Writing and Producing Radio Dramas: Communication for Behavior Change


Esta de Fossard

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Text Size

  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Part 1: Introduction to Entertainment–Education Radio Drama

    Part 2: For the Program Manager

    Part 3: For the Writer

  • Copyright

    View Copyright Page


    To my husband, Harvey F. Nelson, for his tireless and devoted help in reviewing all sections of this book and for taking the photographs for it.

    List of Boxes

    • 1.1 The Meaning of Entertainment and Education 26
    • 1.2 Characteristics of Serial Drama 28
    • 1.3 Strengths and Limitations of Radio 30
    • 2.1 Contents of the Design Document 37
    • 2.2 SMART Objectives 41
    • 2.3 Sample Program Objectives 45
    • 3.1 Main Advantages of a Team 55
    • 3.2 Design Team Members 57
    • 4.1 The 7Cs of Message Presentation 71
    • 6.1 Reviewer Guidelines 112
    • 7.1 Preproduction Tasks 125
    • 8.1 Production House Requirements 133
    • 8.2 Production House Personnel Requirements 134
    • 9.1 Golden Rules for Acting in Serial Drama 141
    • 11.1 Structure of the Episode for Entertainment–education Drama 175
    • 12.1 The Ten Aims of Plot Development 183
    • 12.2 Vital Points of Message Information 187
    • 12.3 Guidelines for Creating Original Dramas 188
    • 12.4 Steps in Creating the Full Plot Outline 190
    • 12.5 Guidelines for Plot Development 192
    • 13.1 Character Creation 197
    • 13.2 Range of Characters for Entertainment–Education Drama 201
    • 14.1 Guidelines for Creating Drama Locations 216
    • 15.1 Guidelines for Writing Dialogue 226
    • 15.2 Guidelines for the Use of Sound Effects 234
    • 15.3 Guidelines for the Use of Music in Serial Drama 236


    This list defines the words and phrases used in this book that have particular meaning in the context of radio drama for social change. Each definition is followed by the number of the chapter in which the word or phrase is first used or is described most fully.

    actorA male or female person who portrays or acts the part of a character in a drama. (Chapter 9)
    advocateOne who supports, speaks in favor of, or recommends to others a particular attitude, action, or practice. (Chapter 13)
    announcerThe speaker who introduces a radio program on behalf of the radio station. Sometimes referred to as station announcer, this person is not a character in the drama. (Chapter 11)
    audience profileInformation about the audience's lifestyle, culture, economic status, and community that gives the writer a personal understanding of the listeners; included in the Writer's Brief. (Chapter 12)
    central uniting characterA character, such as a doctor, nurse, or health worker, who appears in and unites all the plots in a serial. (Chapter 10)
    characterA fictional person created for a story or drama; may also be an animal or a thing. (Chapters 1 and 13)
    character profileA list of all the details the writer should know about a character in order to portray him or her as a unique and believable person. (Chapter 12)
    cliffhangerA suspenseful finale to a serial episode that leaves the audience eager to find out what will happen in the next episode. (Chapter 16)
    climaxThe point in a story where the conflict has come to a crisis and something must happen to resolve it. (Chapter 11)
    conflictSee dramatic conflict (Chapter 11)
    cover sheetThe front page of a script that lists the serial title, program number, writer's name, purpose and objectives of the program, cast of characters, and music and sound effects needed for the episode. (Chapter 6)
    crisisThe point in a story where the conflict has reached its height and must be resolved. (Chapter 11)
    design documentAn extensive document containing all information with regard to the design and content of the serial. (Chapter 1)
    design teamA group of specialists, including script writers, who work together to plan all the details of a radio serial message and who prepare the design documents. (Chapter 1)
    dénouementSee resolution (Chapter 11)
    developmentThe portion of the story following the introduction during which the dramatic conflict develops and intensifies. (Chapter 11)
    dialogueThe words that the characters utter in a drama. In radio dramas, the dialogue must provide listeners with an understanding of location, personality, and action as well as the message. Also referred to as speech (Chapter 15)
    directorThe person who directs the actors and technicians in the studio recording of the serial. In some countries, the director is called the producer. (Chapter 2)
    distributed learningThe process of spreading learning throughout a radio serial, with particular attention to pace and repetition. (Chapter 1)
    dramaA story acted out on stage, radio, television, or film. (Chapter 1)
    dramatic conflictThe twists and turns and juxtapositions of life that are reflected in drama and provide its central interest as the audience becomes emotionally involved in why things happen and how they will turn out. (Chapter 11)
    entertainment–educationA format that blends entertainment and education to disseminate social messages. The use of this term originated with Johns Hopkins University Population Communication Services. (Chapter 1)
    episodeIndividual programs into which a serialized radio or television drama is divided, usually broadcast once a week. Also known as an installment, an episode of a radio drama is similar to a chapter in a book. (Chapter 1)
    flashbackA scene from a past time that interrupts the present action of a drama. (Chapter 14)
    formatThe form or design of a radio or television program; includes interview, talk, drama, and news shows. (Chapter 1)
    fxAn abbreviation for “sound effects” commonly used in a script to indicate where sounds should be included. Sometimes written as SFX. (Chapter 6)
    headerStandard information listed on the top of every page of a script, including the program number, date of writing, writer's name, and page number. Also known as script header. (Chapter 6)
    heroThe principal “good” male in a literary work or dramatic presentation. (Chapter 13)
    heroineThe principal “good” female in a literary work or dramatic presentation. (Chapter 13)
    hookExciting opening dialogue or action that commands the immediate attention of the audience with an element of surprise or shock and keeps them listening. (Chapters 1 and 16)
    independent dramaA drama that starts and completes a story within a single program, usually no more than 60 minutes long. (Chapter 11)
    installmentSee episode (Chapter 1).
    location mapMap of the village or town where a plot's main scenes are set, drawn by the writer to ensure consistency in description of distances, travel time, etc. (Chapter 14)
    messageThe information to be given to listeners in order to motivate and enable them to make changes that will improve the quality of their lives and that will alter social norms. (Chapter 11)
    measurable objectivesThe outcomes that project planners hope the audience will demonstrate as a result of listening to the radio serial. These outcomes generally fall into three categories: what the audience will know; what attitude they will have to the topic, and what behavior they will practice. (Chapter 2)
    modelingSee role models (Chapter 2)
    mood musicMusic that is designed to inspire a particular mood in listeners and should be avoided or used very sparingly in radio drama. (Chapter 15)
    musicMusic should be used carefully in radio programs so that it does not interfere with or contradict the dialogue. (Chapter 15)
    narratorA person who tells a story; frequently used at the beginning of a radio serial to remind the listeners of what happened in the previous episode and at the end to encourage listeners to tune in again next time. (Chapter 11)
    optional cut (o/c)A part of the script marked by the writer to show that it can be removed if the script is too long. (Chapter 11)
    pilot programsPrograms created before regular scripting begins in order to test format, characters, and message presentation on a sample of the audience. (Chapter 10)
    plotThe chain of events and web of personal relationships that make up a story or drama. (Chapter 1)
    producerThe person who manages and oversees all aspects of a media project, including finances, staff hiring, office procedures, and time lines. Also known as the program manager (see program manager). May be used interchangeably with director in some countries. (Chapter 5)
    program managerThe person in overall charge of a radio series; sometimes called the Executive Producer or Program Director (see producer) (Chapter 1)
    purposeThe approach the writing will take to encourage the audience to adopt new behavior. (Chapter 2)
    real timeThe idea that the action within a scene should occupy the same length of time that the scenes takes to broadcast. (Chapter 14)
    resolutionThe part of a story following the crisis which shows how the crisis is overcome. Also called denouement. (Chapter 1)
    role modelReal person or fictional character on whom others choose to model their behavior. (Chapter 2)
    sceneA subdivision of a dramatic episode that is set in a specific place and time; one episode of a drama may contain several scenes. (Chapter 11)
    scriptWritten transcript of the words, music, and sound effects that will be used in a radio program; also indicates actions and dialogue for a television program. (Chapter 1)
    script headerSee header. (Chapter 6)
    script review panelThe small team of people who review every script of a serial for production quality, technical content, and/or dramatic quality. (Chapter 2)
    script support teamThe people selected by the design team to provide the writer with necessary information and support during the script writing process. (Chapter 2)
    serialA multi-episode drama in which the story continues from one episode to the next. (Chapters 1 and 11)
    seriesA collection of short dramas which share several of the same characters; each episode contains a complete story. (Chapters 1 and 11)
    settingThe time and place where the action of a drama is set. (Chapter 11)
    seven cs of message presentationSeven words that guide accurate presentation of serial drama messages. (Chapter 17)
    signature tuneMusic played at the beginning and end of every episode in a serial which the audience grows to recognize; may be abbreviated as “Sig. Tune,” also known as theme music. (Chapter 8)
    situation comedyA type of drama series that is exaggeratedly humorous. (Chapter 11)
    soap operaCommon name for a serial characterized by melodrama, stereotyped characters and situation, exaggerated emotions, and maudlin sentimentality; in contrast to an Entertainment–Education serial which is closer to real life. The term was coined in the United States of America in the early days of radio drama when big American soap manufacturing companies (such as Lever Brothers) sponsored sensational serials that were likened to classical opera. (Chapter 1)
    sound effectsSounds, either recorded or made live in the studio, that are used to add a sense of reality to the drama and help listeners “see” the action and the setting. (Chapter 6)
    speechLines spoken by the actor in a radio or television drama. Also referred to as dialogue. (Chapter 6)
    steps to behavior changeThe five stages that people commonly go through when moving from one type of behavior to a new and markedly different behavior; these consist of knowledge, approval, intention, practice, and advocacy. (Chapter 2)
    storyAn event or series of events that can be either true or fictional; may be presented in a narrative, a drama, a poem, or a song. (Chapter 1)
    sub plotA lesser storyline woven into the main story or plot of a serial drama in order to enrich it and to help convey the message to the widest possible audience. (Chapter 5)
    synopsisNarrative outline of all the plots (main plot and subplots) of a radio serial that is written before scripting of individual programs begins. (Chapter 6)
    themeThe emotional focus on a drama, which reflects a universal moral value or emotion that is understandable to all people at all times, such as truth, courage, love, fear, greed, or envy. (Chapter 2)
    theme musicSee signature music. (Chapter 7)
    treatmentAn alternative word for synopsis.
    unity of placeAssigning each plot in the drama an established location or setting in which the action of that plot most often occurs. (Chapter 12)
    unity of timeCareful adherence to a predetermined and limited amount of time between the beginning and end of the serial's story. (Chapter 12)
    word picturesCarefully chosen words (such as verbs, adjectives, or adverbs) and figures of speech (such as similes and metaphors) that assist the listener to “see” what is taking place in the drama. (Chapter 1)
    writer's briefSpecific information given to the writer about the objectives, purpose, and message content of the series; par to the full design document. (Chapter 2)
  • Credits

    The following list shows the names of dramas from which extracts have been taken for this book, together with the name of the writer, and the country where the writer works:

    Tinka, Tinka Sukh by Chandra Dutt Indu, India

    Heart to Heart by Parvez Imam, India

    Cut Your Coat According to Your Cloth by Kurber Gartaula, Nepal.

