Albishirin Ku!—a Hausa expression meaning good tidings—is a radio show where community voices and innovative storytelling converge to create lasting health and social impact. In northern Nigeria, maternal and child mortality rates are alarmingly high, and traditional health-seeking behaviors hinder progress. Breakthrough ACTION’s Albishirin Ku! addressed these challenges head-on. Through a partnership with the Government of Nigeria, Breakthrough ACTION developed the show to promote maternal, newborn, and child health behaviors.

The show was designed and implemented using systematic social and behavior change approaches grounded in theory and with a deep understanding of the audience. It was broadcast in four Nigerian states for seven seasons. As a result, 76% of men and women in states where the program aired reported they were exposed to the Albishirin Ku! radio show. Of those who reported exposure, 18% also discussed the show with someone else.[1] Women who were exposed to the drama were significantly more likely than those not exposed to practice six priority MNCH health behaviors.[2]

Two videos spotlight the unique aspects of the hugely popular and impactful Albishirin Ku! radio show. One tells the story of Fatima and Auwal and how the show inspired them to take action in their own lives and communities. In the second video, Nigerian producer Idi Nasiru describes the making of Albishirin Ku!, highlighting the “secret sauce” that made it successful.

A report shares the journey of how research informed the design of the show and its unique elements, which contributed to its overwhelming success. It also offers lessons learned that social and behavior change practitioners, particularly those working in entertainment education, can apply to their work. The report includes additional resources for those interested in learning more about the development of this successful radio program to apply in another context.

[1] 1 Omnibus Survey, September 2022

[2] Behavior Sentinel Surveillance Data, Breakthrough RESEARCH, December 2022