Reaching audiences across Africa

DMI Reach uses a network of partners to launch radio and television campaigns very rapidly. It can be used to deliver multi-country behaviour change campaigns and to communicate messages during public health emergencies.


Our Approach


At the heart of DMI Reach is a continent-wide network of local partners that allows us to adapt radio and television adverts into over 120 local languages and build effective media strategies for each country.

Rapid response

We have built our network in advance to ensure that no time is wasted. Our centralised management model enables us to operate efficiently and to get messages on air without the need for local offices.


We broadcast campaigns in the local languages of our target audiences. We ‘transcreate’ rather than simply translate materials, ensuring that campaigns are culturally relevant to each and every listener.

Message control

We produce all local language ‘transcreations’ and voiceover recordings in-country, and ask independent translators to check them. We manage the production process centrally from DMI’s offices in the UK and Burkina Faso.


DMI has a strong track record of measuring impact.

We partner with leading academic institutions to run robust impact evaluations of our campaigns. We recently completed the first randomised controlled trial to demonstrate that mass media can cause behaviour change. We are currently running a second randomised controlled trial in Burkina Faso, investigating the impact of a radio campaign on family planning. We evaluate DMI Reach media campaigns using post-hoc cross-sectional surveys and propensity score analysis.



  • What is DMI?

    Development Media International (DMI) runs radio, television and mobile campaigns to change behaviours and improve lives in developing countries. We generate evidence of impact using robust evaluations, and scale up the most effective campaigns to reach many millions of people. We have a particular focus on health, but we also run campaigns in other areas. We use an evidence-based methodology called Saturation+ to ensure that our media campaigns have measurable impacts (Head et al, The Lancet, 2015). We have conducted the first ever randomised controlled trial to demonstrate that mass media can change behaviours, by evaluating the impact of a radio campaign on child survival. DMI is rated a ‘standout charity’ based on its health impact, evidence base and cost-effectiveness by GiveWell.

  • Why is DMI Reach needed?

    Communication is critical for the effective management of public health emergencies. It can be used for persuading affected populations to adopt protective behaviours, reducing confusion, facilitating heightened disease surveillance, and improving the efficient utilisation of resources. Having the capacity to reach every country in Sub-Saharan Africa, quickly and cost-effectively, is the primary purpose of DMI Reach.

  • What solution is DMI Reach offering?

    We have built the network of DMI Reach partners in advance. This enables us to avoid costly delays during health emergencies and to broadcast very rapidly across Sub-Saharan Africa. DMI Reach centralises message control to avoid inaccuracy. We manage all production from DMI’s offices in the UK and Burkina Faso, so that scripts are translated locally to ensure cultural relevance, but that all output is quality-controlled centrally before being broadcast.

  • How does this work in practice?

    For every country, DMI has assembled information on which radio and television stations have the largest audiences, what is the optimum mix of geography and languages, which studios and copyrighters are able to ‘transcreate’ content into local languages and culture, and which media buying agencies are able to negotiate the best airtime deals. We have then built relationships with the most appropriate partners. DMI Reach’s network of local partners enables us to broadcast a media campaign across Sub-Saharan Africa within 4-6 weeks of defining the health messages.

  • How do you overcome language and cultural barriers?

    Communications efforts during global health emergencies have faced real challenges when trying to deliver accurate health messages that can be understood by linguistically and culturally diverse populations. We have devised a mechanism that allows us to ‘transcreate’ radio and television adverts into multiple languages while preserving their creative and emotional impact, thus allowing our campaigns to resonate in different languages and cultures.

  • How do you ensure that the message is accurate?

    DMI works closely with the World Health Organisation and other health experts to ensure that our radio and television adverts are accurate. DMI Reach’s centralised process ensures that all media outputs adhere to approved messages.

  • How do you work with other agencies in this sector?

    DMI Reach coordinates with existing international mechanisms and networks. Where necessary, we run media campaigns with the authority, support and approval of WHO and the relevant UN agencies. DMI Reach is a mass media approach, and it is intended to complement, not compete with, face-to-face behaviour change communications interventions. We upload all DMI Reach materials for health emergencies to an open source online library, enabling UN agencies and NGOs in affected areas to further distribute our content as needed.


DMI partners and funders

We work in partnership with the leading health organisations focused on developing countries.

DMI is funded by some of the world's most prestigious scientific organisations, development agencies and philanthropic foundations.


DMI Reach is an initiative of Development Media International (DMI). DMI runs radio, television and mobile campaigns to change behaviours and improve lives in developing countries. We generate evidence of impact using robust evaluations, and scale up the most effective campaigns to reach many millions of people.


To discuss how we might be able to work with you, please get in touch with Cathryn Wood or Matthew Trueman using the contact details below.

  +44 (0)20 3058 2798 / 2927