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Can mass media really save lives? A public event with Roy Head

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact A. Kapila.

Effective Altruism: Cambridge and Microsoft Research Cambridge are delighted to be hosting Roy Head, CEO and founder of Development Media International (DMI). DMI runs radio, television and mobile campaigns in developing countries to change health-related behaviours and improve lives.

In recent years, the vast majority of aid money has been spent on improving the ‘supply side’ (doctors, hospitals, teachers, schools). Creating demand, by empowering communities with knowledge and encouraging positive behaviours, is also crucial. DMI ’s media campaigns use stories which aim to be simple, funny, and engaging, convincing people to change their behaviours, as well as providing information.

DMI is dedicated to assessing the impact of its work with robust evaluations. This includes running a four-year cluster-controlled randomised controlled trial in Burkina Faso, the largest, most rigorous evaluation ever conducted of a mass media intervention. The trial was a success: the first time a mass media campaign has been proven to change behaviours. It also allowed the number of lives saved to be calculated. Modelling conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine shows that this is one of the cheapest ways of saving lives that currently exists.

Join us for a fascinating talk and Q&A session about the ins and outs of determining evidence of effectiveness in development work.

This event is hosted at Microsoft Research in Cambridge (on the corner of Station Road and Tenison Road) and is a public event, open to anyone. We’ll start at 1.05pm (so there’s time for students to come from a lecture). Hope to see you there!

This talk is part of the EA: Cambridge series.

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