Jiving with Science is a low-threshold public engagement project that applied principles of edutainment and small media to share evidence-based scientific results and health promotion messages with a rural community of high HIVprevalence. The project was initiated by the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies (Africa Centre), an international population research facility based in rural South Africa where the impact of the HIV epidemic is severe (Bärnighausen, Tanser, and Newell. 2009: 405). A central aim of the Centre’s research is to inform national health policy and improve the lives of the local population. Since 1998, the Centre has actively engaged the local public through an integrated communication strategy. Jiving with Science aims to build on this strategy by translating pertinent research findings and evidence based, health promotion messages into lay terms and delivering them to the public in everyday spaces. The project involved developing, distributing and evaluating three edutainment CDs over 2 years. CDs were distributed freely to community stakeholders, in particular to mini bus taxi drivers, for the entertainment of commuters. The CDs were endorsed by local celebrities and contained a narrative informed by local scientific data on HIV/AIDS interspersed with popular music tracks. CDS were designed by a multidisciplinary team and were tailored to meet the needs of this rural community that has had little access to science. In this paper, we provide insight into the development of the CDs and discuss the results of our summative quantitative survey. In summary, we found that while this might be viewed as an example of how small media methodologies can empower health researchers to create low cost, targeted products to engender positive social change, the strength of this intervention lies in its connection to a well-established research programme and we suggest that researchers keep this in mind when developing similar material. Moreover, although we found that exposure to the CDs to be linked to improved social norms, there does not appear to be an impact on behavior change intentions, which implies that maximum efficacy can only be achieved if these CDs function as part of an integrated communication strategy.

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Living with science
Sharing science through small media, pubic transport and edutainment in a rural South African community of high HIV prevalence

John Imrie   Univesity College London, United Kingdom

Astrid Treffry-Goatley   University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Mduduzi Mahlinza   University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Jiving with Science is a low-threshold public engagement project that applied principles of edutainment and small media to share evidence-based scientific results and health promotion messages with a rural community of high HIVprevalence. The project was initiated by the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies (Africa Centre), an international population research facility based in rural South Africa where the impact of the HIV epidemic is severe (Bärnighausen, Tanser, and Newell. 2009: 405). A central aim of the Centre’s research is to inform national health policy and improve the lives of the local population. Since 1998, the Centre has actively engaged the local public through an integrated communication strategy. Jiving with Science aims to build on this strategy by translating pertinent research findings and evidence based, health promotion messages into lay terms and delivering them to the public in everyday spaces. The project involved developing, distributing and evaluating three edutainment CDs over 2 years. CDs were distributed freely to community stakeholders, in particular to mini bus taxi drivers, for the entertainment of commuters. The CDs were endorsed by local celebrities and contained a narrative informed by local scientific data on HIV/AIDS interspersed with popular music tracks. CDS were designed by a multidisciplinary team and were tailored to meet the needs of this rural community that has had little access to science. In this paper, we provide insight into the development of the CDs and discuss the results of our summative quantitative survey. In summary, we found that while this might be viewed as an example of how small media methodologies can empower health researchers to create low cost, targeted products to engender positive social change, the strength of this intervention lies in its connection to a well-established research programme and we suggest that researchers keep this in mind when developing similar material. Moreover, although we found that exposure to the CDs to be linked to improved social norms, there does not appear to be an impact on behavior change intentions, which implies that maximum efficacy can only be achieved if these CDs function as part of an integrated communication strategy.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

BACK TO TOP