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Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC

In this, the first of a series of guest posts on how FrontlineSMS is being used around the world, Becky McLaughlin – Marketing Director at Rien que la Vérité – talks about their current use of the platform, and the impact it has had on their work

“Based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rien que la Vérité was born in 2006 when some of the finest musicians in the Congo united to produce a CD of songs speaking against the spread of HIV/AIDS. Since 2006, the Rien que la Vérité platform has produced 14 music videos, a documentary, and an all-day stadium concert. In its present incarnation, Rien que la Vérité is touching the lives of the people of the Congo through their television screens as they follow the lives of a Kinois family on a locally-produced TV drama.

rqlv_family_ad

Rien que la Vérité – the TV series – launched nationally on November 30th, 2008 and first implemented FrontlineSMS in the airing of its second episode on December 14th. Each episode broadcast is accompanied by short talk-show segments during which a host introduces music clips, talks to well-known musicians and actors, and interviews representatives from local NGOs and organizations whose message dovetails with a theme introduced in the show.

During the December 14th show, the audience was invited to participate by sending an SMS with the name of their favorite character. The responses were collected using FrontlineSMS. This simple first step allowed Rien que la Vérité to test the software and to begin an exploration of our audience’s perceptions and preferences. As the show continues we plan to introduce more simple polls that will help tailor the show to the audience’s tastes, and give viewers a sense of ownership of the program.

drc-tv-frontlinesms

This, however, is the most basic use we foresee. We are now launching a drive to support fan clubs, so that people who watch the show can find each other, meet, and talk about the show and the topics it introduces – a process that will begin to normalize conversation about HIV/AIDS. We’ll use FrontlineSMS to collect contact information from interested fans, then broadcast messages with times and locations for local club gatherings. We also intend to use FrontlineSMS in our research for measuring the impact the show has on our target audience. We’ll send out questions via SMS to fans before and after each show, measuring any changes in attitude, knowledge, or self-reported practices due to exposure to the show’s messaging.

FrontlineSMS will be a critical tool in our goal to entertain and educate. Like its television format, Rien que la Vérité’s future development must remain grassroots, and FrontlineSMS is an excellent vehicle for this.”

Becky McLaughlin
Marketing Director
Rien que la Vérité
www.abcd-laverite.com

Tags: , , , , ,

94 Responses to “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”

  1. Heather Morris 29 January 2009 at 12:12 am #

    At last – SMS marketing for a better world! Wonderful to see such intelligent use of this medium for raising awareness and bringing about community solidarity on such sensitive issues. Keep up the great work Rien que la Vérité!!

  2. Becky McLaughlin 29 January 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    Hi Heather,
    Thanks for your kind words, it is lovely to receive them. We are of course very excited about our project. Given that it is in its founding stages, we of course have a long way to go before we can maximise the options afforded to us by Frontline. We are particularly excited about using it in our Monitoring and Evaluation process, making the experience more interactive for our audience and ultimately, getting to know them, their habits, trends, likes and dislikes to better respond to their needs. We are also in the beginning stages of creating and developing our fanclub, which will be facilitated by the Frontline software, amongst other tools, giving us a direct and effective way of being in contact with our viewers. Any feedback, comments and ideas of course much appreciated – thanks Heather!

  3. Pete Haught 29 January 2009 at 8:16 pm #

    After reading so much about all the good mobile technology is doing in the third world, it’s nice to actually see a really neat use for it. I wonder how many more TV stations could do something like this? It sounds like it’s been quite easy and simple to do.

    Like Heather says, keep up the great work!!

  4. Woody M. Collins 30 January 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    Hi Becky,

    Great news! I am glad to see FrontlineSMS being used in the DRC for a community building and development role.

    It will be interesting to see if SMS messaging grows. The lack of internet and electricity makes SMS messaging a great communication piece. For example, I am sending daily Obama Updates to my Congolese friends.

    Woody M. Collins
    http://www.CongoHelpingHands.org
    http://www.EndingExtremePoverty.org

  5. Becky McLaughlin 30 January 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Thanks Paul. I suppose by bringing recognition to organisations like Frontline and ensuring more TV stations and programs do use such initiatives, we can only be doing a good thing. A key thing for us, and something that we are working on at the moment, is that we are reliant upon the commerical phone companies – who are not always so ready to support such causes, by allowing for reduced-rate messaging and so forth, to further spread the good of such a cause. As I say though, we are working on this! Keep us posted if you have any further comments or ideas.

  6. kiwanja 30 January 2009 at 6:31 pm #

    @Woody Aren’t you also using FrontlineSMS to do that?

  7. Chris Blow 31 January 2009 at 3:30 am #

    Oh wow this is amazing!

  8. Becky McLaughlin 4 February 2009 at 8:06 am #

    Further to Kiwanja’s comment, I was also wondering how people are coming to see this blog: what are your connections with Frontline / kiwanja.net? This interest being partly nosy and partly academic! To all those who have responded…

  9. Karra 26 February 2009 at 12:16 am #

    Hmm, very cognitive post.
    Is this theme good unough for the Digg?

  10. Becky McLaughlin 26 February 2009 at 9:39 am #

    Is this comment directed at anyone in particular? I don’t follow if not…Digg?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  2. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  3. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  4. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  5. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  6. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  7. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  8. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  9. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  10. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  11. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  12. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  13. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  14. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  15. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  16. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  17. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  18. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  19. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  20. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  21. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  22. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  23. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  24. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  25. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  26. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  27. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  28. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  29. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  30. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  31. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  32. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  33. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  34. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  35. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  36. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  37. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  38. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  39. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  40. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  41. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  42. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  43. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  44. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  45. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  46. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  47. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  48. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  49. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  50. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  51. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  52. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  53. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  54. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  55. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  56. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  57. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  58. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  59. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  60. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  61. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  62. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  63. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  64. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  65. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  66. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  67. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  68. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  69. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  70. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  71. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  72. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  73. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  74. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  75. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    "Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC". Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  76. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  77. FrontlineSMS o/ - 28 January 2009

    “Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC”. Guest post by Rien que la Vérité on their use of o/. http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  78. changefeed - 28 January 2009

    ->@kiwanja: Sitcoms+SMS: Tackling HIV/AIDS in the DRC http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq

  79. Erik Hersman - 28 January 2009

    A DR Congo TV show does mobile consumer surveys using FrontlineSMS: http://bit.ly/VAi1

  80. mobileactive - 28 January 2009

    A DR Congo TV show does mobile consumer surveys using FrontlineSMS: http://bit.ly/VAi1

  81. Frederick Noronha - 28 January 2009

    RT: @mobileactive: A DR Congo TV show does mobile consumer surveys using FrontlineSMS: http://bit.ly/VAi1

  82. Abby_Speight - 30 January 2009

    http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq Educational soap operas/sitcoms are genius. Wish they had DVD's!

  83. Abby_Speight - 30 January 2009

    http://tinyurl.com/ahf2uq Educational soap operas/sitcoms are genius. Wish they had DVD’s!

  84. Online Discussion: Using Mobile Phones for Citizen Media : FrontlineSMS - 26 July 2011

    [...] to a TV series which tackles HIV in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a project called Rien que la Vérité (Nothing but the Truth). The discussion hosted by New Tactics will take place on an online forum [...]

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