Very interesting research project.
The intervention that this research initiative is exploring is a 2.5-year radio campaign that began broadcasting in March 2012. It involves the broadcast of health messages using radio spots (60-second adverts) and radio phone-in programmes (see videos below). DMI and LSHTM are broadcasting this behaviour change campaign to 7 randomised geographic areas (clusters) across Burkina Faso and are using 7 additional clusters as controls. Organisers say that a controlled trial using radio would not normally work due to the risk that people in “control” areas would listen to radio stations broadcasting from “intervention” areas. However, Burkina Faso has a very localised, radio-dominated media environment, so organisers can use local FM radio stations to broadcast messages to intervention areas without “leaking” into the control areas.
…. The model predicts that a campaign can reduce childhood mortality by 8-15% per year, by the third year. It also predicts that its cost-effectiveness (at between US$2 and US$10 per “disability-adjusted life year” or DALY) is better than any other currently available intervention, including bed nets for malaria and childhood immunisations.
Midline results (on behaviour change) are expected in late 2013, with full endline data (including child mortality outcomes) being published in 2015. The evaluation includes a baseline survey of 50,000 households and an endline mortality survey with a sample size of 100,000.