Production

BBC Media Action's most visible work lies in the area of programme production. We use different media platforms (radio, TV, online and so forth) and produce a variety of genres (for example, drama, debates, magazine shows, phone-ins and public service announcements) to achieve our project goals.

Particular platforms and formats are selected because they are the best way to reach, inform and engage clearly defined audiences.  

We deliver extensive training to strengthen production and build lasting local capacity. Leaving a legacy is an essential part of our work.

Where possible, BBC Media Action forms production partnerships with existing local media houses and production companies. This contributes to sustainability as it means there is the possibility for popular programmes to continue once a project ends.

For example, BBC Media Action supported Egypt's Misr International Films to produce a highly-acclaimed TV drama series, Dawaran Shoubra ('Shoubra Roundabout').

It was the first TV series to be made by the company.

The drama portrayed the lives of those living in Cairo's inner-city neighbourhood of Shoubra, an area of rich and poor, Muslims and Coptic Christians. It was part of a wider Arab world project to generate understanding and dialogue across different communities and encourage engagement with social issues.  

As well as being widely watched in Egypt, Dawaran Shoubra was broadcast on many prominent pan-Arab channels worldwide, reaching tens of millions of viewers across the Arab world.

It was recognised by Egypt's media industry, which voted it one of three best series in 2011 and by the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights.

Presenting one of four awards for the show, former secretary-general for the UN Dr Boutros Boutros Ghali said: "[It] has presented a noble defence of civil rights for all Egyptians … the series proves that the rebuilding of society is dependent on its members enjoying their rights without oppression or injustice".

As well as entertainment programmes that provide information, BBC Media Action produces other genres to achieve its development goals.

Radio phone-in and debate programmes are an excellent format to provide audiences with space for speaking out.

For example, in one episode of a radio discussion programme produced in Angola, 100 Duvidas ('100 Doubts'), residents of a district of the capital Luanda called the show to complain that they had been without electricity for 30 years. The broadcast, by amplifying their concerns, finally prompted the government to turn the power back on.

In some countries, BBC Media Action uses tried and tested formats, adapted to suit local contexts. In Nepal and Bangladesh popular panel debate-style programmes, based on the BBC's influential and long-running Question Time, have been broadcast on radio and TV in both countries.

In Bangladesh, the programme, called Sanglap ('Dialogue'), was launched in 2005 at a time of political turbulence. But it survived and flourished, attracting an audience of 21 million people. 86% of those surveyed in research conducted in 2009 said they thought that the show had helped to improve political debate in Bangladesh. 62% reported that they believed the programme had made politicians more accountable.

Other media that BBC Media Action has used successfully are television and radio adverts and public service announcements (PSAs).

In India a series of PSAs on TV, radio and cinema aimed to encourage young men to talk more openly about sex and to use condoms to help reduce the risk of HIV infection in four states in the country where HIV prevalence is highest.

By using humour as a way of tackling stigma and taboo 'Condom, Condom' had mass appeal, reaching more than 150 million men across India. Research suggests nearly 70% of those who saw the advert discussed it with their friends.

We deliver extensive training to strengthen production and build lasting local capacity. Leaving a legacy is an essential part of our work

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