pop culture with a purpose
Working to help civil society organisations harness the power of the mass media to fight gender-based violence.
Civil society organizations often need to address social norms and values in their work – for example, on the acceptability of violence, gender roles, stigma and discrimination. Social norms are influenced not only by local cultural traditions, but also by modern mass media: television and radio programmes, music videos, computer games, and so on.
Many CSOs are aware that their on-the-ground community mobilisation work will be more effective when their target groups are simultaneously receiving similar messages from the mass media. But they lack the expertise and connections to make this happen – in particular, in working with marketing specialists and/or government-run broadcasting networks.
Attempts to change attitudes, beliefs and behaviour through the media are known as edutainment (a mix of entertainment and education). Edutainment strategies can range from local street theatre through internet or mobile phone applications to popular televised soap operas.
Over the past decade Oxfam Novib has supported successful entertainment education strategies to get taboo issues on the public and political agendas in India, Nicaragua, and South and Central Africa. At the same time, a growing number of partners in other countries have expressed interest in exploring how edutainment could help to achieve their goals.
In response to this demand, Oxfam Novib formed a global partnership in edutainment with Puntos de Encuentro, Breakthrough, the Soul City Institute of Health and Development communication, The University of Texas, El Paso, and The Communication Initiative.
These expert organizations are sharing their knowledge, tools and strategies with civil society organizations in 12 countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, Egypt, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Mali, and Rwanda.
The purpose of this global parntership is to upscale proven edutainment strategies, increasing the impact of the struggle to combat gender-based violence, by:
• Developing and implementing high quality context-specific edutainment strategies in combination with community mobilisation in 12 other countries;
• Reaching bigger and more inclusive audiences with exisiting programs;
• Dramatically increasing the reach and impact of global womens’s movement activists by Integrating the edutainment approach into the work they already do.
Watch a brief examples of edutainment campaigns. Ring The Bell, by Breakthrough in India, is one of a series of television spots encouraging men to take a stand against domestic violence:
Sexto Sentido is a social drama originally produced for broadcast in Nicaragua which has now been broadcast in Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, the United States and Bolivia:
|Bron||Oxfam Novib, 21 march 2011|