    Family Affair by Fred Daramani, Ghana

    He Ha Ho by Celestine Ndanu, Ghana

    Journey of Life by Almaz Beyene Kahsay, Ethiopia

    Tale of a Village by Humayun Ahmed, Bangladesh

    Life in Hopeful Village by Elaine Perkins, Jamaica

    Appendix A

    Design Document for 26-Episode Radio Serial Drama for the People of Uttar Pradesh, India

    Created at the Design Workshop

    Hotel Taj Ganges

    Nadesar Palace Grounds


    Organized By: State Innovations in Family Planning Services Agency (SIFPSA)

    The Design Document Contents
    Part 1: Background and Overall Description
    Justification for the Project

    Background: State Innovations in Family Planning Services Agency (SIFPSA) has been implementing Behavior Change Communication (BCC) programs as part of the Innovations in Family Planning Services (IFPS) Project. The IFPS Project, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is designed to revitalize the family planning program in Uttar Pradesh by improving the access to and quality of health and family planning services. The Health Communication Partnership/Johns Hopkins University is providing technical assistance in the domain of behavior change communication for the project. The project approach is to translate family planning into a people's program.

    SIFPSA formulated a communication strategy for health and family planning in Uttar Pradesh in mid-1995. An overarching campaign was developed with the aim of bringing the hitherto taboo subject of planning families out into the open and to trigger dialogue across audience groups: between spouse(s), between the service provider and client, between policymakers and implementers.

    Articulation of the theme was in the form of a call to action ‘Aao Batein Karein’ (Come, Let's Talk). Tota and Mynah, birds linked to popular folklore on crosstalk, banter and wisdom, were used as visual cues to illustrate the theme.

    A statewide communication campaign was developed and implemented to promote contraceptive methods used for birth spacing. With a focus on specific methods, messages were developed in continuity with the umbrella theme (Aao Batein Karein). Campaign components included mass media, local media, community media and interpersonal communication. The campaign was supported by orientation and training of outreach workers. In addition to the campaign promoting Spacing methods, SIFPSA has also implemented statewide campaigns on age at marriage and Tetanus Toxoid (TT) immunization.

    (At this point the document included a detailed presentation of the SIFPSA Communication Strategy.)

    Information about the Chosen Audience

    (The following information was collected and discussed with regard to each of the audiences to be addressed in the series. Before completing the document, the team sought and found answers to those areas of information labeled “What do we need to know?”)

    (I) Rural Men

    What do we know?

    • Myths and misconceptions on FP prevalent among them.
    • More comfortable talking with peers.
    • Decision-making now increasingly shared amongst spouses.
    • Hesitation to accompany wife to health care facility (“too much of a women's affair”).
    • Hesitation to talk and seek information; put wife forward to get information.
    • Sex uppermost in mind.

    What do we need to know?

    • Satisfied beneficiaries of vasectomy on the increase.
      • Places where contraceptives could be picked without embarrassment.
      • Soft sell of vasectomy camps has helped to create a positive environment.

    Why do they have current behaviour?

    • Men are reticent by nature.
    • Programs and media are more womencentric.

    What are the main motivators for change?

    • Sense of companionship is being discovered. We need to cash in on that.
    • Hope for prosperity is on the rise. Desire to have better life.
    (II) Rural Women

    What do we know?

    • Illiterate/low education level.
    • Financially dependent.
    • Little exposure outside peer group.
    • Low aspirations.
    • Wish to prove fertility.
    • Son preferred.
    • Low self-esteem.
    • Influenced by traditions/myths.
    • However: positive changes due to exposure.
    • Unmet needs high.
    • Inertia
    • Custom and ritual bound
    • Lack of knowledge

    What do we need to know?

    • Who/what influences them the most.
    • Barriers.
    • Motivational factors.

    Why do they have current behaviour?

    • Low education level.
    • Tradition/social norms.

    What will motivate them to change?

    • Promise of a better life for their family; promise of good health.
    • Lessening of economic insecurity by reducing number of children.
    • Dispelling myths.

    A similar examination was made of each of the other audience groups specified for this radio serial drama: Other Family Members (Mother-in-law, Father-in-law, Sister-in-law, Mother), Local Influential and leaders.

    Justification of the Chosen Medium: Radio

    Radio is an important component of mass media with a reach of 27 percent across rural Uttar Pradesh, thus offering a unique media edge both in terms of cost effectiveness and reach. This is more so in the context of rural audiences, which are the largest and most critical segment of our program's target groups.

    It is thus planned to air 26 episodes of a radio drama serial for the general public.

    Advantages of Radio
    • It is portable.
    • One can listen and work at the same time.
    • It is cheap.
    • No electricity is needed.
    • Cost per message is low.
    • Cost per listener is low.
    • Radio is the medium of the imagination.
    • Wider access to radio possible because it is cheap.
    • People learn more from listening to the radio.
    • There is better recall of message from radio. No distractions (unlike TV and its constantly moving images).
    • No channel clutter.
    • Easy to reproduce and replicate on audio tapes. NGOs/others can playback the cassettes or distribute them.
    • More people listen to the radio than watch TV.
    Possible Limitations
    • Radio, an audio only medium, is not suitable for some things that are better explained when you actually show them.
    • Everything depends on dialogue and sound effects. Silent scenes are not possible.
    • Need for support materials and supplementary materials.
    • Channel reception issues.
    • Radio listenership declined but now it's on the rise again.
    • Not a medium that people in the rural areas aspire to have.
    • People don't know the schedule of programs.
    • It's a one-way medium. But radio can be made interactive by including quiz questions, etc.
    The Overall Measurable Objective(s)

    The overall measurable objectives for this series as a whole are:

    Family Planning

    There will be a measurable increase in the number of

    • couples seeking FP methods,
    • couples seeking FP counseling,
    • couples discussing FP together,
    • people who have correct knowledge of all methods.
    • couples adopting appropriate FP practices.

    There will be a measurable decrease in the number of

    • people who believe in myths on FP

    There will be a measurable increase in

    • The number of people who have correct knowledge of RTIs/ STIs and HIV and AIDS including knowledge of service delivery points for advice and treatment,
    • The number of people (men and women) who seek appropriate services of all types of reproductive and sexually transmitted diseases.
    Age at Marriage

    There will be a measurable increase in

    • The number of audience members who have correct knowledge of the benefits of delaying marriage until appropriate age,
    • The number of audience members willing to accept and abide by the legal age of marriage.
    Maternal and Child Health (Mch)

    There will be a measurable increase in

    • The number of couples who know the facts about the importance of MCH issues and services including service delivery points,
    • The number of families adopting appropriate practices with regard to maternal and child health.
    The Overall Purpose(s)

    The overall purposes of this series as a whole (how the program must allow the audience to reach its objectives) are:

    Family Planning
    • To educate people and reinforce knowledge of FP.
    • To demonstrate couples talking comfortably talking about FP.
    • To motivate people to get the facts about FP from a reliable source and trust only the facts.
    • To remind people about the dangers of HIV and AIDS.
    • To teach people how to protect themselves from this fatal infection.
    • To educate people about signs and symptoms of RTIs and STIs.
    • To motivate them to seek and complete treatment.
    Age at Marriage
    • To educate listeners about the consequences of early marriage.
    • To reinforce their knowledge of current policies and rules about marriage.
    • To motivate them to abide by the guidelines against early marriage and encourage others to do the same.
    Maternal and Child Health (MCH)
    • To educate and reinforce in all family members appropriate knowledge about MCH issues.
    • To motivate families to pay special attention to maternal and child health and make use of appropriate services.
    The Overall Message and the Main Emotional Focus of the Message

    The overall message of this serial as a whole is:

    Everyone—women and men alike—has the right to good health. The basis of a happy family life is a small, healthy and planned family irrespective of boys or girls. A planned family gives all its members a better chance of good health, good education, and a higher standard of living. It is important that husbands and wives plan their family size and maintain good family health together, with the help of a health service provider where necessary.

    The main emotional focus of the drama serial as a whole will be confidence in one's ability to take care of oneself and one's family as well as a sense of pride in being able to do so.

    The Number of Episodes

    There will be a total number of 26 episodes in this radio drama serial for the general public.

    The Duration of Each Episode

    Each program will occupy a 30 minute radio slot—which means each will be about 25 minutes long.

    The Message Scope and Sequence and the Number of Programs to Be Devoted to Each Topic

    The following topics will be covered in the order given below, spread over 26 episodes:

    • Story introduction.
    Family Planning
    • Child spacing; benefits of a small family—could improve quality of life/health.
    • Benefits of a small family regardless of the sex of the children; father responsible for sex determination of child—not mother.
    • The community perspective—involving gatekeepers, family influentials, religious leaders, PRI leaders.
    • Contraceptives: Oral contraceptive pills.
    • Contraceptives: Condoms.
    • Contraceptives: IUCDs.
    • Contraceptives: Female sterilization.
    • Contraceptives: Non-scalpel vasectomy.
    • Knowledge of RTIs/STIs: Transmission/avoidance.
    • Knowledge of HIV/AIDS: Transmission/avoidance.
    • RCH camps: Various types of services available, trained providers, free services, accessibility, etc.
    • Age at marriage and childbirth—awareness/impacts/consequences/delay in age at marriage/benefits.
    • Gender imbalances: Roles of community and individuals in addressing them.
    • Story development (without message).
    Maternal and Child Health
    • Care during pregnancy: Good nutrition; husband, in-laws, other family members caring for the pregnant woman, sharing her workload, etc.
    • Antenatal care: Regular checkups, TT shots, iron supplements.
    • Preparing for safe delivery: Transport planning, skilled attendant at delivery, institutional delivery services in case of high risk.
    • Postnatal care: Importance and benefits.
    • Immunization: Immunization schedule, its importance and the dangers of not immunizing.
    • Breast feeding: Colostrum, benefits, duration, lactation problems.
    • Child nutrition: Introducing other foods—when, what, malnutrition, and weighing.
    • Diarrhea: What it is, causes, prevention, management, ORS.
    • Other childhood diseases, Vitamin A deficiency pneumonia, worms, etc.
    • Summary program.
    Runner Themes

    Throughout the entire serial, the following important themes will also be demonstrated:

    • The role of the Health Service Provider (HSP).
    • Appropriate behavior of health service providers.
    • Reproductive and Child Health Camps.
    • Male involvement and role in family planning and child care.
    • Mother-in-law involvement and modern knowledge.
    • Gender equality.
    Part 2: Individual Program Message Content
    Episode #1*

    Topic: Story Introduction

    Measurement Objectives: After this episode, the audience will:

    * Only some of the 26 episodes have been discussed here.

