Dec 27, 2017

Ouro Negro's Audience

Because Ouro Negro is a Portuguese-language program, not many of our Global Giving donors have the opportunity to hear the stories or participate in our popular Facebook page that engages thousands of Mozambicans each month. So for our final report of 2017, the PCI Media Impact team wanted to share some insights into how teenage listeners in Mozambique are responding to the drama and contributing to the program’s goals of improving maternal, newborn and child health.

Our stories encompass a range of health themes into the riveting drama broadcasts available on radio and onlinefrom emphasizing post-natal doctor’s appointments and nutrition to preventing malaria.  A high priority for ensuring better outcomes for girls and for babies, infants and toddlers is to encourage teens to avoid STDs, delay pregnancy and marriage, pursue education, economic stability and other dreams and, ultimately, become parents when they are better prepared to be responsible for their own health and that of their children.  To do this, they need to overcome great odds, given that 48% of girls marry before age 18 and only 11% of girls enroll in secondary school. 

Voices of our Teenage Audience

“Being from the North myself, I think I really like that girl who did not want to marry a man. Lura says she does not want to get married and give up her dreams, and for me, marriage is giving up my dreams, which is studying medicine. Fortunately, my mother says you can’t trust that after marrying he’s going to give you everything. She tells me to have a job and then get married. And I like medicine better. My mother has no job.”-- girl from Nampula, age 18

“I don’t have a boyfriend because I want to pursue my education and get a chance to live my dreams” -- girl from Maxaquene, age 17

“I use condoms because of two reasons: because of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.” -- girl from Maxaquene, age 17

“I used to not like it (condom) before, but I started to use it. I always heard it’s good, but I despised it. But in the radio soap opera, condoms avoid pregnancy and illness, and I started to use it and  implement it.”-- girl from Nampula, age 16

These quotes were taken from recent interviews conducted with youth in Mozambique and reflect how listeners are taking inspiration from the characters and scenarios of Ouro Negro to consider their own opportunities and choices. Our program is driven by Entertainment-Education methodology—bringing together entertaining content and evidence-based messaging developed with technical experts, role modeling characters as they make realistic decisions that may challenge socially accepted norms, and inspiring discussion and debate with family, friends and others in the community to inspire positive changes in knowledge, attitudes and behavior.

Thank you as always for your continuing support. Feliz Ano Novo!

Sep 28, 2017

Double the Drama: The Next Phase of Ouro Negro

I am excited to announce that PCI Media's highly popular Ouro Negro radio drama will complete its sixth season in 2018, after 254 episodes! So what’s next for Ouro Negro? We are now developing two dynamic new dramas-- FC MAFE and Os Intxunaveis—through which we will more directly target adolescents whose behavior and attitude change are so critical to improving the health and social outcomes of Mozambicans.

Set in a hair salon, FC MAFE will use soccer terminology to communicate key concepts and be broadcast in a time slot to capture the massive audiences of young people, especially men, who tune into National Football Matches on the radio. Os Intxunaveis will be set in a fishing community called Nguva. The key location of the drama is a boarding school called the Polytechnic Institute of the Future, which will allow our writers to explore many themes of significance to younger adolescents, from sexual and reproductive health to nutrition, while also following the lives of their teachers (our secondary target audience of women ages 20-35).   

So why change such a popular program? After analyzing our audience demographics and preferences, and the episode storylines, we saw an opportune time to introduce new characters, new formats and more closely target specific listener groups.   For example, we will now use a 1 story-1episode format rather than a longer-term story arc to ensure that our listeners do not miss invaluable messages communicated through characters’ mistakes, learnings and new decisions if they fail to tune in one week. And we think the dramas can be an even more powerful vehicle for inspiring positive changes by more closely addressing young men and adolescents. What won’t change is our continued commitment to using this creative medium to engage communities in seeing their own struggles in the characters and finding motivation for making positive behavior changes when it comes to nutrition, staying in school, waiting to get married and the many other choices that ultimately lead to better futures for young people and children. We invite our Global Giving Donors to join Ouro Negro as we transition into this new and exciting programming!

Jun 29, 2017

Webinar Recap and the Latest Ouro Negro Transmedia

Ouro Negro's Model for Sharing Stories and Change
Ouro Negro's Model for Sharing Stories and Change

I am excited to share that I participated in a webinar on the Girls Not Brides Scoping Study (see our March report) on June 14th, alongside Professor Dr. Martine Bouman from the Center for Media and Health and Kriss Barker, PhD, from the Population Media Center, to discuss some of the projects featured in the study with an international audience. Please access this link to listen to the recorded event:

I focused on Ouro Negro’s approach to using Entertainment-Education to engage listeners in challenging social norms around child marriage. Our recent evaluation revealed that Ouro Negro listeners were more likely than non-listeners to discuss health and equality topics covered on the show with their significant others, highlighting the program’s positive effect on interpersonal communication. There was also an increase in the perceived importance of delaying marriage until age 18 or older among families and community members after the show was broadcasted. Specifically-- exposed listeners believed that gaining maturity was a benefit of delaying marriage and that there were no social sanctions for getting married after 18. These evaluation results demonstrate a promising positive change that could shift social norms to discourage child marriage.

So what’s next for Ouro Negro? While the creative team is busy producing the next season of this dynamic radio drama, Ouro Negro’s storylines are extending from the air waves to town squares through community theater productions that are performed in local languages and accompanied by facilitated discussions to spark conversations among the live audiences. We have also just launched Ouro Negro ao Vivo!, a pre-recorded talk show produced by multiple radio stations in local languages in which the radio hosts engages local experts and audience members, using the drama as a vehicle for people to reflect on how these issues affect their own lives. The show also provides an opportunity to feature information that is tailored to specific communities. Radio hosts receive Toolkits with talking points and episode summaries to help guide the conversation.

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