Focus on the Audience Behaviour


Our Brown Bag session today, where we bring in experts from within Digital Green and outside to spark our imagination and inspire us to do something different and something more, did exactly that.


Our guest speaker, Siddhartha Swarup, Director, Family Health Projects in India for BBC Media Action is an expert who has worked across five continents and in over 15 countries in the areas of behaviour change communication, marketing and advertising. He joined us at the Digital Green office in Delhi to share his experience of designing the curriculum for the Mobile Academy.


The Mobile Academy is an anytime, anywhere mobile-based training course for community health workers on family health, developed by BBC Media Action. This training course is an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) based learning aid designed to train the Community Health Worker (CHW) and equips her with both technical information on family health behaviours and tips for effective communication.


Siddhartha started off the pre-lunch session by asking us to split into two groups and plan a lunch party for either a group of friends or our parents-in-law. Our responses, when we regrouped, brought us straight into the discussion that Siddhartha wanted to draw us into – one about understanding the behaviour of the target audience for designing the appropriate curriculum. For the aged parents-in-law we would be careful not to have deep-fried or too salty food but for friends, we’d need to have a variety of exciting food.

In a very engaging hour-long presentation Siddhartha shared with us concepts around identifying target audience, suitable models of pedagogy, how to leverage communications on the highs and lows of audience behaviour. On the need to get creative and think out of the box, his words, to not hit on the first good idea and be stuck with it! resonated with the group after a quick exercise he asked us to do, which was to divide a square box into four equal parts. Most of us could come up with three or four ways to do it, but Siddhartha shared some non-linear options as well.

The overarching theme of the session was curriculum design, keeping in mind the target audience and their context, needs, likes and dislikes and levels of comfort with the content and medium of engagement. Siddhartha gave examples of two projects that he had been closely associated with, one was BBC Janala, widely known as English in Action, the largest english learning program in the world outside of schooling system and the other Mobile Academy.


Siddhartha also placed immense importance on research and an iterative process of developing content before actual roll out.

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