Mediae is Impactful

We create, design and produce media for sustainable impact

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Mediae Company

Over our 20+ year history, we have been focused on supplying vital knowledge in forms that can be widely accessed and understood and thereby improving the lives of millions of viewers through improved incomes, better nutrition and numerous other ways.

Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices: Season 10

In this Season 10 survey, nine in ten of the farmers who took part in the survey said that SSU was the TV programme they trusted the most to provide agricultural and farming information. Almost all viewers (96%) said they had learnt something new from the series. The most recalled topics from SSU 10 were harvesting and storage (62%), potato/sweet potato farming (40%) and modern cooking appliances (38%).

Behaviour change in respect of farming practices is notoriously difficult to effect, but almost all the farmers who viewed this latest series (93%) claimed to have made a change which they attributed to the programme. As a result of the changes they made, almost two-thirds (63%) reported better yields and incomes.

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Edutainment: driving scale and impact through entertainment platforms

This Mastercard and Mercy Corps Agrifin funded study measures the impact that Mediae's Edutainment approach has made, including:

  • Edutainment can drive affordable scale: 12 million users in 3 countries are being reached through Mediae channels, with high content-based engagement shown by youth segments. Overall, pushing advice through digital edutainment channels is shown to be an effective and low-cost option.
  • Edutainment can trigger meaningful farmer behavioural change: Overall conversion rates of knowledge translated into practice are high across categories. 56% of practices were influenced by SSU, with viewers more likely to be engaged in 10 out of 12 promoted practices.
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Behavior change and impact evidence for Covid-19 information

Mercy Corps Agrifin and Busara evaluated the combined SMS + TV campaign delivered by iShamba and Mediae to understand behavior change.

The combined SMS + TV Covid-19 campaign had a positive effect on farmer behavior. The knowledge increase is driven mainly by a big increase in people answering correctly for whether livestock spread Covid-19, and a smaller increase in people knowing about the need to socially distance.

There is a near universal preference for receiving information through the iShamba SMS channel. Convenience and trust are the main drivers for this preference. Surveyed farmers trust the information that they receive through the SMS channel.

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Behavior change and impact evidence for Covid-19 information midpoint report

Mercy Corps Agrifin and Busara evaluated the combined SMS + TV campaign delivered by iShamba and Mediae to understand behavior change. This document contains the mid-point insights report.

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GeoPoll Study of Kenya's Agriculture Sector

The impact of mobile phone technology on the agricultural sector in Kenya cannot be overstated. Now more than ever, farmers need up-to-date information on weather patterns, food and livestock production tips, modern farming methods, market conditions amidst fluctuating food prices, and access to credit that is customized to their needs. Mediae and iShamba are focused on closing this information gap.

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Budget Mkononi Evidence Summary

To improve budget keeping practices, Mediae developed an innovative online agricultural budgeting tool that allows farmers to build personalized budgets on a range of commodities and view estimated costs and profits of each. This document summarizes the utilization and impact.

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The Power Of Television In Triggering Feedback Through Mobile Phones

A study conducted by CGIAR and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This study aimed at identifying innovative ways to reach farmers through testing the effectiveness of Mediae's approach of integrating TV and mobile phone technology in enhancing feedback mechanisms among smallholder farmers. They found that viewers from 96% of the counties in Kenya watched the show and wrote back feedback during the aired episodes.

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iShamba

iShamba is a call centre of agricultural experts where farmers can SMS or call in with their questions for instant help. Once signed up, they also receive agri tips on crop and livestock, market prices and weather forecasts. iShamba supplements the broadcast TV and Radio programming to provide direct 1:1 farmer support.

Desert Locust Citizen Reporting

In 2020 we partnered with Mercy Corps Agrifin and Penn State's Plant Village team on an innovative way to monitor and address the locust infestation threatening East Africa. We used our network of iShamba registered farmers to report locust sightings combined with AI prediction models from the Plant Village team to predict movements and broadcast updated maps weekly on Shamba Shape Up. This document records the learnings.

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ICT4D Smallholder Farmer Use of Mobile Phones for Agriculture

An independent research report was published, showing the most popular apps that farmers use on their mobile phones. The most popular are WhatsApp, Facebook and iShamba.

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60-dB Mediae Farmer Insights

60-decibels, in conjunction with Mercy Corps, analyzed data from a survey of 256 iShamba farmers. They concluded that iShamba's unique services are positively impacting farms and lives.

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Etchells Dissertation on iShamba Impact on Farmers

This paper explores whether iShamba makes a positive difference to the livelihoods of Kenyan smallholder farmers. The study found that farmers received positive benefits including higher yields by gaining access to improved inputs, more bargaining power through the provision of market price information and improved ROI by receiving information from iShamba on how to reduce their costs.

