I recently heard about an interesting example of an innovative communication vehicle used to convey social messages to an audience. The messages were of the sort that could be boring for the audience but were important for them, and needed not just to be understood, but to spur them on from understanding to action; hence the communication needed to generate a high degree of involvement and engagement with the audience.
The solution adopted by Phicus in their work with Grameen Financial Services – a South India based MFI, was the creation of a character that the audience of ladies from low income households could easily identify with – a woman called Jagriti. Jagriti is a member of an MFI and writes letters about her experiences which cover topics related to financial education such as opening a bank account, various government schemes and how they are useful to her etc., to social topics such as the evils of drinking or not allowing children to defecate in the open. These letters are read in the MFI members’ meetings and the women have come to associate themselves closely with this character. Phicus found out that this was a great way of teaching and the recall rate of the concepts by the member women was very high. This link connects to a video about this program and its results, watch from 3:00 minutes onwards if you only have time to see the snippets from the meetings.
In case you found this example interesting, you can read about another such example in this article, this example is from Kenya and describes a cartoon character called Boyie created in order to reach out to young adults. This article gives several examples of efforts towards financial education, one of which is a program called PiggyMojo. No, I’m not going to describe this one at all, I’m confident the name is enough to make you click on the link and read the article.
- Zenobia Driver