Producing content that is informative, educational and entertaining is Myanmar’s national broadcaster MRTV’s new charter, as it strives to produce radio, television and online content that reflects its diverse peoples and cultures, and, meets citizens’ information needs and gaps
ABC ID has worked with MRTV under an MOU to support its transition for a number of years, through a variety of projects, mostly to improve educational content for citizens in Myanmar and to give men and women a voice in their country’s development. We have worked in many regions and states, with content translated into a variety of ethnic media languages to increase accessibility and inclusion.
This has included improving the strategic planning and production skills of staff, improved radio news content, voter educational content during the 2016 national election, using drama as a format for educating women on maternal and child health issues, and meeting the information needs of farmers and rural citizens on agriculture, rural livelihoods and food security through radio, TV, animation and song and video clip.
Agriculture, Livelihoods and Food Security Media
ABC ID is working with MRTV and the Farmer’s Channel to deliver ground-breaking content focussed on meeting the information needs and gaps of farmers, labourers and rural communities. It is the first time information and educational content (IEC) on agriculture and rural livelihoods has been produced targeted at these groups.
A total of 10 radio programs, 6 TV programs, radio and TV public service announcements, an animation and a song and video clip have been produced, working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI). Stories “for the farmers, by the farmers” were collection from five regions and states Rakhine, Ayeyarwaddy, Shan, Chin and Mandalay. The radio and TV series have been translated into 17 and 11 ethnic languages respectively. The content is being broadcast across MRTV’s extensive national platforms from May 1, 2017, under the title “Food Security – give to generations to come”. Early feedback on the content has shown it is increasing farmers’ knowledge about new and innovative practices and food security, sharing information about farming models of successes and farming challenges. It has also taken farmer voices to policy makers – increasing understanding of the impact of policies and where policy issues are hindering effective agriculture.
Content themes and storylines were based on the information needs and gaps of farmers, labourers and rural communities, identified through research conducted by UNESCO Myanmar. In that feedback farmers also said they wanted to get more information from agriculture department staff, rather than rely on family and friends. Therefore to extend the project’s impact, ABC ID produced a toolkit for MOALI staff to take into communities when they visit villages. They can use the toolkit to show citizens the radio and TV programs and then discuss the issues in them. The toolkit guides them through this discussion so that it is productive and educational for both the department and farmers.
This Communication for Sustained Livelihoods and Food Security Project 2016-17 is funded by UNESCO Myanmar, through the multi-donor Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT). View and listen to the project’s content (in Myanmar language) here.