Story Workshop believes that mass media campaigns have the greatest influence when they are linked with on-the-ground community mobilization and dialogue. We don't want people to simply consume our messages, but discuss them, debate them and put them into action.
Our campaigns consistently incorporate field research and structured community dialogue to marshal enthusiasm and motivation for behavior change. We use several different methods to stir on-the-ground communication. This dialogue also helps us measure the impact our programs are having.
Radio Listeners Club
Story Workshop radio listener clubs are made up of rural Malawians who serve as a sounding board for new programmes that meet their needs. They also help Story Workshop in monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of our programming. Presently Story Workshop supports over 60 listener clubs throughout the country in concert with Zinipangana Kusanapse, our radio magazine about prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and the drama production Timasukirane, involving a young audience in HIV/AIDS issues.
Radio Research Gardens
Established in conjunction with Mwana Alirenji, our farmer-to-farmer radio magazine, these groups of farmers collectively experiment with innovative approaches to agricultural challenges, such as the use of manure, different seed varieties, and crop diversification.
As the groups experiment with new methods – such as using model gardens to test manure and fertilizer side-by-side – they then report on their experiences to other farmers through the radio shows. In this way, knowledge is transferred from to farmer through peer-to-peer learning, one of the most effective educational models known today.
Story Workshop carries out “action research” within the communities in which our radio listening clubs are based. We test story recall, as well as how club members are utilizing messages they receive from our programs. Action research has shown success in highlighting our audience’s interests/concerns and has better equipped our team to distill issues that need to be addressed for our target audience. In addition, our research team has facilitated farmer and radio-listening-club exchanges as a tool for lesson learning.