REACHING PEOPLE WHO CAN’T ACCESS MEDIA
In every situation we’re doing some fundamental things in common – what’s our goal? What are we trying to achieve? Who’s the audience? What are the resources available? Who are we working with? Is there enough money etc ? Then we look at a range of ways to respond, what’s worked before? Are there models we can use or re-work? What were the challenges and how can we do it differently now?
It may seem strange for BBC Media Action to be working in India; the media industry is huge, diverse and every region has its own industry and makes use of all available platforms. Our work has to straddle all of this, and be innovative, exciting, engaging and effective. We work with audiences who are ‘media dark’, with no access. How do we reach them? We use a 360 degree approach because in Bihar, with its huge range of audiences with and without access to media. You can’t reach the poorest of the poor with an old-fashioned approach that only uses media. If we want to reach them all and make the change in their lives, we take the same idea and put it on many platforms and multiple channels, to create a ‘surround sound’.
In Bihar, we have to be totally innovative to reach those who are very poor. When we developed Mobile Kunji we knew we needed to go directly to the people we wanted to reach. There are two front-line health workers for every thousand people, and they walk door-to-door every day to reach them. There are 200,000 in Bihar, a readymade group, providing health services. How could we strengthen what they’re doing? Daily, these women walk endless miles going from door to door, meeting hundreds of situations from concerns about the birth itself to questions from mothers of year old children.
The health workers have a lot of information to share, and needed something small to carry it in that could enable them to respond to all the needs. Mobile Kunji was born out of this. We designed it there and then – the content and how it could link with the technology. This was something born out of necessity – there was just no other way to do it. We arrived at it because we had been through all the open processes and thinking beforehand.