Leadership Campaign

Description 

In 2006 MFA developed a first multimedia leadership campaign, dubbed ‘The Annual Kenyan Leadership Month in the Media’ ( ‘Uongozi bora ni Maendaleo’). The campaign aimed to work as a civic education program by transferring knowledge and enhancing awareness on issues of good leadership and best practices of governance.

MFA, in collaboration with the mainstream media, implemented and created an alternative national leadership discourse platform free from censorship, encouraged debate on exciting topical issues, and sought public opinion and attitudes on various leadership categories (community, political, religious and administrative). A wide range of programmes in the form of radio and TV panel discussions, educational soaps, phone-in radio programmes, documentaries and mini-soaps, were broadcast on radio and television. Advertisements, SMS and an interactive website also formed an integral part of the communication strategy. The underlying premise for this approach was to empower the public, civil society and the media to demand for good leadership and greater accountability and transparency from leadership.

Project activities 

Campaign branding

MFA together with the Scan Ad Group/McCann Kenya developed a logo, photos, and a slogan to give the campaign its own identity. With messages thematically tailored and cut out for the various target audiences, the images were used in both the print and in electronic media that run before and after the television debates, through the entire campaign period.

Research; Leadership & Governance

Before the start of the leadership campaign MFA in collaboration with the Steadman Group, conducted a quantitative baseline survey.

Leadership Workshops

MFA in collaboration with its Advisory Committee, Stichting Nederlandse Vrijwilligers (SNV) and CORAT Africa convened a two-day content development workshop, in order to identify and prioritize emergent issues both in content and nature and secondly, to build consensus on the formulation of responses to these key issues to be conveyed in messages during the media campaign.

Newsline

Five (5) episodes of ‘Newsline’, a popular talk show on Kenyan TV Network (KTN) were sponsored and content influenced by MFA. Moderated by Louis Otieno, it brought together a minimum of three guests per show and a live audience of up to twenty people. They were drawn from civil society, religious organisations, private sector, and political parties and in some instances government.

SMS campaign

Mobile phones were used as an integral part of this project, allowing participation by many Kenyans excluded from other forms of media. Almost 8000 SMSs were sent by the public and fed back into the programme. At the time of the project, research indicated that in African countries, every mobile phone is used by an average of 6 people.

Makutano Junction

‘Makutano Junction’ is an innovative television drama, based in a fictitious Kenyan village. It was set up to feature information on education, sustainable rural livelihoods, health, governance and other important societal issues in an informative yet entertaining manner.

The Executive

The Executive is a powerful documentary by Fleur van Dissel Visual Communication, Netherlands/Kenya (Produced in co-oporation with Media Focus on Africa) that gives a closer look to Kenya's road to a new constitution, with special attention to the role of the executive arm of government in the process.

Leadership debates on radio (2006)

We worked closely with various radio stations to produce and air in total, 70 shows. They included 42 Radio phone-in discussion programs on Citizen Radio, Easy FM, KBC Radio, Kiss FM, Classic FM, Metro FM, Capital FM, Hope FM and East FM; Eight episodes of the popular educational TV soap “Tembea na Majira” on KBC Radio; and 20 Satirical mini soaps over 7 FM stations.

Results 

National leadership discourse platform free from censorship

By broadcasting 15 TV shows and 70 Radio programs on leadership and governance, over 4 weeks across 9 radio and 2 TV Stations in November 2006, supported by promos, newspaper ads and innovative branding, ‘The Kenyan Leadership Month in the Media’ dominated the airwaves. MFA, in collaboration with the mainstream media, implemented and created an alternative national leadership discourse platform free from censorship, encouraged debate on exciting topical issues, and sought public opinion and attitudes on various leadership categories (community, political, religious and administrative).

  • Approx. 6.5 million people (15 years and above) watched and listened to one of the programmes
  • 78% of them said the “Campaign helped to better understand leadership”
  • 56% said they “will choose their leader more carefully next time”
More
Country 
Quote 
Text 
“Money is a factor but when they elect somebody on financial grounds; there are also other aspects that people look at but you see money is an added advantage for you to be a leader. We start with the basic then we come to money despite how you got it; money is a factor.”
Author 
Respondent from Kajiado
Text 
“The need to have a meal on the table for the family overrides the need to select leaders who are credible. Kibera residents perceive it as a trade off, whereby I benefit and you benefit......poverty contributes in that if my children are hungry and someone can buy your vote I will sell my vote, I benefit him while he benefits me.”
Author 
Respondent from Kibera, Nairobi