DR Congo is a difficult setting to implement a communications program. Only 4% of ASSP beneficiary households own a telephone and 6% of women listen to the radio. IMA developed a strategy to communicate via movie nights in ASSP health centers, schools, and churches. During these movie nights, original media created by IMA staff was shown including instructional videos and entertaining short films. All of the videos were overdubbed into the three regional languages: Lingala, Swahili, and Tshiluba. ASSP also partnered with Girl Rising to show its films on girl’s education.

ASSP’s Ambassadors have hosted 2,034 movie nights in 4 out of 5 assisted provinces.
Each movie night received an average of 350 attendees, for a total of over 700,000 views.

Our Approach

ASSP conducted extensive research to gain a better understanding of its communications needs, including qualitative and quantitative studies on beneficiaries’ understanding of health practices and communication channels used.

ASSP hired and trained 34 Ambassadors locally in four out five assisted provinces. In addition to being trained on the basics of hosting movie nights in villages, the Ambassadors were also trained on how to conduct simple focus group research and data collection using ODK on Android smartphones. The Ambassadors were supplied with portable projectors, speakers, Android phones and motorcycles. They traveled each day to a new health area, hosting one movie night per night and, together, covering all of ASSP’s assisted health areas each month.

ASSP’s communication team worked vigorously to create and supply the Ambassadors with new, original media each month, including tutorials on nutrition and breastfeeding, entertainment education short films on lifesaving healthy behaviors, and documentaries on successful interventions through out ASSP project areas. Aside from the original media, ASSP also partnered with Girl Rising to show its films on the importance of girl’s education.

Each night the Ambassadors completed a report using ODK. Theses reports included never before captured GPS coordinates for ASSP health centers as well as data on the number of attendees, demographics of particpants and crowd reactions. The Ambassadors were also asked to perform focus groups and surveys of participants to allow ASSP to maintain a clear understanding of whether or not the media was communicating successfully.

Key Achievements

From July of 2016 to March of 2017, a total of 2,034 movie nights were held. Each movie night received an average of 350 attendees, for a total of over 700,000 views in this time period.

In a recent survey of 5% of the population in Nord Ubangi, 15% of households reported attending at least one movie night and in four health zones attendance reached over 20%. Of the households that reported attending, 92% were able to correctly recall movie night messaging three months after the most recent campaign had ended.

The same survey revealed that 92% of those who attended a movie night were able to correctly recall media messaging.

IMA’s Ambassadors used ODK software to collect event data and mapped 97% of project health areas in provinces where the program was implemented.

Map of Movie Nights by Region