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Tracking Change in Productivity Amongst iShamba Subscribers

This reports presents the production outcomes for baseline and follow up across subscribers and non- subscribers on different two crops, maize and potato, and two livestock, dairy and poultry.

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Shamba Shape Up

Shamba Shape Up (SSU) is our most popular and award winning program. With 12 million viewers and more than 10 seasons running, Shamba Shape Up has taught millions of farmers how to improve their operations in very practical and easy to implement ways. Numerous internal and external research publications have been published, as shown here.

Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices: Season 10

In this Season 10 survey, nine in ten of the farmers who took part in the survey said that SSU was the TV programme they trusted the most to provide agricultural and farming information. Almost all viewers (96%) said they had learnt something new from the series. The most recalled topics from SSU 10 were harvesting and storage (62%), potato/sweet potato farming (40%) and modern cooking appliances (38%).

Behaviour change in respect of farming practices is notoriously difficult to effect, but almost all the farmers who viewed this latest series (93%) claimed to have made a change which they attributed to the programme. As a result of the changes they made, almost two-thirds (63%) reported better yields and incomes.

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University of Reading Impact Research

The AECF commissioned an independent study by the University of Reading and Wageningen University to investigate the impact of Shamba Shape Up. The 83 page report documents the significant impacts that the program made on its viewers income and quality of life, including:

  • Nearly three quarters (71%) of SSU viewers reported that SSU has had a positive impact on their household food situation. Those viewers who reported being influenced by SSU reported that the programme helped them to learn new things about farming (88%), gave them new ideas (89%) and helped them to make decisions (84%).
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TV's Impact on Farmer Behaviors

The aim of this study was to understand and measure the effect of a novel form of edutainment that uses this makeover format of reality TV, and to investigate the processes by which it influences farmers. An estimated 428,566 households (14.7% of households in the survey area) reported that they had benefited from Shamba Shape Up. Economically, maize farmers who had been influenced by Shamba Shape Up had benefited by an average gross margin increase of $288 per acre (based on results of the participatory budgets) and dairy farmers had improved their gross margins by $260 per cow.

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Knowledge Attitude and Practices: Season 9

GeoPoll's annual study of the changes in Knowledge, Attitude and Practices amongst viewers.

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Knowledge Attitude and Practices: Season 8

GeoPoll's annual study of the changes in Knowledge, Attitude and Practices amongst viewers.

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Knowledge Attitude and Practices: Season 6

Our annual study of the changes in Knowledge, Attitude and Practices amongst viewers.

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CGIAR CCAFS Document

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), which funded the show’s pilot series, has also sponsored economic impact surveys of the target audience. An AECF study in 2014 estimated that
in Kenya’s agrarian region more than 400,000 households benefitted from Shamba Shape Up, and the increased income for dairy farmers alone totalled about USD 24 million.

The AECF study called the show “a trusted source of information presented in a format that engages farmers’ interest and emotions, encourages discussion and provides opportunity for follow-up and interaction.” In fact, the study found that Shamba Shape Up is more trusted than other, more conventional sources of information.

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Knowledge Attitude and Practices: Season 5

Our annual study of the changes in Knowledge, Attitude and Practices amongst viewers.

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Knowledge Attitude and Practices: Season 4

Our annual study of the changes in Knowledge, Attitude and Practices amongst viewers.

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Knowledge Attitude and Practices: Seasons 2-3

Our annual study of the changes in Knowledge, Attitude and Practices amongst viewers.

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Knowledge Attitude and Practices: Season 1

Our annual study of the changes in Knowledge, Attitude and Practices amongst viewers.

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Don't Lose the Plot

In Don't Lose the Plot, four youth enter a competition to see who can make the most profit from one acre of farmland. The program was funded by USAID Feed the Future in an effort to show rural youth that farming can be a profitable venture. The show was extremely popular with 4.1 million viewers.

Evaluation of the ‘Don’t Lose the Plot’ Television Program

USAID Feed the Future, in partnership with Kantar Public (TNS) researchers, conducted an independent impact study to determine the effectiveness of the Don't Lose the Plot program. Conclusions from this evaluation indicate that Don’t Lose the Plot succeeded in increasing knowledge related to farming and agribusiness in Kenya and Tanzania, which resulted in improved farming and agribusiness practices among viewers. The findings suggest that improvements in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior associated with DLTP occurred mostly among youth already engaged in farming. In total, the evaluation estimated that 4.1 million youth in Kenya and Tanzania watched the pilot season of DLTP, of which 1.4 million were estimated to be high-intensity viewers.

