Video can improve the adoption of new behaviors by seven times
A look at Digital Green’s work with instructional Video Content
One of the most important things we can articulate to potential partners is the effectiveness of video in behavior change. If they don’t believe our intervention will make a difference, what reason do they have to work with us?
A great way to demonstrate effectiveness is through use of control groups. In 2007, Digital Green, a previous OMPT partner who uses video to provide rural farmers with modern farming knowledge and techniques, brought instructional video content to rural farmers in India.
Comparing a control group that employed classic means of instructional dissemination (lectures, flip charts, going door-to-door within villages) against a group using their new, video-centric approach, Digital Green found that video improved the adoption of new behaviors by seven times. This, consequently, also reduced the cost of each new adoption by ten times; the cost to instruct through video, though initially a more expensive investment, is ultimately more cost-efficient as it requires less manpower to share and disseminate new information.
In this study, Digital Green also learned some key practices that ensure the successful creation and dissemination of video to impoverished populations. All of these approaches are ones that OMPT uses in our own interventions as well.
Shooting on location, using actors that resemble (physically, culturally, linguistically, etc.) the target population, the value of mediation are among the most important practices. By shooting on location and using actors the audience can relate to, video can transform something that once seemed abstract when presented by a lecturer into a message that resonates with those it serves.
Unlike Digital Green, OMPT can help organizations create video for behavior change in a variety of sectors. OMPT is an organization that covers an incredible breadth of disciplines, from WASH to maternal health, from farming field schools to basic education, OMPT’s primarily specialization is in video education itself. Being able to look at, learn from, and at times collaborate with our most similar counterparts provides OMPT with invaluable insight that allows us to grow and improve our workshops, enabling us to better serve our partner organizations according to their discipline and other unique needs of their mission.
As OMPT and our partners learn more about the efficacy of video and its power to effect behavior change, we hope that even more organizations may find video workshops a vital ingredient in building the capacity of their staff and future projects.
Gandhi, Rikin, Rajesh Veeraraghavan, and Kentaro Toyama. 2009. “Digital Green: Participatory Video and Mediated Instruction for Agricultural Extension.” Information Technologies and International Development5 (1): 1–15. https://itidjournal.org/index.php/itid/article/view/322/145.