Since 2014 Africa’s Voices has been working with Emmy-award winning Well Told Story. We’ve been analysing the thousands of messages they receive – mostly in Swahili and Sheng – sent by fans of their multi-media platform, Shujaaz.
Shujaaz engages young Kenyans on a range of issues that matter to them, through free monthly comics, radio shows, and social media platforms. Fans participate in dynamic conversations that are sparked and curated by Well Told Story, but often led by the audience themselves. Messages are sent in their thousands via SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook – creating a rich but messy dataset. The 5-minute video below introduces Shujaaz and its central character – DJ Boyie.
Valuable Insights & evidence
Our collaborative partnership with Well Told Story aims to make sense of the vast audience data through tools that include sentiment analysis, lexicon creation, and audience segmentation. Our insights inform the delivery of Shujaaz media and measure its impact on the mindsets of young Kenyans. This evidence is valuable for Well Told Story’s donors, which include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK’s Department of International Development. So far, we have delivered insights into audience conversations on diverse topics, including reproductive health (see below), religious intolerance, and entrepreneurship (hustling). Read Well Told Story’s blog post on our collaboration.
In addition, by having dedicated Africa’s Voices researchers working alongside the Well Told Story team in Nairobi, we’ve helped to build their capacity around designing research, discovering data insights, and data visualisation.
Project team 2016: Dr Jeunese Payne (researcher and project manager), Dr Claudia Abreu Lopes (research lead), Rita Zagoni (data analyst), Giles Barton-Owen (software programmer), Sammy Mwangi (research assistant), Sharath Srinivasan (director), Rainbow Wilcox (communications) and George Kaburu (operations).
Project team 2015: Dr Kavita Ramakrishnan (researcher and project manager), Dr Claudia Abreu Lopes (research lead), Linda Mulunda (research intern), Dr Sharath Srinivasan (director) and Rainbow Wilcox (communications).