Communication is a vital part of any development project. By designing and targeting messages appropriate to intended audiences, good media and communications initiatives can help equip people with information and knowledge needed make more informed decisions for their health, rights, security, and livelihoods. Media and communication can also help to encourage new behaviours and action for positive social change. Inn order to be effective, communications strategies and approaches need to be tailored to the individual projects, issues, and audience - appropriate media needs to be selected, messages developed and materials designed, delivery systems planned, and impact assessed. CMFD Productions provides communication project management and implementation, consulting, and capacity building tailored to the unique needs of each communication goal.
Working together with development partners, CMFD works to create media/ communication materials and activities to support different development objectives. As a consultancy with a history of working with NGOs, UN agencies, and other development actors, we understand the development context and the need for communication to complement organisations’ ongoing work, as well as how to support institutional systems, such as monitoring and evaluation and reporting. While we focus on radio, we have managed many different kinds of communication projects - serial radio dramas, digital story production using new technologies, music campaigns, live theatre performances, materials development, and training programmes.
Radio programme production
Radio continues to be the medium with the widest reach in Africa, and CMFD’s key focus area is radio programme production, either as stand alone activities or as part of wider development programmes.
- Our serial radio dramas have aired across Africa, covering such issues as governance, gender equality, disaster risk reduction, landmines, and migration. Serial dramas allow listeners to learn through their characters mistakes and triumphs, while also entertaining audiences.
- CMFD produces short radio spots, or public service announcement, to communicate key messages. Our “Together We can End Human Trafficking Spots aired as part of a World Cup 2010 campaign, while a participatory approach to gender violence saw local government councillors record short skits around 16 Days of Activism.
- Magazine programmes can be used to present in depth discussion on topics. Along with producing a “Safe Journey” magazine programme around migration and HIV, CMFD has worked with radio stations in South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, and Sao Tome to build capacity of magazine programme production around social development.
- Personal testimonials – first hand accounts are one way that communities can voice their concerns. CMFD has used personal testimonials to highlight the affects of gender voice and landmines. This approach provide both a way to document experiences, and to ensure these voices are not lost.
Along with overseeing the entire creative and production process, working in close collaboration with our partners, CMFD also produces complementary support materials and provides related training when requested, to ensure audio programmes are put to the best possible use. Our fully mobile studio means we can record and produce anywhere around the world!
Music for social change
Music is a central part of popular culture, and so is a medium to both pass along messages, and to help create positive attitudes. Music is entertaining, and provides a socially accepted medium for the repetition of messages (popular songs are played over and over again). As such, it is a powerful, yet largely untapped, medium for communicators. CMFD Productions develops, writes, records and produces music. Our specialty is producing music for social change that is music that aims to create dialogue and use music to encourage positive social norms around such issues as women's rights, discrimination, HIV etc.
Materials design and development
As part of our consultancy, CMFD provides editorial services, materials development, and content support for organisations, especially related to human rights, gender, and health issues. This may include editing of print and online texts, managing materials from planning, drafting, layout, through to printing, and other publications.
Capacity building and training
CMFD Productions facilitators are available to provide training and workshop facilitation for journalists, NGOs, and community participants on using media and communication to address a wide variety of issues. We have trained journalists on investigative reporting, covering elections, reporting on women’s rights and gender, governance, and a wide range of humanitarian reporting. We have also built the capacity of community groups, such as rural women, survivors of gender violence, and people affected by landmines, to use media to tell their own stories. Most of our workshops combine skills building and knowledge sharing with hands on production, meaning participants create media as they learn.