    • That a new, exciting drama serial is beginning
    • What time it will be broadcast each week
    • Who the main characters in the story are
    • Plan to listen to future episodes of the drama
    • Inform friends and family members about the new, exciting drama serial
    Have an Attitude of
    • Eagerness to listen to future episodes

    The purposes of this episode are:

    • To introduce listeners to the main characters in the drama
    • To attract their interest in the drama so they will continue to listen
    • To advise listeners of when future episodes will be played
    • To advise listeners that they can win prizes in the quizzes (if we decide to have quizzes)
    • The main plot and subplots of the serial drama will be introduced in this first episode of the serial drama.

      The narrator or announcer will inform listeners of:

    • The time of the broadcast each week.
    • That there will be a quiz question each week.
    • The address to which questions, comments and quiz answers should be sent.
    Episode #2

    Topic: Family Planning

    Subtopic: Child Spacing*—benefits of a well planned family*

    MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES: After listening to this episode, the audience will:

    • What a well planned family* is
    • What child Spacing* is
    • Benefits of child Spacing* and a well-planned family
    • Where to get more information and guidance on a well-planned family and child Spacing*
    • Get more information on the joys and benefits of a well-planned family and child Spacing*
    • Consider adopting methods to have a well-planned family
    • Consider and practice child Spacing* as a viable and effective method of improving their lives
    Have an Attitude of
    • Appreciation of the advantages of a small family
    • Sense of responsibility towards the welfare of their family
    • Feel confident that they will be able to get information from the health service provider* on planning their family

    The purposes of this episode are:

    • To educate the audience about the definition of a well-planned family the advantages of a well-planned family* and child spacing*
    • To advise them on where and how they can access further information
    • A well-planned family is one in which the husband and wife discuss and decide together on:
      • The number of children they want to have (regardless of the sex of the child).
      • How they would space their children so there is at least 3 years' interval between the birth of one child and the next.
      • What FP method they will use.
    • There are many ways by which one can have a well planned family* and a planned family provides opportunity for more resources and overall well-being of the family.
    • Spacing the birth of the next child by three years helps a mother regain her health. She is healthier and hence able to pay more attention and care for her children.
    • To access more information from the health service providers* and/or local health center.
    Episode #3

    Topic: Family Planning

    Subtopic: Benefits of a well-planned family* regardless of the sex of the child; father responsible for sex of child

    Measurable Objective: After listening to this episode, the audience will:

    • What constitutes a well-planned family
    • Why a well-planned family* is important
    • That the well-planned family is complete irrespective of the sex of the children
    • That biologically, it is the father's sperm that determines the sex of the child
    • The importance of a girl child in the family and in the society
    • Realize the value of a well-planned family*
    • Initiate a dialogue between the couple and within the family on having a well-planned family
    • Appreciate the importance of the girl child
    • Acknowledge that the father determines the sex of the child and therefore not hold mother responsible
    Have an Attitude of
    • Responsibility for a well-planned family*
    • Respect for the girl child
    • Respect for the mother for delivering a healthy child irrespective of the sex of the child

    The purposes of this episode are:

    • To sensitize the community* towards the benefits of the well-planned family*, regardless of the sex of the children
    • To discourage the practice of blaming the woman for delivering a girl child
    • To initiate and encourage discussion within the community* on having a well-planned family, regardless of the sex of the child.
    • To educate the community* about the fact that the father's sperm determines the sex of every child
    • A well-planned family* is one in which the husband and wife decide together
      • How many children they can support.
      • How to space their children so that there is at least 3 years interval between the birth of one child and the next.
      • To determine (with the help of the service provider*) which family planning* method is right for them.
      • That daughters are every bit as valuable as sons.
    • A well-planned family has greater opportunity to make the best use of what they earn. Everyone should know that it is the father's sperm that makes the baby a boy or a girl. The woman's body has NO influence on the sex of the child. However, neither the mother nor the father has any control/choice over the sex of the child to be born, so mothers are not responsible if the couple has only daughters.
    • Daughters are the life of any home; they are caring and loving and continue to care for their entire family throughout their lives. Father and mother must love and appreciate their daughters. Without girls there would be no wives. Throughout the whole world, girls and women are being recognized and valued. It must be the same in India.
    Episode # 4

    Topic: Family Planning

    Subtopic: Role of community* leaders

    MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES: After listening to this episode, the audience will:

    • The important role of community* leaders in encouraging small families
    • The definition and importance of well-planned families
    • The advantages of well-planned family for all couples
    • The availability of resources/correct information/action points
    • The options of services available
    • Create a positive and supportive environment to initiate discussion at community* and family level
    • Encourage the community* to adopt the appropriate family planning* methods
    • Support government initiatives by providing space, infrastructure for services, and ensuring community* participation
    • Co-ordinate with service providers* in maintaining correct data and create action plan in consultation
    Have an Attitude of
    • Responsibility towards society and the state as a whole on the issue of a small family
    • Feel motivated to organize discussion forums and service camps
    • Feel proud and have a sense of achievement in encouraging small families

    The purposes of this episode are

    • To give community* leaders the complete picture of population and health issues
    • To provide knowledge of resources available to provide better health and family planning* services to the community*
    • To encourage community* and religious leaders to understand the value/power of their word and include the well-planned family* issues into their work area
    • Uttar Pradesh (UP) contains one-sixth of all the people in India and the state's population is still growing rapidly every year.
    • Consequences of this growth will be a reduction in resources to feed, educate, look after, provide jobs, places to live, and water to drink for everyone.
    • The government is working hard to tackle this issue at village and individual levels.
    • Community* leaders should take up the role of motivating and monitoring the program by organizing community* meetings, rallies, forums, and camps to promote planned families. They should also work with other NGOs in the area.
    • Community* leaders should support initiatives by being present at and participating in the days of camps and meetings.
    • Panchayati raj officials should activate village health subcommittees to keep and update their records on community* progress.
    • At all community* forums, gender issues, benefits of small well-planned families, and issues regarding gender equality and general health and hygiene should be included.
    • In talking with the community* use examples that can be well understood; local people can help to drive these points home.
      • e.g., ever-increasing population will mean more number of houses for living, more land utilized for survival, thereby reducing the land available for cultivation.
      • e.g., gender imbalance will leave many men unmarried, suppression of women, leading to imbalance in society.

    Community* leaders, including religious leaders, can do a great deal to motivate their communities to understand the value of a small family, and to seek guidance and advice on how to have a small well-planned family.

    Episode # 5

    Topic: Family Planning

    Subtopic: Contraceptive* Oral Pills

    MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES: After listening to this episode, the audience will:

    • That “Oral Pills” are a safe modern contraceptive for women
    • How to take them
    • Advantages of the Oral Pill
    • Where to get Oral Pills

    They will:

    • Consider the Oral Pill as a reliable method for spacing children and limiting births
    • Follow correctly the health service provider's instructions on how to take the Oral Pill
    Have an Attitude of
    • A positive image about the oral contraceptive pills as a way of helping a woman to have a planned life
    • Husbands feel motivated to support their wives in continuing with the pills

    The purposes of this episode are:

    • To educate the audience about oral contraceptive* pills, their advantages and the importance of taking them correctly.
    • To motivate the audience to seek more information from health service provider* (HSP) on all forms of contraceptive methods.
    • To reinforce* correct and complete information about pills.
    • To encourage men to support their wives to take oral pills as directed.
    • The Oral Pill is a safe, reliable modern contraceptive method that can be used by women who want to delay the birth of their first child and space subsequent births appropriately.
    • A woman should use the oral pill to prevent* pregnancy ONLY after she has visited a service provider* to make sure the pill is suitable for her.
    • The Oral Pill is highly effective when taken daily and is perfectly safe
    • It can be taken regularly for a long time in accordance with the Health Service Provider's* (HSP) advice.
    • Advantages
      • It is convenient and easy to use and prevents pregnancy for as long as the woman wants to.
      • After stopping the pill, the woman can conceive immediately.
      • Many women taking the pill find they have fewer menstrual cramps.
    • The health service provider* will instruct the woman on how to use the pill
      • It is taken at the same time every day, such as bedtime.
      • When a service provider* recommends the oral pill, ask her or him for all the details on how to take it correctly, and what to do if you forget to take the pill one day.
    • Where to get the pill?
      • The pills are available from the service provider*, in the market and at the health center.
      • As soon as one packet is finished, the woman should start immediately on the next packet. So she should have a stock of at least two packets at home.
    • Just as there are some temporary bodily changes when a woman gets pregnant, there are also some temporary bodily changes when a woman starts taking pills. These changes usually disappear after a few months. If these temporary changes worry her, the woman should seek advice from the health service provider*.
    • If the woman is using the oral contraceptive* pill, her husband should give her support by making sure she takes the pill regularly every day.
    • A well-planned family* offers every family member the chance of a better life.
    • Using the oral contraceptive* pill is an easy way to space children and have a properly planned family.
    Episode # 6

    Topic: Family Planning*

    Subtopic: Condoms

    MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES: After listening to this episode, the audience will:

    • What a condom is, how to use it correctly and the benefits of the condom
    • How it should be stored and disposed
    • Where it is available
    • Use condoms or plan to use condoms correctly and consistently to avoid pregnancy, RTI*/STI*/HIV
    • Communicate with partner about use and get more information from health services provider about correct use and disposal.
    Have an Attitude of
    • Men will accept responsibility for preventing pregnancy as well as RTI*/STI*/HIV
    • Willingness to seek information, and procure and use condoms.
    • Women will feel comfortable about asking their partner to use the condom to prevent pregnancy as well as to prevent RTI*/STI*/HIV

    The purposes of this episodes are:

    • To educate the audience about condoms and about the advantages of condoms
    • To motivate audiences to seek more information from the health service providers* about correct use, storage, and disposal of condoms.
    • To motivate people to use condoms appropriately and correctly
    • Condom is a protective cover made of thin latex that men use during intercourse to prevent* pregnancy and STI*/HIV.
    • It is easy to use, and is a simple method of preventing pregnancy and infection.
    • The condom is
      • safe and effective,
      • easily available everywhere,
      • easy to use,
      • reliable protection against pregnancy and against STI*,
      • a way to enjoy sex without the fear of pregnancy or STI*.
    • Before using condoms it is important to know:
      • There are instructions on the packet for correct use.
      • Each condom can be used only once and a new condom must be used each time during intercourse (sex).
      • The condom MUST be correctly and safely disposed of after use by burying or burning.
    • Information on correct condom use can be obtained from the health service provider* or from a local health clinic. Read and follow instructions given on the pack for correct use.

