The Impacts of Character Identification on Attainment of HIV Prevention Goals

An Entertainment Education Programme in Botswana

  • L Meghan Peirce
  • Benjamin Bates


Makgabaneng is a radio serial drama in Botswana. This drama aims to help change risky behaviours associated with HIV/AIDS through modeling and reinforcement, a strategy they call MARCH. Pappas-DeLuca, Kraft, Galavotti, et al. (2008) clarify that the key elements of MARCH include progression of change over time, the use of entertainmenteducation (EE) as a vehicle, the use of modeling in programme content, and the creation of character models similar to the target audience. Consistent with Bandura’s (2004) Social Learning Theory, Makgabenang’s creators believe that behaviour change will not take place simply by including a desired message into EE narratives. Audiences must strongly identify with the storylines and the characters that they engage in those narratives.

Author Biographies

L Meghan Peirce

L Meghan Peirce is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She received her PhD from Ohio University, and her research focuses on new media for social change.

Benjamin Bates

Benjamin Bates is an Associate Prof essor in the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University. He received his PhD from the University of Georgia and has published more than 50 competitively-selected articles.

How to Cite
Peirce, L., & Bates, B. (2012). The Impacts of Character Identification on Attainment of HIV Prevention Goals. The Journal of Development Communication, 23(1), 1-11. Retrieved from