Starting Conversations to Tackle Sanitation in India Through TV Drama
Evaluation of Navrangi Re!
There is a growing body of evidence from rigorous evaluations demonstrating the effectiveness of education entertainment – ‘edutainment’– interventions in achieving development outcomes. Building on this research, this study presents the results of a pioneering quasi-experimental evaluation of Navrangi Re, a 26-episode television drama aired in India in 2019. The show was the first ever edutainment broadcast on commercial television in India. It aimed to influence sanitation behaviours through changing knowledge and attitudes, increasing risk perception, stimulating conversations, building collective efficacy, and creating social disapproval against poor faecal sludge management practices. The evaluation compared changes in outcomes of those exposed to the TV show with those unexposed, applying differences-in-differences estimation to a panel of 2,959 respondents. Baseline balance tests show high comparability between exposed and unexposed respondents. It found exposure to the drama led to significant changes in most outcomes with 37% of those who watched at least one episode showing behavioural intent to act, rising to 78% of those who had watched at least seven episodes. The show reached 59.6 million unique viewers, confirming drama as an effective, low cost and scalable tool to engage people around faecal sludge management – a critical and hard to address issue.