    Modern, responsible men take the lead in showing that they care for their wife and family by using condoms when appropriate. It is the only method that prevents* STI*, HIV infection, as well as pregnancy.

    Episode #11

    Topic: HIV/AIDS*

    Subtopic: Knowledge of transmission and avoidance

    MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES: After listening to this episode, the audience will:

    • What HIV and AIDS* is
    • How it is transmitted*
    • How they can protect themselves and others from HIV and AIDS*
    • Begin to take appropriate steps to protect themselves and others from HIV and AIDS*.
    • Accept personal responsibility for doing everything they can to help prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS
    Have an Attitude of
    • Confidence that they know how to protect themselves
    • Responsibility to protect themselves and others from HIV and AIDS infection

    The purposes of this episode are:

    • To educate people about HIV/AIDS* so that they can take appropriate preventive measures.
    • To motivate people to realize the importance of accepting responsibility for protecting themselves and others from HIV/AIDS*
    • HIV/AIDS* is an infectious, fatal disease and worldwide there is no cure for it.
    • It is not possible to know who is suffering from this infection by looking at them, as the infected person may look and feel healthy for many years, before becoming bedridden and gravely ill. However, those who know how this deadly disease is caused can protect themselves and others from it by responsible and careful behaviour.
    • HIV/AIDS* is spread by the following ways:
      • By having unprotected sexual intercourse*, because it is transferred from one partner to the other if one of them is infected (the risk is increased if one has multiple sexual partners)
      • If infected blood is given in a blood transfusion.
      • If one is given an injection with a syringe and needle which was used for giving injection to another person.
      • By the use of blades/razor or tattoo needles etc., which have been used by another person.
      • From infected mother to baby.
    • It's everyone's responsibility to protect oneself and others from HIV/AIDS*. This can be done by:
      • Avoiding sex before marriage.
      • Being faithful to your partner after marriage.
      • Using condoms if abstinence and faithfulness are not possible.
      • Ensuring use of new disposable syringes and needles or those that have been properly sterilized by being boiled for 20 minutes in clean water.
      • Use of new or properly cleaned blades and razors, etc.
      • If you or your family members ever need blood transfusion, be sure to ask the blood bank for blood that has been tested and found to be free of HIV and AIDS*.
      • If all of us take the responsibility upon ourselves towards protecting ourselves and others from this deadly infection, AIDS* will not be able to continue to spread.
      • Those who do not use a condom when having sex before marriage or outside marriage are a menace to themselves and to others.
    Episode # 12

    Topic: RCH* Camps

    Subtopic: Services available

    Measurable Objectives: After listening to this episode, the audience will:

    • What RCH* camps are and where they are held
    • The variety of services available at the RCH camps
    • That services at RCH camps are free and follow-up service is provided.
    • Make use of services at camps as approved and needed.
    Have an Attitude of
    • Confidence in the services provided at the RCH camp and willingness to access the camp
    • Responsibility towards one's self and one's family

    The purposes of this episode are:

    • To educate the audience about the services at the RCH* camps
    • To reassure them about the availability/quality of friendly services
    • To motivate everyone to make appropriate use of the camps
    • To create an environment that will encourage the audience to demand quality services
    • Everyone in the community* has the right to good health.
    • An arrangement of health services on a regular basis is available at RCH* camps at your block's government hospital with a team of skilled/trained doctors and other female health service providers.
    • The services provided are:
      • Checkups for pregnant women and provision for iron tablets.
      • Immunization* for children and pregnant women.
      • Checkups for RTIs* and STIs*.
      • Pregnancy tests, counseling*, and provision of FP methods including sterilizations and IUCD insertions.
      • General health checkups.
    • After sterilization, you can take advantage of free transportation to your village.
    • Follow-up visits at the homes of the sterilization/IUD patients will be made by the ANMs (Auxilary Nurse Midwives).
    • The services are provided free of cost.
    • Contact your health worker about the services available closest to you and when the next camp will be.
    • All families should learn about the RCH camps from their service provider*, so that they can take advantage of them to help keep all family members healthy.
    Episode #15

    Topic: Family Planning

    Subtopic: Gender imbalance, role of community* and individuals to address this

    Measurable Objectives: After listening to this episode, the audience will:

    • What gender imbalance is
    • The root cause of gender imbalance
    • Disadvantages of gender imbalance
    • How to prevent* gender imbalance
    • Realize the importance of everyone in the community working together to avoid gender imbalance
    • Work together to find ways of preventing gender imbalance in the community
    • Encourage provision of equal opportunity to both males and females in all areas of life

    The purposes of this episode are to motivate people to:

    • Assume responsibility for encouraging gender balance in all areas of life
    • To create awareness of and concern about existing gender imbalance
    • To motivate people (especially community* leaders) to initiative discussion and action to overcome gender imbalance
    • To sensitize the elders about their role in maintaining gender balance in the community*
    • To motivate the community* to provide equal opportunity to all, including females.
    • In UP the sex ratio is 898 females for every 1,000 males.
    • This means that in terms of wives and mothers there is a desperate shortage.
    • There is ample evidence throughout the world to show that women who are educated not only make better wives and mothers, they can also contribute to the welfare of the family and to the welfare of the community, the state, and the nation.
    • The idea that boy children are more valuable than girl children is old-fashioned and foolish. It is time that everyone worked together to destroy this old belief and to accept girls and boys as equally valuable in every way.
    • The giving of dowry is illegal throughout India so there is no need for families to worry about how to supply dowry for their daughters. People who expect dowry are out of touch with the modern world and out of touch with the law of India.
    • Girls are just as capable of taking care of parents as are boys. There is no basis whatsoever for not recognizing and acknowledging that boys and girls are equal in every way.
    • Community leaders and respected members of the community should make it their business to encourage meetings at which these old ideas of inequality are denounced.
    • Regular meetings and discussions should be held to motivate everyone to move towards the modern way of thinking and recognize the equality of the sexes.
    Episode #16

    Topic: Maternal and Child Health

    Subtopic: Care during pregnancy

    Measurable Objectives: After listening to this episode, the audience will:

    • The importance of looking after a pregnant woman
    • How the family can provide essential care to her
    • How to recognize an emergency during pregnancy
    • What to do when an emergency arises
    • Make increased efforts to look after a pregnant woman properly
    • Seek immediate help in case a pregnant woman has an emergency
    Have an Attitude of
    • Responsibility towards pregnant women in their families
    • Confidence that they can take care of pregnant women correctly and recognize and respond to danger signs appropriately.

    The purposes of these episodes are:

    • To educate families and reinforce* their current knowledge about how to take care of pregnant women
    • To educate families about danger signs in pregnancy and how to respond to them
    • To motivate all family members to take appropriate care of pregnant women
    • It is a matter of great joy and pride to have a pregnant woman in the family because she is bringing a precious new life into the world. All pregnant women need to be looked after so that they remain healthy and have a better chance of having a healthy baby.
    • It is the duty of the woman's husband and all family members to ensure that she is well taken care of. Those husbands who are actively involved in looking after their pregnant wives should be very proud that they are contributing towards the health of their wives and children.
    • A pregnant woman needs to eat more food for the growth of the unborn child. Whatever she is eating, she must eat more, including seasonal fruits and vegetables.
    • The pregnant woman also needs more rest, so besides sleeping for 8 hours at night, she should also rest for 2 hours during the day.
    • The family of the pregnant woman should not allow her to do hard work such as carrying buckets full of water as it can be dangerous for the pregnant woman to carry heavy loads.
    • It is also important to keep the pregnant women happy and stress-free.
    • The pregnant women should be registered with the ANM so that she is provided antenatal care at the right time.
    • In any pregnancy an emergency can sometimes arise suddenly. If a pregnant woman has one of the following symptoms, she should be taken to the hospital immediately as every minute counts.
      • Bleeding from vagina
      • Dirty discharge from vagina
      • Severe pain in abdomen
      • High fever
      • Excessive vomiting
      • Severe swelling in hands/feet
      • Convulsions
      • Baby stops moving in the mother's body
      • Blurring of vision/fainting
    • Remember, it is the responsibility of the entire family to take care of the pregnant woman so that she remains healthy and gives birth to a healthy “bundle of joy.”
    • If you have any questions about pregnancy or about the health of a pregnant woman in your family you can get the answers you need from your local health service provider* or from the nearest clinic.
    Episode #21

    Topic: Maternal and Child Health

    Subtopic: Breastfeeding

    Measurable Objectives: After listening to this episode, the audience will:

    • The importance of colostrum (the first milk/khees) and breastfeeding for infants' health and growth
    • When to start breastfeeding and for how long it must be continued
    • The right technique of breast feeding*
    • When to supplement breast milk with other foods
    • Start breastfeeding early—within an hour of birth—and give colostrum* to the newborn
    • Approach the health service provider* in case of any problem with breastfeeding
    • Practice exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months.
    Have an Attitude of
    • Sense of fulfillment, of giving one's best to the child
    • Confidence in the correct technique of breastfeeding

    The purposes of this episode are:

    • To provide reaffirmation to the mother that the traditional practice of breastfeeding handed down to her is indeed beneficial to her child
    • To remind the mother of correct practices of breastfeeding
    • To reinforce* the importance of colostrum* and of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months.
    • When a baby is born, put the child to the mother's breast as soon as possible.
    • Breastfeeding is best started early (within 1 hour of birth of the child).
    • The mother's first yellow-colored milk (colostrum*) should be fed to the infant because it contains important nutrients that protect the baby from many diseases. It is important to ensure that the child is given this “first milk.”
    • The more a mother breastfeeds her newborn, the more is the production of milk.
    • All mothers can produce enough milk as per the baby's needs as long as the baby continues suckling, since production of milk is more if the baby suckles more.
    • Breast milk is sufficient nutrition for the child till 6 months of age. Even water is not necessary and should not be given.
    • It is important to breastfeed as frequently as the child demands.
    • In case of any problems with feeding, please contact the health worker to learn about correct ways to breastfeed the baby. The health worker will advise you on what to do.
    • Make sure that both breasts are alternately used to feed the child. After feeding, put the baby on the mother's shoulder and pat gently, to make it burp. A burp releases gases and prevents the baby from throwing up the milk.
    • The size of the mother's breasts does not matter. Even a woman with small breasts can produce enough milk. Even if a woman has had twins, she can produce enough milk to feed them both.
    • For the duration of exclusive breast feeding* (6 months), it also works as a natural contraceptive*.
    • While the mother is breast feeding*, she must take a regular nutritious* diet and continue to take iron and calcium.
    • In case of problems like cracked nipples or painful breasts, contact the health service provider*.
    • It is important that the new mother discusses all aspects of breastfeeding with the HSP to ensure that she is doing the right thing both for herself and for her baby.
    Episode # 24

