East Africa Toolkit: Demand Generation
Promoting Family Planning and Contraceptive Services Using Radio
Radio is the most common and pervasive medium of receiving information in East Africa today apart from interpersonal communication. Radio has the capacity to reach a wider audience because it is relatively affordable, accessible, easy to use, and available in a variety of languages. Building on the Tupange Jongo Love Radio shows, Tupange Pamoja is supporting cities to adopt and air family planning messages on radio shows, including sports broadcasts.
Radio communication remains one of the most effective avenues for reaching target audiences to raise awareness, education and motivate the community to adopt family planning
Why Is It Important to Use Radio to Promote Family Planning & Contraceptive Services?
- Almost everybody in urban centers, including those in the slums, either own or has easy access to a radio. People can access radio broadcasts on the go, wherever they are, whilst going about their normal everyday business.
- Radio enjoys a high level of credibility; most people believe that information heard on radio is factual.
- Continued education on the benefits of family planning to targeted clients will help them make informed choices.
Guidance: How to Use Radio in Promoting Family Planning & Contraceptive Services
- Prepare accordingly by planning the messages that address specific knowledge, attitudes and practices in family planning or contraception and involve diverse groups in testing them, including women, men, adolescents and youth.
- Select journalists who have been trained or are passionate about family planning/adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) programming. Advanced Family Planning (AFP) has worked with Tupange Pamoja to train journalists on family planning reporting in some TCI implementing sites such as Migori County, Buikwe and Mukono Districts.
- Identify a radio station with high listenership ideally; this could be a national or community radio station. Share FP messages with the radio show producers and participants – test them to ensure they are practical and feasible as well as build the confidence of the participants. The messages can be packaged into radio spots, drama and mentions (messages read live by presenters on FP/contraception).Topics to be covered may include:
- What is family planning/contraception, and benefits
- Demystifying myths and misconceptions
- Communication and counseling, especially for adolescents and youth
- Benefits of family planning and contraception
- Effects of teenage pregnancies to the adolescent, family and community
- Talk about the radio shows during health promotion and social mobilization activities and share with networks in catchment area.
- On the day of the broadcast, share the relevant family planning/contraception messages and remember to include success stories.
- Review and evaluate the radio programs after every broadcast and discuss the feedback with the show hosts and redesign subsequent shows to cater to the needs of the target audience. This will provide an opportunity to review the content if need be.
- Schedule regular broadcasting times riding on existing segments that focus on health, wellness and future protection and plans. Ensure the listeners are able to interact with presenters through call-ins, SMS, and other social media platforms during the shows.
- Post photos, anecdotes or quotes about the radio show. Talk to relevant people to have recorded shows played at events hosted by youth groups, schools and partners.
Helpful Programming Tips
- Community radio is a cost-effective dissemination approach because it already has relationships with the regional government and therefore discounted rates and is widely listened to within the community. So, establish a sustained, collaborative arrangement with the relevant radio partner for ease of planning.
- Be ready with sample messages and materials that have been pre-tested. It would also be handy to establish a database of available radio and TV journalists and spokespeople for ease of engagement.
- Maintain visibility and consistency. Regular, consistent messaging will help to build trust and ensure that the audience remains engaged.
- In order to achieve the greatest impact possible, you may need slightly different messages based on the needs of various individuals or organizations.
- To drive listenership include pre-program teasers and promotions.
- Pick impactful feature stories that can be pitched to reporters.
- Before the airing of the show, promote the program through existing channels, such as CHVs, digital channels in use at the facility and other sensitization fora, Facebook/Twitter pages, SMS reminders, and during all social mobilization activities.
- Where possible – have prize packs, which may include t-shirts, caps, umbrellas, etc. The winner may be asked questions around the topic discussed during the airplay.
- Increased knowledge of and uptake of family planning methods (including long-acting methods) among all women and men, but particularly among adolescents and youth
- Increased support among partners/community members for family planning and adolescents’ access to reproductive health services
- Reduced myths and misconceptions on family planning issues, particularly surrounding AYSRH
- Monitor clients who call in and send SMS for questions through the phone or social media
- Monitor clients who can identify radio as source of information
- Number of clients reached with family planning information through the radio
- Airtime dedicated to family planning information on the radio
- Broadcasting airtime
- Message development
- Giveaways/prizes for correct answered quizzes
- Airtime for social media engagement
- Transport for participants to the radio station
- Training of participants and the journalists
- Inclusion of family planning and AYSRH in already existing radio programs
- Inclusion of demand generation activities in the governments’ annual work plans
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Radio is an effective way to promote FP because it is easy for people to access and is widely credible.CorrectIncorrect
It is not necessary to promote a radio airing beforehand through other channels such as Facebook/twitter or at other events.CorrectIncorrect
Radio promotion includes:CorrectIncorrect
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