New distance learning radio programme to strengthen knowledge

  • Workshop to design a distance learning radio programme in Sierra Leone and Liberia
MamaYe was invited to participate in a workshop to design a distance learning radio programme. Here's a recount of what happened.

The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) managed by the Johns Hopkins University, Center for Communication Programs, uses social and behaviour change communication to rebuild trust and address reproductive maternal, neonatal and child health (RMNCH) issues in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

HC3 invited MamaYe to participate in a workshop designing a distance learning radio programme in Monrovia in early September.

The radio programme will aim to strengthen health promotion and other skills of community volunteers to promote RMNCH issues in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Around 48 attendees took part in the workshop including Sierra Leone’s and Liberia’s Ministry of Health officials, implementing partners and radio production houses.

The implementing partners and radio production houses are champions in promoting RMNCH issues in both countries. The session facilitation was led by the Johns Hopkins University. 

Participants from Sierra Leone were drawn from Port Loko, Bombali, Tonkolili and Western Area and these included social mobilisation coordinators, representatives of the Health Education Division, Evidence for Action-MamaYe, Save the Children, Concern Worldwide, GOAL, FOCUS 1000, World Vision and Talking Drum. 

Together with other HC3 activities, the distance learning radio programme aims to contribute to an increase in:

  • Awareness of available RMNCH services
  • Positive attitudes towards health providers (facility- and community-based) and the health facility serving their community
  • Intention to seek care from a health provider (facility- and community-based) 
  • Use of RMNCH services
  • Uptake of project promoted behaviours

The similar context of both countries created a platform for detailed discussion, experience sharing and reaching a quick consensus.

The workshop was participatory as different approaches (group work, presentation, plenary sessions) were used.

There were many brainstorming activities on the vision and objectives of the radio programme, and key individual, family and community messages on RMNCH promoted behaviors were outlined as indicated below.

The vision developed for the distance radio program was amazing as it is in line with our MamaYe campaign, which is a public action campaign that educates and encourages every pregnant woman, every family, every youth, every man and every community to collectively act to save the lives of mothers and babies. 

Participants appreciated the workshop as it was also a learning opportunity in designing a distance radio programme and these skills can be replicated in our own behaviour change communication interventions.

Developing content sheets was a great learning for most attendees and the most familiar topic was the radio formats with a long list (direct information, chat, discussion, drama, storytelling, testimonials, interview, magazine, jingles, documentary, songs, and poems).

The HC3 programme will organize another engagement session with partners from Liberia and Sierra Leone to finalise the distance learning radio programme.   

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