    Topic: Child Health

    Subtopic: Other childhood* diseases

    Measurable Objectives: After listening to this episode, the audience will:

    • What Vitamin A** deficiency is and how it can be prevented/cured.
    • How to prevent* diseases like pneumonia, worms, etc., and when to go to the local health service provider* for help
    • Take the child for Vitamin A** dosage to the nearest health service provider*
    • Recognize some basic symptoms of common diseases and seek help from local health service provider*
    • Maintain hygiene and cleanliness for all family members.
    Have an Attitude of
    • Confidence among parents to correctly assess the situation and ask for help from the local health service provider* when necessary.
    • Ability and willingness in family members (including in-laws) to help identify a problem that requires help from the health service provider* and to seek help for appropriate referral and care during transportation

    The purposes of this episode are:

    • To make parents aware of simple, common illnesses that can be prevented and cured with the help of the local health service provider*
    • To help parents realize that if these illnesses are ignored, they could lead to serious diseases and possible death
    • To recognize some simple symptoms of diseases
    • To motivate parents to seek help from the service provider* at the earliest (for both boys and girls)
    • Note to the writer: Please emphasize the need for parents and other family members to seek health services as early as possible for both girl and boy child alike even for simple illnesses, i.e., fever and common cold to prevent* the condition from worsening.
    Vitamin A*
    • Vitamin A* is important for the body and lack of Vitamin A* can cause Night Blindness* (Ratondhi) in children, which develops into total blindness if not treated in time.
    • Vitamin A* deficiency can be prevented and cured by going to the local health service provider*.
    • The first vitamin dosage should be given to children at 9 months of age along with measles* vaccination. Four more dosages need to be given until the child is 3 years old. The service provider* will remind parents of the next dosage and provide them free of cost.
    • Early symptoms are breathlessness, fever and cough.
    • Even a common cough/cold needs to be treated through the local health service provider*, as early as possible.
    • It is important to protect your children (especially infants) from cold by keeping them warm in winter.
    • Worms in children are caused through lack of cleanliness and hygiene (personal and household).
    • To prevent* worms:
      • Give clean boiled water to your child.
      • Maintain cleanliness by washing hands.
      • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before use.
      • Keep the children clean.
    • Persistent stomachaches and vomiting can be symptoms of worms. If your child shows these symptoms please seek help from the health service provider*.
    General Advice
    • In case of high fever, simple precautions like sponging with a wet cloth should be given at home and the local health service provider* should be contacted immediately.
    • If a child continues to feel sick for more than a day the local service provider* must be contacted immediately.

    All parents are responsible for the good health of their children and it is important that they remain aware and are quick to act in case of common childhood* illnesses.

    Appendix B: For the Design Workshop

    Sample Letters of Invitation to Design Workshop Participants
    For Content Specialists


    (Name your organization) in association with (name of sponsoring agency, such as United States Agency for International Development) is preparing to create a radio drama serial to encourage adolescents to live safer, healthier lives (name your topic).

    In order to ensure that the messages delivered through the drama serial are accurate and appropriate, we are holding a design workshop at (name the venue) from (opening date) to (closing date). We would very much appreciate your presence as a design team member for the duration of this workshop.

    The aim of this workshop is to prepare a design document which will contain the exact messages that must be contained in each of the episodes of the drama serial. Your contribution to developing these messages would be very welcome. We would like to have your assurance that you can be with us for the entire duration of the workshop so that we can be sure that all design team members agree on all contents of the design document.

    It would be most helpful if you could bring with you any print or other materials relevant to our main topic so that you can share the most up-to-date knowledge with other team members during our small group work.

    For Writers

    (Name your organization) in association with (name your funding agency) is preparing to create a radio drama serial to encourage adolescents to live safer, healthier lives (name your topic).

    In order to ensure that the messages delivered through the drama serial are accurate and appropriate, we are holding a design workshop at (name the venue) from (opening date) to (closing date). We would very much appreciate your presence as a design team member for the duration of this workshop.

    The aim of this workshop is to prepare a design document which will contain the exact messages that must be contained in each of the episodes of the drama serial. Your contribution to developing these messages would be very welcome. We would like to have your assurance that you can be with us for the entire duration of the workshop so that we can be sure that all design team members agree on all contents of the design document.

    In your role as a possible writer for this drama, we believe that you will benefit greatly by being part of the design team and taking part in the determination of the message content. We would hope that by the end of the week, you would have started preparing some possible storylines and character profiles that could be used for the drama serial. We would like to encourage you to think of ways of creating an exciting, culturally appropriate story that would allow our messages to be brought in naturally, gradually, and subtly. You will have the opportunity to meet with representatives of our chosen audience, as well as with the content (or message) specialists. This will help you understand the audience's likes and needs, and also to gain a clear understanding of the messages that are to be incorporated into your story.

    The design workshop will open with a dinner on—at—to which you are cordially invited. Then the workshop will run each day from—to—Please see attached agenda.

    Board and food will be provided for you throughout the workshop and you will receive a per diem of. …

    Sample Message Page
    Episode #

    Suggested Agenda for Design Workshop
    DAY 1
    8:30 amIntroduction of facilitators and participants
    9:00 amIntroduction to Behavior Change Communication (BCC) radio programming
    Discussion of BCC radio programming in (local country) to date
    Introduction to and overview of the Entertainment–Education approach to Behavior
    Change Communication
    10:30 amTEA
    11:00 amSample of BCC radio program. This can either be a prerecorded program in the local language (if programs of this nature have been locally done previously) or a group of participants can be invited to present the script on page 255–66 of this book)
    12:00 noonIntroduction to the design approach
    • The design team
    • The design workshop
    • The design document
    1:00 pmLUNCH
    2:00 pmCommencement of the design document (Plenary):
    1. Justification: Presentation of findings that clearly demonstrate why the present project is necessary.
    Plenary discussion on the findings.
    3:30 pmTEA
    4:00 pm2. Audience: Plenary discussion can determine the audience(s) to be addressed. Small groups can examine the audience(s) with regard to their needs related to the topic(s). Sharing of small-group findings
    5: 00 pmReview of day's work
    DAY 2
    9:00 amBrief overview of accomplishments of Day 1
    Continuation of design document:
    • Justification of chosen medium
    • Overall Measurable Objectives
    • Overall Purpose(s)
    10:30 amTEA
    11:00 amOverall message and emotional focus
    Number of programs and duration of each program
    Topic scope and sequence: Introduction (small-group work)
    1:00 pmLUNCH
    2:00 pmCompletion of Topic scope and sequence, including number of programs devoted to each topic
    3:30 pmTEA
    4:00 pmIntroduction of message design for individual programs
    Small-group exercise on individual message preparation
    Presentation and discussion of exercise
    5:00 pmReview of day's work
    DAY 3
    9:00 amBrief overview of accomplishments of Day 2
    Message design: Small-group work
    Message design will continue for the remainder of this day, with lunch and tea breaks at usual times.
    5:00 pmBrief overview of day's achievements
    DAY 4
    9:00 amBrief review of previous day
    9:30 amReview of final individual program messages
    10:30 amTEA
    11:00 amCompletion of all program messages
    Completion of glossary1:00 pm LUNCH
    2:00 pmPart 3 of design document:
    Implementation plans:
    Script review panel
    Support materials
    Promotion plans
    Monitoring and evaluation plans
    Time lines
    3:30 pmTEA
    5:00 pmCLOSE
    DAY 5
    9:00 amBrief review of entire workshop
    9:30 amPresentation by writers of story ideas
    Quick written evaluation by participants
    10:30 amTEA
    11:00 amWorkshop evaluation
    Script Evaluation

    TITLE: _________

    WRITER: _________

    • What is the format of this drama: □ Serial □ D Series
    • How well do you think this program would appeal to our audience(s)?

      □ A lot □ A bit □ Not very much

    • Do you think this program will allow our messages to come in comfortably?

      □ Yes □ No

      Explain your answer:

    • Name or describe TWO of the characters in the program:

    • Is there any humour in the program outline? □ Yes □ No If so, which character provides the humour?
    • Briefly explain your opinion of this program outline and why you think it would or would not be suitable for our purposes:

      Radio drama entertains and informs the audience.

    If you like the outline, but you can see some important changes that should be made, please comment on those in this space.

    Radio drama entertains and informs the audience.

    Signatory Page Sample

    Radio Communication Project

    Distance Education through Radio Communication Project (RCP) 2000–2001

    In order to ensure that the fourth phase of radio programs designed for the Distance Education of health workers is in accordance with ministerial policies, in line with the National Reproductive Health/Family Planning IEC Strategy, 1997–2001, of the Ministry of Health, and is of acceptable educational and cultural standards, this Phase IV Design Document was reviewed by a distinguished panel of specialists during the final stages of its development. As a result of this input, appropriate changes were made to bring the Document to completion.

    The signatures below indicate that this Phase IV Design Document, in its final version, has been content-endorsed by the following organizations through their nominated representatives.

    Here followed the signatures of leaders of the various organizations who were involved in and responsible for the creation and management of the project.

    Sample Actor's Contract


    made and entered into by and between:


    (hereinafter known as JHU/PCS)



    (hereinafter known as “the actor”)

    Whereas it is agreed that JHU/PCS engages the actor and the actor accepts the engagement to play a role in a Radio Drama Serial (hereinafter known as “the drama”) to be produced by JHU/PCS and for the time being entitled “JOURNEY OF LIFE” upon and subject to the following terms and conditions:

    • The actor agrees to be available to JHU/PCS for rehearsal and production on the designated dates and at the designated times between July and November 2001.
    • For these services JHU/PCS shall pay to the actor as compensation the amount of 15 Birr for each minute of the actor's appearance in any episode.
    • The actor shall be paid fortnightly, following submission of an account approved and signed by the Program Manager.
    • In accepting this appointment, the actor agrees to:
      • be available for all rehearsal and recording sessions,
      • be aware of the timetable for rehearsals and recordings and commit to being available at these times,
      • prepare and rehearse the script prior to the rehearsal session with the Program Manager and/or producer,
      • abide by the decisions of the Program Manager with regard to script changes and script interpretation.
    • The actor agrees that for every rehearsal or recording session missed, no payment will be made to the actor. Failure to turn up for more than two recording sessions will result in the actor being removed from the cast.
    • The actor agrees that for every half-hour of late arrival for rehearsal or recording he/she will forfeit 10 percent of due payment for that session. No deductions will be made if the delay in rehearsal or recording is beyond the control of the actor.
    • The actor shall keep JHU/PCS informed well in advance of any recording dates on which he/she will not be available.
    • Rehearsals will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon on Mondays at Ras Stereo. JHU/PCS will provide transport to and from this address to the Radio Ethiopia Studios on recording days.
    • JHU/PCS agrees to provide the actor with adequate advance notice (at least one week in advance) of the dates on which the actor will be needed for rehearsal and recording.
    • JHU/PCS agrees to provide the artists with scripts at least 2 days in advance of rehearsal and recording date of each episode of the drama in which the actor is to appear.
    • The actor shall not without the written consent of JHU/PCS incur any liabilities or expenses on behalf of JHU/PCS nor pledge JHU/PCS's credit.
    • The actor shall not be entitled to any further payment from JHU/PCS for repeat broadcasts of the drama on Radio Ethiopia or other broadcast networks.

