Burkina Faso RCT: Midline Results

DMI is conducting a three-year randomized controlled trial in Burkina Faso to test the proposition that a radio campaign focused on child health can reduce under-five mortality. This is the most rigorous trial ever conducted of a mass media health intervention. Endline results, which will measure mortality reductions by surveying 100,000 households, will be available in 2015. Midline results, however, provide an indication of the extent to which target behaviors have changed after 20 months of broadcasting. Midline results showed that behaviors in the intervention zones have all improved. When changes in the control zones are subtracted from these results, the difference in difference is substantial. Parents in intervention areas were significantly more likely to have engaged in careseeking for diarrhea compared to parents in control areas. The number of parents providing oral rehydration therapy or salts, or increasing the liquid intake of children who had diarrhea, increased by 25.5 percentage points in intervention zones, versus 1.5 in control zones. The number of children who received antibiotics for pneumonia symptoms (fast or difficult breathing) increased by 18.2 percentage points in the intervention zones, compared with 10.5 in the control zones, and the proportion of parents seeking treatment for cough or fast/difficult breathing increased by 17.4 percentage points in intervention zones compared with 9.8 percentage points in control zones. This represents, even at this preliminary stage, the first randomized controlled trial to demonstrate that mass media can cause behavior change. We expect the endline results to be stronger still.


Simon Cousens, Sophie Sarrassat



January 2014
Resource Types
BCC for Diarrhea and Pneumonia
Current Downloads



Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus is a five-year cooperative agreement (AID-OAA-A-15-00067) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. government information and does not represent the views or positions of USAID or the U.S. government.

Sign-up for our newsletter to get the latest updates from SHOPS Plus