We are the first media organisation to use scientific modelling in order to save the greatest number of lives in the most cost-effective way.
Is DMI a media organisation? Not really. Our staff are experts in using media (largely radio and TV) to deliver behaviour changein developing countries, but we see media simply as a means of delivering behaviour change. We are, at heart, an organisation focused on human knowledge and behaviour. Our focus is on creating this knowledge, and using it to change behaviours, to produce improved health outcomes in countries where those outcomes are low. The most effective (and cost-effective) way to do this is using media – predominantly radio and television - in Africa.
Equally, we are not a health organisation. Instead we work in close partnership with the acknowledged experts in the field, including WHO, UNICEF and LSHTM (and we are funded by some of the world’s most prestigious scientific organisations). Where we have developed an expertise, however, is in predicting and then measuring the impacts of our work, not just in terms of behaviour change, but in terms of direct health outcomes. We have developed a unique scientific model that tells us how many lives we will save, and allows us to design our campaigns so as to maximise this number. We are running a ground-breaking randomised controlled trial in Burkina Faso to demonstrate that this model works in the real world.
At present, our focus is on saving the lives of the 6.9 million children who die under the age of five every year, and on reducing the mortality rate among mothers. We therefore target the big causes of death among these groups, such as diarrhoea, malnutrition and malaria. But we also work across a range of related health issues, including sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, hygiene, environmental health and non-communicable diseases. We are currently designing health behaviour change campaigns in 12 African countries and are looking for partners and funders for many of these projects.