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Radio: a tool to raise awareness and knowledge cheaply

Emerging Insight #:


Date of Release:

  May 17, 2012


  Consumer education


  Microfinance Opportunities and Association of Kenyan Insurers, Kenya

Radio proves to be a cost-effective channel to raise awareness and increase knowledge about insurance. This increased knowledge is not sufficient on its own, however, to change behaviour.

In 2010 Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) and the Association of Kenyan Insurance (AKI) launched a radio education campaign to improve risk-management and insurance literacy of low-income households. To measure the impact of the campaign, MFO and AKI assessed five outcomes: 1) awareness of insurance and risk management techniques, 2) knowledge of insurance related terms, 3) insurance behaviour, 4) attitudes towards insurance, savings and risk management, and 5) trust (of the industry and insurers). Of these measures, the campaign had the largest impact on awareness of insurance products (18.8 per cent higher amongst listeners compared to non-listeners), and knowledge of insurance terms and policies (8 per cent higher).

The radio campaign was a cost-effective (estimated at less than US$ 0.013 per listener to reach approximately 10 million listeners), way to improve knowledge and awareness, but it had limited impact on two other dimensions, i.e. attitudes and trust.   Listeners mentioned that stories of negative experiences with insurance tend to be passed through social networks, spreading distrust and reinforcing negative attitudes.  Based on what was observed, MFO and AKI hypothesize that to translate awareness to demand, radio campaigns need to find a way to counteract information shared through word-of-mouth. For example, listeners may require repeated, more prolonged exposure to positive messages, or experience with a more targeted, personal campaign that supplements the radio programs.

For more on MFO and AKI, check out their Learning Journey. For the Impact Evaluation report, click here. Radio scripts and marketing materials are also available.