September 6th, 2019
We come to you this week with two studies on "edutainment", the combination of education with entertainment as an alternative approach to inspiring behavioural change. As an emerging field in development, there are as of yet few studies measuring its effectiveness: we are proud to have published one this week, read on to find out more!

01 - Num6ers

Interesting stats or figures from the past week to put global issues in perspective


The number of times Pope Francis has visited the African continent since his appointment in 2013 (compared to 2 trips Pope Benedict XVI, his predecessor, made during his 8-year papacy), having arrived on Wednesday in Mozambique before heading to Madagascar and Mauritius.

164 700
The number of people recruited by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) to support the census efforts, including 2,700 ICT supervisors, 27,000 content monitoring supervisors and 135,000 enumerators for the population count. According to a government press release, the census was successful, with 95% of the population enumerated.

Proportion of the Nigerian population who use their handsets to transact using mobile money, (compared with 73% of Kenyans). Although Nigeria has a mobile phone penetration rate of 84%, they are yet being used for banking in Nigeria - something which will likely change with the launch of Momo, the mobile money solution developed by MTN, Nigeria’s largest mobile operator.

02 - Fresh from the Lab

New insights, trends, and findings for behavioral science in the Global South

This week we explored ways to address gender-based violence using social signalling and entertainment. For this study, we collaborated with Oxford Policy Management to measure the effectiveness of anti-GBV edutainment videos and identify the mechanisms behind their effectiveness. 

To do this, we showed our control group a popular show that is widely broadcasted in Zambia.

Our treatment group was shown an edutainment video by the Zambia Center for Communication Programmes (ZCCP) with anti-GBV messaging.

Half of the participants were then randomly assigned a social nudge by telling them “Many people in your community have also watched this video”. The rest watched the video on their own, without being told anything before playing the video.

We found that watching the edutainment video with the social nudge led to less acceptance of GBV, but also found, somewhat counterintuitively, that watching our control video, the traditional Zambian show, in a social setting had the opposite effect: participants reported more community acceptance of GBV. The show, which portrayed traditional gender roles through the characters of the wife and daughter, may normalize traditional gender roles as acceptable norms in their community.

To understand more about our study and discover our recommendations, read the full blog post here!

03 - Links we liked

Recently published journals, papers, blog posts or just interesting snippets we enjoyed

  • Uber explains its new pricing strategy of doubling their rates on certain routes, explaining that these changes have been informed by the “continued feedback [from drivers] and many months of thorough reviews on the growth and sustainability of their earnings opportunities”. If you have worked with us before, you know that we often refer to Uber as a great example of a business applying behavioral science at scale, where the combined use of insights from academia paired with rigorous testing and data analysis makes them more responsive to change and reactive to new trends and opportunities.
  • More on edutainment, and its possible applications for development initiatives. This study measured the effectiveness of the edutainment TV drama, MTV Shuga, in fighting HIV. The results indicate that the TV show positively changed deep-seated views and behaviours in the context of HIV-related outcomes, highlighting again the added-value of edutainment in its ability to deliver information that is very difficult to convey through traditional formats.
The Behavioral Policy Symposium took place this week in Pakistan, which our CEO James Vancel attended as a Panel speaker. Discover the tweet of the event below!

Have a lovely week-end!

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