Effective social change initiatives aimed at eliminating harmful practices and promoting gender equality require a granular understanding of how people perceive and talk about these issues. Yet in Somalia, where there are areas of poor infrastructure and political insecurity, on-the-ground, qualitative research is difficult to undertake and costly to reproduce at scale.
To address urgent evidence and data gaps, Africa’s Voices, UNICEF Somalia, and MediaINK designed five interactive radio shows on gender and child protection issues. The shows were broadcast in early 2017 across 27 radio stations — covering 70% of the Somali population — to gather SMS data on four topics:
40,544 text messages were received in response to questions aired on the radio from 16,541 people within 73 districts across Somalia – of these participants 45.2% were female.
For UNICEF, AVF’s approach provides a rare scientific rigour to social norms programming. Our insights and accompanying recommendations are informing UNICEF’s social norms work and in particular their messaging around social change.