Engaging Mass Media in Communicating SRH Research in sub-Saharan Africa

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This presentation was delivered by the African Population and Health Center to a workshop at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine on improving the use of research in policy and practice.

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Engaging Mass Media in Communicating SRH Research in sub-Saharan Africa

  1. 1. Engaging Mass Media in Communicating SRH Research in sub-Saharan Africa Experiences & Lessons Rose N. Oronje, Chi-Chi Undie, Joanna Crichton, Eliya Zulu African Population and Health Research Center Promoting the wellbeing of Africans through policy-relevant research on population and health 1
  2. 2. Overview  APHRC’s mission  Strategies – creating interest, building capacity, working with media as intermediaries  Lessons  Conclusions 2
  3. 3. APHRC’s Mission  “promoting the wellbeing of Africans through policy-relevant research …” 3
  4. 4. Why mass media (in general)? • Power to inform and shape opinions, attitudes, and therefore reduce stigma • Wide reach – general public, policymakers 4
  5. 5. Why mass media (for this paper)?  APHRC’s longstanding engagement with media  APHRC’s varied approaches in engaging with media  APHRC’s varied levels of success with different aspects of the media 5
  6. 6. Main Media Engagement Strategies  Enhance interest and motivation  Build capacity of journalists and researchers  Work with media as intermediaries 6
  7. 7. Enhancing Interest & Motivation  Awards of excellence • Sexuality journalism award of excellence • 5th African Population Conference Journalists’ Competition 7
  8. 8. Building Capacity  Two-way process – building capacity of media reps to using evidence, and of researchers in simplifying research evidence • TV drama – Makutano Junction  Addresses stigma associated with SRH-related issues & provide information on SRH services  Promotes public engagement  Sensitization workshops for journalists  Sensitization workshops for researchers 8
  9. 9. Working with Media as Intermediaries  Working through journalist associations • KUJ - 2004 • MESHA - 2008  The fostering of personal relationships with journalists 9
  10. 10. Lessons Learned  Enhancing Interest … • Amount of cash awards; number of winners; • Increase and enhance quality of coverage • Sensitization on subject matter needed for poorly- understood topics  Building Capacity … • Greater appreciation among researchers for the need to move their research to another level.  Working w/media as intermediaries … • Journalist associations are effective platforms for reaching journalists • Respect and trust btw journalists and researchers can be built 10
  11. 11. Conclusions APHRC’s efforts have led to:  Two-way learning and engagement  Enhanced capacity, confidence and motivation of researchers to engage with journalists and vice-versa  Increased coverage of APHRC’s SRH research  Increasing demand for APHRC’s SRH research by journalists 11
  12. 12. THANK YOU 12

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