    SIGNED at ADDIS ABABA this ____ day of ____ 2001, in the presence of the undersigned witnesses.

    Johns Hopkins University/Population Communication ServicesACTOR

    Appendix C: Design Workshop Question Guide

    The following guide provides a statement of the exact intent of each segment of the design document, together with information that should be shared with the design team as they begin discussion of the section, and an explanation of what should be written in the design document. Also provided are questions that can be used to initiate discussion of each section of the design document. The suggested questions should not be seen as the only questions to use, and in some cases not all the questions given here will be necessary. In most cases, it will be important to ask other relevant questions as well as these. These questions are offered only as a guide and suggestion for those who have not run a workshop of this nature previously.

    Background and Overall Description
    Justification for and Statement of Desired Change in Behavior

    Intent: To be sure that every member of the design team is perfectly clear about, and persuaded by the need for the proposed radio serial drama and the behavior changes it seeks to encourage.

    Written requirement for the document: A clear, concise statement of why the project is being undertaken. This will include a summary of research findings and an explanation of why a radio serial drama has been selected as a communication strategy.

    Give to the Design Team before this Discussion

    • The names of the sponsoring agencies.
    • Information from the research done during the analysis phase.

    Include in the justification statement:

    • Names of researchers, and dates and places where research was carried out.
    • Names of sponsoring agencies and ministries.

    If possible, researchers should be asked to make a presentation to help the participants understand the need for this project.

    Questions to guide the discussion: Initiating questions to clarify the rationale in the minds of design team members:

    • What factual knowledge do we have to help us understand whether or not our listeners perceive their current behavior as a problem?
    • What is the cause or what are the causes of current individual behavior and social norms in the area of the desired behavior change?
    • Is knowledge about the new behavior the only or major need of the audience?
    • Are the current individual behaviors and social norms influenced by factors such as:
      • fear,
      • lack of resources,
      • tradition, and
      • other, perhaps unidentified, factors?
    • What do we not know that we should find out about before we complete the statement of rationale?
    Information about the Audience or Audiences

    Intent: To describe as clearly and precisely as possible the audience or audiences selected as the main recipients of the radio serial drama. Since radio is a universal medium, anyone can listen, but the intention of this section is to make clear that the drama will be designed to appeal especially to specific listeners.

    Written requirement for the document: A simple profile of each of the chosen audience(s), together with an explanation of why the chosen audience(s) are likely to want and respond to the suggested behavior change.

    Give to the design team before this discussion: A summary of the analysis of audience data obtained during the analysis phase.

    Invite audience representatives to give a brief overview of what they know from their own experience about the intended audiences with regard to the recommended behavior change.


    Information required for structuring the messages

    • What do we know as fact about the audience's feelings on this topic?
    • How do we know this?
    • Is there any part of this topic in which we are ignorant of the audience's true feelings? How can we increase our knowledge in this area?
    • What do we know about the audience's degree of knowledge on this topic?
    • What do we know about the availability of necessary resources for our audience?
    • What is the CAUSE of the current behavior of the audience (ignorance, tradition, religion, disinterest, etc.?)
    • What change agents are likely to be most influential with this audience? (Change agents can be people, such as figures of authority, sports and entertainment stars, and influential peers, or they can be benefits like increased wealth, higher social standing, and more leisure time.)
    • Will it be necessary to direct the message to more than one audience? If so, who will the other audience(s) be?
    • Can all audiences be addressed through the same drama, or must we consider other ways of meeting the needs of the other audiences?

    Information required for creating the drama:

    • What information will the writer need about the daily lives of the audience that should be reflected in the drama?
    • What type of drama or entertainment appeals to the chosen audience(s)?

      (Some members of the design team—including the audience representative (s)—can set aside some time during the design workshop to put together a detailed audience profile that the writer can use in creating the characters and locations for the serial drama. The writer should assist in the creation of this profile.)

    Justification of the Chosen Medium

    Intent: To be perfectly clear about the reasons for selecting the chosen medium (in this case, radio).

    Written requirements for the document: A clear statement of the reasons for selecting this medium to deliver this message to this audience.

    Give to the design team before the discussion: Information on the listening habits, program preferences, and the radio ownership of the audience from the analysis phase research.

    • Why are we using radio as the main medium, and not some other medium?
    • What types of radio programs does the audience enjoy? How do we know?
    • Does the audience usually use the radio for entertainment, or does it use radio only for news, music, and information?
    • How have members of the audience responded in the past to radio dramas that contain a message? How do we know?
    • Are they likely to turn off the radio if they discover that the drama contains a message? Would the audience prefer messages to be delivered in a more straightforward manner? How do we know?
    • Are they likely to believe and trust information delivered through a fictional radio drama? How do we know?
    • If they are not likely to trust this information, how can we make this format more acceptable to them?
    The Overall Measurable Objectives of the Serial as a Whole
    • To provide a concise overview of exactly what changes in individual behavior and societal norms the radio serial drama hopes to affect.
    • To be perfectly sure that these objectives are SMART (see page 41).

    Written requirement for the document: A clear, simple statement of the measurable changes in individual knowledge, attitude, and behavior and in societal norms that it is hoped the audience will demonstrate as a result of listening to the serial.

    Give to the design team before the discussion: A definition of a SMART objective and some examples of the difference between measurable and non-measurable objectives (see page 38). Explain that what is needed here is a limited number of broad objectives; specific objectives will come up later in the discussion.

    • What increase or decrease in certain knowledge and behaviors do we want to see in the audience as a result of this radio serial?
    • What changes do we want to see in societal norms as a result of this radio serial?
    • Where do the majority of members of our chosen audience stand on the Steps to Behavior Change? (See page 39). How do we know?
    • Which of the Steps of Behavior Change must we model in the serial in order to guide the audience toward the desired change?
    • Are there any possible impediments to our audience members moving up the Steps to Behavior Change?
    • What do we want to be able to observe our audience believing, doing, and advocating as a result of this serial?
    • Are our stated objectives SMART? (See page 41)
    The Overall Purpose of the Serial as a Whole
    • To explain the approach that the radio serial drama will have to take in order to make it possible for the audience to want to and be able to make the recommended behavior changes.
    • To explain whether the major focus of the serial will be: to educate; to model; to motivate; etc., or whether the drama will need to combine a number of approaches or purposes.

    Give to the design team before the discussion: An explanation of what is meant by “purpose” and a list of possible purpose statements as given below.

    Written requirement for the document: A simple, clear statement of the main approach or approaches to be used in the radio serial drama so that it can have the best possible effect on audience behavior change.

    • Overall, what approaches are we going to take in the serial drama to help the audience reach the desired objectives?
    • Which of the following approaches will need to be expressed by the drama:
      • to educate the audience about________
      • to model ________ for the audience________
      • to reinforce audience's existing knowledge of________
      • to demonstrate how to________
      • to motivate audience members to________
    • Other possible program approaches can be
      • to update
      • to encourage
      • to overcome (fear and misbeliefs)
      • to recommend
      • to increase awareness of etc.
    • If more than one approach is needed, will these approaches be simultaneous or sequential?
    • If there are several purposes to be approached sequentially, what will the sequence be? In other words, should the serial drama begin by, for example, educating and then move to reinforcing and then to motivating?
    The Overall Message and the Main Emotional Focus of the Serial

    Intent: To state briefly the overall message that the serial drama must convey throughout. For example:

    Good nutrition is the foundation (basis) of good health. All caregivers should know how to feed pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children appropriately to ensure proper growth, development, and good health. They should also know and practice home based management of common childhood illnesses, family planning, personal and environmental hygiene.

    Give the design team before the discussion:

    • An example of an overall message.
    • An example of a main emotional focus, such as, “The audience will have a positive attitude to child health and home based care for childhood illnesses and will be proud of being able to keep all family members healthy.”

    Written requirement for the document: A clear, simple statement of the overall message that the broadcast serial drama will deliver, and a statement and explanation of the emotional focus it will emphasize.


    Overall message

    • What is the simplest, clearest, least confusing summary statement we can give about what the serial will be conveying to the audience?

    The main emotional focus

    • Will a positive or a negative emotion be more likely to influence our audience in the direction of the desired change?
    • What is the strongest overall positive feeling or emotion we want the audience to gain and maintain with regard to the desired behavior change as a result of listening to this serial? Some possible emotions:

      EmpowermentSelf-confidencePersonal empowerment
      TogethernessSuccessOther feelings?

    • Is there any need to instill any negative emotions throughout the serial drama?
    • If so, what should they be? (Note: Remember the importance of leaving the audience with a strong positive feeling, even if the drama brings in some negative emotions along the way.)
    The Number of Episodes in the Serial

    Intent: To determine the number of episodes the serial will contain together with a rationale for the chosen number.

    Give to the design team before the discussion: Any information that has been obtained relevant to radio station time availability, budget restrictions, program length to which listeners are accustomed, etc.

    Written requirement for the document: A statement of the number of episodes decided upon, together with a statement of the reasons for the chosen number. If this has not been predetermined by the broadcast station, or by special needs of the project, you can ask the questions given below for a better idea:

    • Is the audience accustomed to a particular number of episodes in a radio serial drama?
    • How many episodes will be needed to tell a really exciting story?
    • How many episodes will be needed to deliver all the message information and provide necessary modeling comfortably without overloading the audience with information?
    • Are there any constraints on writing and recording time that could affect the number of episodes that can be prepared?
    The Duration of Each Episode

    Intent: To determine the appropriate broadcast length for each episode of the serial drama.

    Give to the design team before the discussion: Any information that has been ascertained relevant to radio station broadcast slots, budget restrictions, etc.

    Written requirement for the document: A simple clear statement of the agreed-upon duration of each episode, together with reasons for the determined duration. If this has not already been predetermined by broadcast station policy, ask the following questions.

