits aim to guide and support civil society actors in the South in their efforts to advocate for pro-economically-poor climate policies. The toolkits were developed and published by the Southern Voices on Climate Change programme and are based on the practical experience of civil society organisations associated with the Southern Voices programme from around the world.
  • 20. Engendering Transformational Change: Save the Children Gender Equality Program Guidance and Toolkit [October, 2014]
    This toolkit, published by Save the Children, focuses on gender mainstreaming, which is "a strategy for making girls', boys', women's, and men's concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of policies and programs, so that all intended beneficiaries can equitably benefit from the intervention."
  • 21. eLearning Series on Evidence-based Malaria Social & Behavior Change Communication: From Theory to Program Evaluation
    Offered by the NetWorks Project, this online training series is designed to strengthen capacity on how to use evidence and data to create strong SBCC programmes for malaria prevention and control. The training series is intended for a wide audience, but primarily for those who work on malaria control and prevention programmes.


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