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Feed the Future Case Study

The Don’t Lose the Plot project confirmed that competition is one of the ways to attract youth in agriculture. For example, all four participants made an average return 2.5 times their investment (Madara, Makau & Gwinner, 2017). Additionally, popularity of the budgeting tool confirmed that youth are open to and seeking ways to increase their financial literacy.

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Mpeke Town

The aim of Mpeke Town is to improve the quality of management within farmer groups in Uganda, encouraging best practice in agricultural production and thus enhancing rural livelihoods. Moreover, the show seeks to improve access to inputs, finance, markets and, most importantly, promote the concept of farming as a family business where planning, resource allocation and labour activities are shared out amongst the family members in a collaborative fashion and where land ownership is fair.

Ultimately, Mpeke Town is all about opening ones self to the possibility and rewards that come with discovering farming’s untapped potential.

Ipsos Evaluation Report

The overall purpose of the study is to understand farming practices of rural/peri- urban smallholder farmers and urban youth.

Generally, exposure to Mpeke town and Mpeke town messages, has had a positive impact on the target audience and this has created an element of change in perceptions about farming as business, and change in farming practices and behaviors among practicing farmers.

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Shamba Chef

Shamba Chef

Shamba Chef is an edutainment reality TV show produced by The Mediae Company and grounded on improving the cooking methods of Kenyans, as well as their family’s nutrition.

Hosted by Janet Kirina and Melvin Alusa, the Shamba Chef crew travel across Kenya, meeting families and discussing the challenges and problems that are common to kitchens throughout the country.

With the help of a team of experts, we delve into real households and offer practical solutions to improving the cooking experience - making it cleaner, quicker, safer and at half the cost.

Evaluation of Clean Cooking Behavior Change Communication Summary Report

From 2016-2019, the Clean Cooking Alliance (Alliance) selected and supported four behavior change communication (BCC) interventions in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Nigeria with funding from the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom. The program aimed to pilot established BCC techniques to enhance demand for cleaner household cookstoves and fuels.

Independent of other factors, exposure to Shamba Chef quadroupled awareness of cleaner cooking in options and improved use of biomass stoves.

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Evaluation of Clean Cooking Behavior Change Communication Interventions: Mediae, Kenya Quantitative Results Summar

This report contains the Shamba Chef quantitative results summary of the Berkeley Air monitoring group study.

The evaluation assessed the effects of the behavior change communication exposures on 7 key outcomes: (1) awareness of improved biomass stoves and LPG stoves, (2) positive attitudes and knowledge towards new cookstoves from visual aid A, (3) intention to purchase a visual aid A stove within the next month, (4) aspiration to use LPG for cooking, (5) purchase of improved biomass or LPG stoves within the 5 month BCC exposure period, (6) aspiration to own an improved biomass or LPG stove, and (7) aspiration to use LPG more than currently is used now.

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Know Zone card

Know Zone

Know Zone is a locally produced TV series that aims to raise the educational standards of young Kenyans by improving their grasp of literacy and numeracy in line with the Kenyan primary school syllabus. It also equips youth with life-skill messages ranging from environmental issues to peace building initiatives in a contextually relevant delivery.

Synovate Know Zone In-School Research

This research documents the demographic profile of Know Zone viewers as well as the improvements that the program made to children's test scores, with overall median test scores increasing by more than 18%.

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Makutano Junction

Makutano Junction was a Kenyan soap opera, set on a fictional village named Makutano, that premiered in 2006. It captured different themes that affected the normal African society. The main contemporary issues that were mostly stressed in the drama were, corruption, education, early marriages, Female Genital Mutilation and pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, human rights, social justice, values, and perceptions, conflict resolution.

Women's World Banking Impact Study

Women’s World Banking built on the experience and the lessons from the first two pilot projects and partnered with the producers of Makutano Junction to develop a campaign to encourage low-income, under-banked women in Kenya to open and use bank accounts.

Women’s World Banking worked with the show’s producers to develop a storyline that featured a fictitious bank branch whose manager launched a campaign to get more women to save—Nawiri Dada, meaning “Sisters Achieve” in Swahili.

Impact study results revealed that among viewers of the show approximately 138,000 low-income women opened accounts during the campaign. Makutano Junction was a leading driver for women who opened an account as a result of the Nawiri Dada campaign: 38% cited it as primary reason while 62% said it was the secondary reason.

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Case Study – Makutano Junction TV Drama Series

Since 2006, the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) has collaborated with MEDIAE to communicate evidence-based sexual and reproductive health and rights messages through MEDIAE’s development education television drama series, Makutano Junction.

The Makutano Junction project has shown the massive appeal for this kind of TV programming; locally written and produced, with sound content research, good quality production, educative as well as entertaining draws in the crowds.

It is equally popular in different countries – being the most popular programme in Uganda. Generic issues are of interest as well as “how the neighbours live” are an attraction.

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