    • How many minutes (at one time) can this audience realistically devote to listening to a drama? (Radio station personnel can help with this decision, based on previous experience with radio dramas.)
    • How long can this audience listen attentively to a radio drama—even a very good one—without being distracted?
    • What is the usual length of a radio drama program in this part of the world? What does research indicate about whether this is or is not an acceptable length?
    The Topic Scope and Sequence

    Intent: To determine the topics and subtopics that must be covered under the main message in order to provide the audience with all necessary knowledge, modeling and motivation. To determine if there is a particular sequence in which the message topics must be presented and/or repeated.

    Give to the design team before the discussion: Information from the research done in the analysis phase that might be pertinent to these determinations, such as particular knowledge gaps or strong resistance to particular behaviors. Explain that message scope can be thought of as the chapter headings in a textbook—listing the various subjects or topics that the book will cover. Also explain that “sequence” means the order in which the knowledge must be given. Explain that consideration also must be given to whether some of the topics need more repetition than others.

    Written requirement for the document: A listing of all the topics to be covered, in the order in which the topics should be presented.

    • Into what main topics can we divide the message information that is to be given to the audience?
    • Is it necessary to present these topics in a certain order? If so, what should that order be?
    • Are some of these topics more difficult than others for our audience to understand or to accept?
    • Should we repeat these topics more than the others?
    • How should we spread these repeats throughout the entire serial?
    • In what sequence should these main topics be included in the story so that listeners are led appropriately and comfortably up the steps to behavior change?
    • Should we keep all the episodes on one topic together in the serial drama, or should we spread them among the episodes?
    The Number of Episodes to Be Devoted to Each Topic in the Message Scope and Sequence

    Intent: To determine if certain aspects of the message need to be expressed more frequently than others throughout the serial.

    Give to the design team before the discussion:

    • Research data relevant to aspects of the topic which the audience currently seems to have the most trouble understanding or agreeing to undertake.
    • A reminder of where the research suggests the audience is with relation to the Steps to Behavior Change. Explain to the design team the importance of distributed learning, which ensures that a topic is not dropped altogether once it has been covered. Distributed learning allows for a period of concentrated exposure to a topic, followed by continued appropriate reference to that topic from then on throughout the serial drama.

    For example: There might be four sequential episodes (14–17) concentrating on the importance of Vitamin A. From then on to the end of the serial (episode 52) the value of vitamin A will be discussed again more casually several times.

    Written requirement for the document: A final numerical listing of all episodes showing the topics and indicating the number of episodes being devoted to each topic (see Appendix A, pages 281–82).

    • Looking at where our audience stands on the Steps to Behavior Change, should we be putting more emphasis on certain aspects of this subject than on others? Which aspects should have more episodes devoted to them?
    • How much of the information in each of the topics is new to this audience and may need to be repeated?
    • Should the repetition be spread throughout the series, or should it be concentrated in the block of episodes devoted to a particular topic?
    • Should some broadcast slots be set aside for review and for listener questions and comments (rather than for ongoing episodes)? If so, how many and at what intervals?
    • Will related topics be delivered one after the other, or will they be separated and spread throughout the serial?
    Part 2: Individual Episodes
    The Measurable Objectives of Each Episode or Group of Episodes

    To be perfectly clear about the knowledge or behavior change or attitudinal change that the audience will be expected to have as a result of listening to a particular episode or group of episodes.

    Give to the design team before the discussion:

    • A reminder of what is meant by measurable objectives.
    • A reminder that no one episode can be expected to result in enormous changes of attitude and behavior and knowledge, but that each episode should be written to fulfil specific measurable objectives.
    Written Requirement for the Document

    A simple statement to fill in the following grid for each episode or group of episodes (it is not always necessary to have all three objectives in each episode):

    After this episode, the audience will:

    The Purpose of Each Individual Episode

    Intent: To clarify (especially for the writer) the approach the episode should take. For example, an episode that has “to educate” as its purpose needs to present information in a systematic and repeated manner, than does an episode designed to motivate an audience.

    Give to the design team before the discussion: A reminder of the need for stating the purpose of the episode or group of episodes. A reminder about possible episode purposes (see Section 5 discussed earlier).

    Written requirement for the document: A simple statement for each episode that completes the following sentence:

    The purpose(s) of this episode is (are). …

    (See samples in Appendix A, Part 2: Individual Program Message Content.)

    • What is the real purpose of each episode or group of episodes? Is it to educate, to demonstrate, to motivate, to model, etc.? (Use the list that the team worked out for Section 5 of this guide.)
    • Does this purpose fit in with the overall purposes of the project? Is it necessary to have more than one purpose for this episode or group of episodes?
    The Precise Message Content for Each Episode

    Intent: To provide a clear, precise statement of the message content that should be included in the episode.

    Give to the design team before they begin group work:

    • A reminder that it is not the writer's job to determine the message.
    • A reminder that every message given in an Enter-Educate serial drama must be: complete, correct, clear, concise, consistent, culturally appropriate and compelling (the 7Cs).
    • Share with the design team some samples of well-written content (page 283 onwards).
    • Provide each working group with “content pages” on which they can record their determinations about the objective, purpose, and content of each episode or group of episodes.
    • Remind design team members to mark all words that should be included in the glossary.

    Written requirement for the document: A clear, detailed statement of the precise message information that must be included in each episode or group of episodes, together with a statement of how any technical words or terms are to be listed in the glossary and used consistently by the writer.

    • What must be presented in this episode to give the audience the very best chance of achieving the objectives of the episode and of the series as a whole?
    • How must the drama express the content so that it makes complete sense to everyone in the audience—even those with no previous knowledge of the topic?
    • Which technical words or phrases need to be reexpressed in language that the audience can accept and understand easily?
    • Is there enough content? Too much content? Can we simplify the content even further?
    • Is this message complete, correct, clear, concise, consistent, culturally appropriate, and above all, compelling as it is stated for this episode? Is it consistent with what has been given for other episodes?
    Glossary and Acronym List
    • To determine all words and phrases that need to be expressed (or defined) in a simple and consistent way every time they are used and to provide appropriate definitions.
    • To provide the writer with the full and correct names of any organizations, methods, etc., that are usually expressed as acronyms.

    Give to the design team before they begin small-group work: A place where they can list all words that should be included in the glossary. This should be a flipchart or board where all members of the design team can see what is being added to the glossary, or where they can add their own contributions. Remind the team of the importance of giving simple explanations and definitions of technical words, and of the importance of using consistent words and phrases when explaining important aspects of the message.

    Written requirement for the document: A glossary presented in alphabetical order. Also be sure that design team members mark with an asterisk (*) all words or phrases in their content pages that have definitions in the glossary.



    • What is the simplest, clearest explanation we can give of this word or this term that will be understood easily by our audience?
    • If the design team is working in a language different from that to be used in the scripts, will it be necessary to include a local language translation so the writer will know exactly what words to use?


    • Are there acronyms used in the content of the episodes that need to be spelled out (and translated) for the writer's use?
    Part 3: Implementation
    Script Review Panel and Script Support Team

    Intent: To determine which members of the design team should undertake the regular task of reviewing every script of the serial drama as it comes from the writer, together with reviewing the finished design document and support materials. Also, to determine those who are willing to be available for script support. (Information on the precise needs of the script review panel and the script support team are given in Chapter 2.)

    Give to the design team before the discussion:

    • A reminder of the importance of reviewing every script to ensure that the message adheres to the design document and that the story is well written, suited to the audience, and likely to attract and hold the attention of the audience.
    • A reminder of the need for the scriptwriter to have supporters to whom to turn when questions about content arise.

    Written requirement for the document: A listing of those who will be on the script review panel and those who will be on the script support team.


    Review panel:

    • What types of expertise should be represented on the review panel: content specialist, audio director, language specialist, etc.?
    • How much time will these people need to review each script? How much time can the project allow? Which members of the design team have this time available?
    • Should each reviewer check the entire script, or should the script be marked up, showing individual reviewers the parts on which they should concentrate?
    • Will it be necessary to reimburse panel members for review work?

    Support team:

    • Which members of the design team can be available to the writer as a support team?
    • To fulfill the requirements of the script support team, will it be necessary to recruit people outside the design team? If so, who should these people be?
    • Will it be necessary to reimburse script support team members for this work?
    Support Materials

    Intent: To determine what, if any, support materials will be needed to accompany the radio serial drama, bearing in mind that any communication project has an increased chance of success if more than one medium is used.

    Give to the design team before the discussion:

    • An overview (and copies where applicable) of any existing support materials that should be considered for use with the radio episodes.
    • Explain any budgetary limitations that might exist with regard to existing or new support materials.
    • Share with the team the guidelines for support materials (see Chapter 6).

    Written requirement for the document: A statement of exactly which existing support materials will be used, or what new materials will be developed, together with a brief rationale of why these materials are needed.

    • Is there an essential need for support materials with this serial drama? If so, for whom are they essential and what should they be?
    • Should these be written support materials? Is the literacy level of the audience adequate for written materials?
    • Are there adequate ways of distributing support materials?
    • Are there other forms of support materials that could be used with this project?
    • Are there existing materials that can be used? Is the content of these materials consistent with the messages to be included in the radio serial drama?
    • How much time will be needed to develop and test new support materials?
    • How and where will listeners be able to obtain the support materials?
    Promotion Plans

    Intent: To determine what promotional activities and materials will be needed and developed to bring the radio serial drama and its messages to the attention of the audience.

    Give to the design team before the discussion:

    • Remind the team of the need for promotion of the communication project, and share with them guidelines for promotional activities.
    • Invite the team to consider creation of a logo and a slogan.

    Written requirement for the document: Statement of promotional activities and materials to be developed, together with any slogan and logo agreed upon.

    • Which media—to which the audience has regular access—could be used for promotional spots or pieces:
      • radio?
      • schools?
      • newspaper?
      • clinic posters?
      • community groups?
      • other?
    • Are there any popular figures: sports stars, movie stars, etc., who could be used beneficially in promotion?
    • When should promotion begin? How often should promotional pieces be used before broadcast commences and during regular episode broadcasting?
    • Should there be a special logo or slogan (or both) which people could associate immediately with the serial and its message?
    • Will the promotional materials be developed in-house or will an advertising agency be employed to prepare the promotional campaign? Is there a budget for this?
    Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

    Intent: To devise an effective system of monitoring the outcomes of the radio serial drama while it is being broadcast, and to carry out summative evaluation when the broadcasts are complete.

    Give the design team before the discussion: Invite an evaluator to explain to the design team the importance of pilot testing, monitoring, and evaluation. The final details of this plan will most likely be put together by the evaluation specialists who will be hired to carry out the evaluation. Design team members, however, can be asked for ideas about where, when, and how pilot testing, monitoring, and evaluation can be carried out.

    Written requirement for the document: A statement of exactly how, when, and where monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken.

