Comparing the Cost-Effectiveness of Mass Media Long-Running Entertainment-Education (EE) for Social and Behaviour Change in Africa
There exists an abundance of literature going back to the 1990s on the effectiveness of mass media social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) programmes in triggering changes in knowledge, attitudes, norms, and behaviour. Examples of this appear in the references at the end of this paper. Further, mass media entertainment-education (EE) may affect social norms change by stimulating community dialogue and social networks on important social and health topics (Papa et al. 2000; Rogers et al. 1999), implying that even those not directly exposed to the programme may re-examine previously held norms and identify ways to adopt novel behaviours (Burton 2008; Rogers 2004).
However, there is limited research on the cost-effectiveness of SBCC programmes using mass media EE to foster changes in reproductive health and other social behaviours in developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (Guilkey, Hutchinson, and Lance 2006; Hutchinson and Wheeler 2006). Focusing on the 21st century, empirical studies on the cost-effectiveness of such programmes have been conducted in developing settings (Hutchinson, Lance, Guilkey, Shahjahan, and Haque 2006; Sood and Nambiar 2006). However, many of these studies were based in Asia, resulting in very limited research on the cost-effectiveness of mass media programmes designed to shape social norms, attitudes, and behaviours in SSA.