Facts & Figures


Téhiri, Dioulabougou, Didogo, Lessiri, Kpada, Kpehiri, Petit Bouaké, Krohon




5.5 million people


  • Community radio stations
  • Social media
  • Mobile phones


  • Distribution of local mobile videos and training of community facilitators
  • Impact evaluation of mobile video campaign


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About the project

Development Media International (DMI) was contracted to carry out an Early Childhood Development (ECD) mass media campaign in Côte d’Ivoire. The aim of the campaign is to improve parenting behaviors using mass media and mobile technology over a period of 18 months.


The 2016 MICS study reveals that exclusive breastfeeding rates are still painfully low in Côte d’Ivoire. Exclusive breastfeeding has enormous benefits linked to child survival and health development. When a child is exclusively breastfed in the first 6 months of its life, their immune system is strengthened, enabling it to combat life-threatening diseases. Optimal complementary feeding is also an important factor in young children’s optimal development. About 65.5% of 6-month-olds receive complementary feeding as recommended by national and international standards. However, these complementary foods are very often inappropriate for their age. Many children aged 6 months and older in Côte d’Ivoire eat foods that should be consumed mainly by adults, such as attiéké, rice, cassava with sauce, etc.

The use of physical punishment is also very widespread among parents and caregivers; 86.5% of young children have experienced violent discipline within the past month, according to the MICS. Parents underestimate the effectiveness of positive discipline and cultural norms undermine behavior changes. Finally, because of gender and cultural norms, play, early stimulation, and responsive care still lag between parents and their young children; fathers are especially distant.


DMI is using its Saturation++ approach to convey simple messages (short spots) in several dialects on local community radio stations to targeted populations. Additionally, DMI will diffuse short videos via social media that aim to sensitize caregivers on the 4 key behaviors listed and lead them to improved practices.

The campaign will focus on a limited number of simple messages that encourage responsive, playful, and caring interactions between young children and their caregivers. Messages will target caregivers of 0–3-year-olds on:

  • Topic 1: Exclusive breastfeeding up to six months
  • Topic 2: Introduction of appropriate and sufficient complementary foods after six months
  • Topic 3: Parental stimulation of young children
  • Topic 4: Positive discipline (rather than violent discipline)

Several RCTs have proven DMI’s Saturation approach to work for similar themes and in similar contexts (Burkina Faso, Senegal).

Results to date

The project launched in July 2019. In late July, a team of researchers began the formative research in southwestern Côte d’Ivoire. Dissemination of the spots and short content began in February 2020 and concluded in late August of the same year. The start of the mobile videos component has been postponed until after the Presidential elections due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scientific evidence

Several RCTs have proven DMI’s saturation approach to work for similar themes and in similar contexts (Burkina Faso, Senegal).

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