    • How many pilot episodes should be tested?
    • How often should audience response to the serial drama be monitored once it is being broadcast regularly?
    • Where, and in what way, might audience feedback be best compiled?
    • How will the writer make use of feedback about earlier episodes once writing is underway?
    • Where, and in what way, might final summative evaluation be undertaken? What should be done with the summative evaluation results so that future projects can benefit from them?
    Time Line

    Intent: To create a detailed chart showing the dates by which each step in the writing, typing, translating, reviewing, revising, pilot testing, recording, editing, and broadcasting of each episode and all support and promotional materials must be completed.

    Give to the design team before the discussion: Explain the vital importance of establishing and maintaining a time line. Provide a template of the activities that need to be included in the time line. Note that the time line cannot be finished during the design workshop, but design team members need the opportunity to give their input and to appreciate its importance.

    Written requirement for the document: A full, detailed time line for all activities.

    • Will the writer(s) be working full or part time on this project?
    • What is the realistic number of scripts the writer(s) can complete each week, bearing in mind that it will be necessary sometimes to work on revision of earlier scripts at the same time as writing new ones?
    • How does the production house or radio station prefer to work: recording one episode a week on a regular basis, or recording blocks of episodes at one time?
    • How long after the completion of the design workshop can the design document (or at least the writer's brief) be ready for the writer's use?
    • How long after receiving the design document or writer's brief (in draft form) can the writer deliver the finished story treatment and character profiles?
    • How long after approval of treatment and profiles can the writer deliver the pilot episodes?
    • How long will it be between the completion of the pilot scripts and the carrying out of the pilot tests?
    • How long after the tests before the results are compiled so the writer can commence ongoing script writing?
    Story Treatment and Sample Episode

    This part of the design document will be prepared by the writers. They will provide a narrative outline or synopsis of the plots for the entertainment side of the drama, indicating how the message will be included naturally, subtly, and gradually.

    The story treatment and sample episode will be added to the design document after the design workshop.

    • What type of story do members of our chosen audience prefer: adventure, romance, comedy, tradition, etc.?
    • What type of characters do members of our chosen audience prefer? What should these characters do for a living? Where should they live? How old should they be? What names should they have? What type of personalities should they have? What language should they use: formal or colloquial?
    • What type of emotional involvement is most likely to appeal to members of our chosen audience: negative or positive emotions? Fear, jealousy, love, pride, compassion, success, etc.?

    The full script of a sample episode—showing the quality of the drama and giving an understanding of how story and message will be blended—will be written for the design document when the writer has been selected and the treatment and character profiles have been approved.

    Appendix D: Journey of Life Episode Synopsis

    The following pages contain the synopsis of the first three episodes of the Ethiopian radio serial drama, Journey of Life, as a sample of how the episode synopsis should be written. Before commencing the scripts, the writer, Almaz Beyene Kahsay, completed the synopsis of all 26 episodes of the serial drama, together with a detailed profile of all main characters. The synopsis and character profiles were approved by the review team before scriptwriting was undertaken.

    Episode 1
    Main Plot

    Tilaye (male), Mekdelawit (female), and Eden (female) are talking during rehearsal at the nightclub. Tilaye and Eden are lovers. Mekdelawit is Eden's friend and studies as an extension student at the university. They are asking her about her lessons there. They jokingly tease her about her being a nightclub musician and at the same time a student at the university. During their conversation Eden also talks about her parents, especially about her father's love towards her. Tilaye keeps quiet. Mekdelawit notices his mood and when she questions him about it, there is bridge music.

    Subplot A

    Bahru's house. Askale (f), Bahru (m), Saba (f), and Teje (f) are talking about Teje's being a wife and mother of a baby. Teje says that she loves her husband very much but she is burning up inside at being the second wife. This makes her happiness at having her own home meaningless. But she thanks God for giving her a family. At this point there is a knock on the door. The door opens and a dog barks. They all laugh when they see Bedlu with a piece of meat he brings to cajole the dog.

    Subplot B

    Ato Getachew (m), Fanos (f), and Workitu (f) chat with each other. Immediately Workitu shouts at Fanos and orders her to reduce the volume of the tape playing in the room. Getachew stands

    Note that the first episode does not contain any message; it is used to introduce the characters and the story. In subsequent episodes, the writer has clearly marked where the messages will come in. by his wife and retorts that his wife has done nothing for Workitu to shout at her like that. Workitu takes it as an insult that they dare to talk to her like that in her parent's house. She gets angry.

    Subplot C

    Yeshiwork (Tilaye's aunt) comes to the nightclub looking for Tilaye and someone gets him for her from the rehearsal place. He asks her why she has come to look for him. She then tells him that she is very worried because of the bad dream she had the previous night and has come to visit him for this reason. She also makes a remark about his father, saying that she has finally found the address of his father's shop.

    Episode 2
    Main Plot: Two Weeks Later

    Mekdelawit and Eden are rehearsing a song at the nightclub while they wait for Tilaye. They talk about his being late. Mekdelawit says that although Tilaye seems happy working at the club as a musician, she always sees him feeling discontented. Eden then says she loves him very much but that she is also worried about his behavior and unusual quietness lately. Tilaye arrives at this point. Eden gets sulky and tells him that she just saw him talking with a new girl while coming to the nightclub.

    Subplot A

    Teje's house. Bahru, Bedlu, Askale, and Saba are sitting listening to Teje. She tells them that she is in trouble because her husband continues to send money to his wife residing at Wolkitie. Bedlu insists that she ought to convince herself to accept the situation. Besides, he is unhappy at having only one child by her till now. Bahru then tells him the advantages of having a planned family [EPISODE 2 MESSAGE]. At this point someone from outside calls Bedlu and he goes out. Teje gets angry, saying that he has probably been called by his first wife's relatives.

    Subplot B

    Getachew and Fanos are talking in the heat of love. Fanos implores Getachew to pack and leave the house for good because she can no longer tolerate his sister, Workitu. Incidentally, Workitu happens to hear this without them seeing her. Suddenly there comes someone behind her where she is hiding and listening; she lets out a terrified cry. Hearing this, Getachew and Fanos come out. The stranger is Alemayehu, the older half-brother of Workitu and Getachew. He says he is in trouble and threatens Workitu to give him his share of the inheritance from their father. But she retorts that he has already taken his share and there is nothing left for him. Furthermore, the rest of the property he claims is all her mother's. When she warns him to get out or she will call the police, there is bridge music.

    Subplot C

    Mekdelawit makes a reconciliation between Tilaye and Eden. Then, Tilaye leaves the room called outside by his aunt, Yeshi's wife. She says that she came to ask him for some money because she is in trouble. She couldn't pay the house rent and the liquor she is selling is no more in demand. She then tells him about his father; that he has a big store and asks whether he would like to visit him. He stays quiet and she gets uncomfortable and asks him why he looks so pale.

    Episode 3
    Main Plot

    There is a sound of music. Tilaye and Eden are ready to start work. Mekdelawit is late. She hasn't come yet from her university lesson. They agree to get themselves ready and wait. In the mean time, being curious, Eden asks him what he loves most, his music or her. Tilaye says he loves both. She insists that he choose. He says he can't. By way of pursuing the subject, she asks him why he is afraid of introducing her to his parents if he loves her. He says that his father was a singer who is now dead. She then asks about his mother. He simply tells her that his music now is both his father and mother. Eden gets sulky and says he is deliberately hiding his real identity from her. He assures her he himself doesn't know his identity. When she is startled and asks him why, there is bridge music.

    Subplot A

    Teje cries. Bahru and Askale try to console her. Bedlu is angry because he cannot understand why she is upset and jealous at having learnt that he already had a wife when he married her. Teje says that if she had known he was already married, she would never have married him. Bedlu insists that she will just have to accept the fact that she is his second wife. Bahru interrupts and explains that having two wives at once can be dangerous, because if a man is not faithful to one woman, he exposes himself more easily to HIV/AIDS [EPISODE 3 MESSAGE]. Bedlu replies that as long as both his wives are faithful to him, he is safe. Askale taunts him, asking him why he believes his wives will stick to one man if he cannot stick to one woman. Bahru says Bedlu should decide and choose just one of his wives, but Bedlu insists he loves them both.

    Subplot B

    Workitu and Getachew are talking. Workitu not only loves her brother too much but, she also respects him. She is now telling him about Alemayehu. She gets annoyed that Alemayehu went to her husband's shop last week and quarreled with him. Fanos appears to tell them the coffee is ready and that they should get in. Workitu suddenly notices Fanos' suit and questions her where she intends to go. Fanos says she is going to the university. With a veiled insult, Workitu remarks that it is not good for a woman to be out at such late hour. Alemayehu comes in suddenly. He implores Getachew to make an intercession for him. Getachew, accepting his plea, requests Workitu to make peace with Alemayehu and help him, even though he squandered his share of the money. Workitu refuses pointblank, and orders Alemayehu to get out. Alemayehu shouts threateningly and says that her husband is living in luxury with his father's money and now he will do something about it. He then goes out. Workitu gets alarmed and says look how he goes threatening her.

    References and Select Bibliography

    Ang, I.1985. Watching Dallas. London: Methuen.
    Bandura, A.1986. Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
    Black, J.1995. The Country's Finest Hour: Fifty Years of Rural Broadcasting in Australia. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
    Bentley, E.1968. What is Theatre?
    De Fossard, E., J.Baptiste, C.Corrales, and A.Bosch, (Eds). 1993. Interactive Radio Instruction. Washington DC: USAID.
    The Johns Hopkins University/Center for Communication Programs (JHU/CCP). 1984. Basic processes and principles for health communication projects. Baltimore, USA.
    Morely, J.1992. Script Writing for High Impact Videos: Imaginative Approaches to Delivering Factual Information. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.
    Nariman, Heidi Noel. 1993. Soap Opera for Social Change. Westport, CT: Praeger.
    Piotrow, P.T., L.Kincaid, J.G.Rimon, W.Rinehart, 1997. Health Communication: Lessons from Family Planning and Reproductive Health. Westport, CT: Praeger.
    Singhal, Arvind, Michael J.Cody, Everett M.Rogers, and MiguelSabido, (Eds). 2003. Entertainment Education and Social Change. Lawrence Erlbaum, Associates.

    About the Author

    Esta de Fossard is Senior Communication Advisor at the Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Communication Programs. She previously taught at the universities of Southern California and Ohio, as well as at George Mason University in Virginia. Ms de Fossard has served as an international freelance consultant for numerous projects using radio or television for behavior change or classroom education. Her role involves assisting with curriculum design, training, production, and evaluation of the media campaign. Her practical experience in using media for behavior change spans 60 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. She is also a prolific author with more than 50 books—both for adults and children—to her credit. Ms de Fossard is currently working on two more books in this series, related to the use of television and distance learning for behavior change.

Back to Top

Copy and paste the following HTML into your website