Southern Africa: Soul City Media Impact Evaluation, 2002-2008

CIET won a public tender to conduct an independent measurement of coverage by, and audience reception of, multi-media “edutainment” programmes produced by Soul City* and broadcast and published in eight southern African countries (Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabawe). By supplying educational content through entertainment media and genres, these programmes focus on social issues in youth culture, with particular emphasis on sexual behaviour and HIV/AIDS.

In 2002, a national sample of 3000 adult respondents in each country provided baseline household information about use of radio, television and print material to inform individual and community views around HIV/AIDS. In addition, around 9000 children and youth in each country completed a self administered questionnaire about knowledge, attitudes, objective norms, intentions to change, sense of agency, discussion habits and practices regarding sexual violence and HIV risk. In 2007, a follow-up survey covered a similar sample of adults and school-going youth in the eight countries, repeating the same questions and adding questions about knowledge of ARVs as well as about exposure to the Soul City materials and other relevant programmes. Analysis compared outcomes in each country in those with and without exposure to Soul City materials, taking into account other exposures and related factors, as well as the outcomes in the baseline survey.

The purpose of this evaluation is to promote and inform existing government and civil society action against HIV in each country. It also documents risk and resilience factors as points of reference for the Soul City regional programme and other prevention programmes.

 Findings from the surveys have been discussed in workshops in each country and publications based on the data from the surveys are in preparation. Partial results of the 2002 baseline study were published in the online journal BMC Women’s Health:

Andersson N, Ho-Foster A, Mitchell S, Scheepers E, Goldstein S. Risk factors for domestic physical violence: national cross-sectional household surveys in eight southern African countries, BMC Women’s Health 2007;7:11. Available from


* Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication is a non-governmental organisation established in South Africa in 1992. It uses mass media to promote social change.*